‘Maneuver Murray’ calls for creativity in motion

The Honors Program Student Council is ready to get the community curious and active in the annual citywide Maneuver Murray competition April 18.

Maneuver Murray is a philanthropic event planned by the Honors Program Student Council to raise funds for the Murray nonprofit, Need Line, which provides food and help with paying for utilities and other necessities for struggling families.

Teams of between two and four people use clues to find different local businesses and accomplish a task to get the next clue.

The catch: all transportation must be non-motorized. Whether by bike, skateboard or on foot, the first team to accomplish all 12 tasks wins – and gets $200.

The race features all types of challenges. Last year, competitors had to identify yogurt flavors at Yogurt Your Weigh, fold pizza boxes at Baldy’s Grill, paint on canvases at Creative Canvas, play giant Jenga and answer Cash Cab trivia questions in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

“It is set up for lots of different skill sets,” said Maddie Mucci, senior from Nolensville, Tenn., and founder of the event. “Everyone is good at specific tasks so it all evens out.”

Co-chair Jessie Hedrick, sophomore from Palatine, Ill., said she believes the event is a “fun, unique way to do philanthropy” because it is an “everyman’s race.”

Brett Shewcraft, Murray State administrative support technician, was part of the 2014 winning team. He said it felt good winning the race and was proud of his team’s effort.

Shewcraft’s favorite station was at Need Line because many teams were there at once.

“It reminded me of those close moments watching ABC’s “Amazing Race,” Shewcraft said.

   As for this year’s clues, “they are locked down secrets,” Hedrick said.

The clues are creative and challenge participants as they try to find their next stops on the scavenger hunt, Hedrick said.

Individuals participating in the event are exposed to what Murray offers.

Last year’s volunteer at the giant Jenga station, Anna Collins, sophomore from Shelbyville, Ky., said the event allows people to “discover their town.”

“The diversity of the station location sites is wonderful for getting to know Murray and all its nooks and crannies,” Collins said. “Really the whole event centers around building a stronger community.”

In addition to the fun and exposure for local businesses, the competition is a boon for Need Line. Last year’s event raised $700 from the 72 participants.

Mucci said she believes this year’s event will bring in more money because participation has gone up each year since its start in 2012.

“We are hoping to raise even more now because Need Line does so much for our community, and sometimes we miss that being students on Murray State’s campus,” Mucci said. “The community does so much for Murray State, and it’s incredible for us to give back to the community.”

A two-person team costs $40, and a three- or four-person team cost $60. Cash prizes for first and second place will be awarded, as well as additional door prizes.

For a guaranteed T-shirt and swag bag full of coupons and other free items, registration must be completed before April 3.  Additional information and registration for the event can be found at maneuvermurray.com.

“It’s kick-butt awesome,” said Demi St. John, senior from Edwardsville, Ill., who has planned and participated in the event since its beginning. “It’s one of those things that people just need to do to realize how awesome it is.”

Story by Abby Siegel, Contributing writer