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David Hilden at the finish line

David Hilden: A MOST amazing fundraiser

Added on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Although David Hilden’s race partners have changed over the years, one thing has not: his ability to raise copious amounts of cash for the Twin Cities Salvation Army’s MOST Amazing Race.

David Hilden competes in the MOST Amazing RaceIn nine years, Hilden and his teammates have raised more than $34,500 for Salvation Army food and housing programs. Nobody has raised more.

“I am so thankful that I can take part and help be a blessing to others in need,” said Hilden, 48, a sales engineer from Corcoran.

Nobody has raced more, either. Hilden, who is slated to join this year’s 10th anniversary race on July 25, is the only person to have competed in every single race since the event began in 2006.

His teams – named either “Adventure Guys” or “Adventure Guy and Gal,” depending on his race partner – have been top fundraisers five times. In doing so, they’ve won roundtrip airfare three times and have twice won thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from Mattress Firm.

Race teammates David Hilden and Beau EllisHilden has gotten the most out of his airline tickets, traveling to Alaska, Hawaii and Newfoundland.

With this year’s top fundraising prize again on the line, it’s understandable that Hilden doesn’t want to divulge his fundraising secrets. But he did say he appreciates the support of his friends and family, and that “The Salvation Army is a solid, credible organization, so that always helps build the momentum.”

In addition to winning top fundraising honors, Hilden and teammate Beau Ellis (pictured) won the race itself in 2006 and 2008. The two have raced together six times.

Thanks for the memories   

Hilden joined the first MOST Amazing Race in 2006 after hearing about it from his coworkers.

“Being that I liked to watch the TV show, I decided to sign up,” he said.

Fond memories have followed.

David Hilden jumps off a platform“I enjoy the multifaceted event that it is,” Hilden said. “It challenges me physically, mentally, directionally, relationally, and in so many other ways. I really enjoy how we go to places I would have never been to, along with doing things I have not done before.”

The one race challenge he hasn’t enjoyed: eating “wasabi bombs” during the 2012 race.

“I didn’t know it had so much wasabi in it,” he recalled. “I had already eaten all the other sushi, so I had nothing to cut back the fire inside my mouth, ears and head.”

As for his favorite memory, it’s a tie between jumping off a 30-foot-high platform (2013 race, pictured above) and eating Dairy Queen banana splits and chili dogs without the use of his hands (2006 race, pictured below).

David Hilden eating at a race challengeHis second-favorite memory is anybody’s guess, considering how many incredible challenges each MOST Amazing Race beholds (view a sampling of challenges).

Hilden is grateful for the people who help make the race a reality. Raising so much money for The Salvation Army and the people it serves is his way of giving back.

“I would like to say thank you for all who have put their time into putting this race together along with all who have volunteered to make this event possible,” Hilden said. “It is truly an amazing event that will hold many fond memories for the rest of my life.”

Think you can raise more money than Hilden, or beat his team in this year’s race? Register now and get rolling.

As an added incentive, Degree of Honor has agreed to match every dollar donated to race teams in June, thereby doubling your impact on Salvation Army food and housing programs. Learn more about the match.