Reality Rally brings thousands to Temecula while raising funds with fun

Michelle Meyer from the TV show “Big Brother 18” draws for her team “Exit Strategy” in a “Pictionary” style challenge at the 2017 Reality Rally, April 8. Shane Gibson photo
Michelle Meyer from the TV show “Big Brother 18” draws for her team “Exit Strategy” in a “Pictionary” style challenge at the 2017 Reality Rally, April 8. Shane Gibson photo

Michelle Rivas

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Another Reality Rally is in the books for organizer Gillian Larson and her crew of dedicated volunteers. This year’s event included favorites such as the Reality Rally “Amazing Race” styled game through Old Town Temecula, the Reality Rally Festival, a Red Carpet Reception and Casino Fundraiser and the annual Celebrity Vs. Public Lip Sync Showdown. Reality Rally, celebrating its seventh year raises funds for Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center.

One of the more memorable moments of this year’s three-day event occurred during the Thursday, April 6, Lip Sync Showdown when a special performance was staged by contestant Matthew Gallagher, who proposed onstage to Kelly Maxwell, saying he was lucky to find someone “smart enough to inspire me, loving enough to care for my kids, strong enough to challenge me and pretty enough that I can’t take my eyes off of her.”

Maxwell, who was the first contestant of the night performing a custom mix by LMFAO said “yes” as the crowd erupted in cheers.

Gallagher’s mother and son both beat cancer this year.

Friday, April 7, people came out in droves to the Celebrity Red Carpet Reception and Casino Night held at Wilson Creek Winery. All the reality stars were ushered in at the beginning of the event for red-carpet portion of the event. As the celebrities walked the red carpet, the guests mingled inside the winery, enjoying the casino and gourmet buffet that was generously laid out.

Many of the reality stars in attendance expressed how grateful they were to be a part of the event including Christina Scoleri of “Mob Wives Chicago.”

“It’s just very amazing and humbling to be a part of this organization for my fourth year in a row. It’s very near and dear to me,” she said.

During the event Larson spoke about what Reality Rally means to her.

This is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I wanted to put my platform as a reality star to good use. I’ve loved seeing how this organization has grown beyond my wildest dreams,” she said.

Under sunny skies, thousands flocked to Temecula City Hall for the annual Reality Rally Race. Teams, along with their reality stars raced through a variety of challenges spread out throughout Old Town in a quest to be the winner of the “Amazing Race” styled game.

The opening ceremony included a roll call of all the different celebrities, a speech from Larson and even an appearance by Temecula Mayor MaryAnn Edwards.

The first place team overall was Three Amigos who obliterated last year’s best time by 40 minutes, finishing the course in 55 minutes. The team of John Vataha, Steve Pickett, and Rick Fortin had raised $16,260 this year earning them race advantages that allowed them to strategically win their fourth time in seven years.

“This one was for Ashley,” said Pickett, referring to their assigned celebrity, Ashley Trainer from “Survivor Samoa.”

The Elsinore City team was second overall at one hour and three minutes, winning the Intercity Championship for the sixth year in a row and bringing home the new perpetual Truax Trophy. The team – City Councilmen Brian Tisdale, Steve Manos and Recreation Supervisor Beau Davis – has been together for years and their celebrity partner has been Jodi Wincheski from “The Amazing Race.”

The Tres Rubios team from Century 21 Preferred took Third Place overall and first place in the Corporate Division with a time of one hour and 12 minutes. The team consisted of Maryann Landis, Cariann Armola, Melissa Gordon and celebrity TV star Lindsey Leitelt from “Naked and Afraid.”

After all the teams made it to the finish line, the Reality Rally festival commenced with performances by the Resonate Vocal Group, the Southwest Womens Chorus, Robert and Christine of the band Summer Wine, singers, Iris Zietlow, Camryn and Michael Creggar, Evan Diamond and Ginger Kunkel, Ohana Maoli and the Haka Boys, Temecula High Hopes Program Lip Sync performance and of course, a “Frozen” sing-a-long. A meet and greet with the 81 reality stars in attendance was also held, where adoring fans could meet and get the autographs of their favorite stars.

The event wrapped up at Fazeli Cellars with the Celebrity Chef Cook-Off Saturday evening, where contestants from shows such as “Chopped,” “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Beat Bobby Flay” competed in teams of two to outcook their competitors.

In front of a packed house, each team was given a basket of ingredients which included such items as goldfish crackers, gummy bears and even a curling iron that had to be used in the recipes the chefs created before the judges eager to try their creations.

The winners of Heat 1 were Temecula’s own Xiomara Hall from “Supermarket Superstar” and Kimberly
Roth from “Hell’s Kitchen.” Heat 2 winners were Aziza Young and Anthony Rodriguez both competed on “Hell’s Kitchen.”

For the final round the two sets of winners competed against each other using leftovers from the previous rounds’ baskets. Both teams concocted a crispy flavorful fried fish dish but ultimately, Hall and Roth came out on top with by a mere two points, winning the event and taking home the coveted Reality Rally Title of Top Celebrity Chef.

Kim Harris and Paul Bandong contributed to this story.

One Response to "Reality Rally brings thousands to Temecula while raising funds with fun"

  1. Eric   April 13, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Local area nonprofits who wish to administer their own text to donate service for events like this, visit our site for an affordable option:


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