Story by Alicia Steele, Staff writer
Some students are gearing up to spend next Saturday racing around Murray competing in tasks, such as eating a cupcake as fast as they can or playing a life-size version of Jenga, with one catch – no cars allowed.
The Honors Student Council, with financial sponsorship from The Murray Bank, will hold its annual Maneuver Murray philanthropy event for Needline on April 9.
“The idea was to create a fun, unique, community-based way for Murray State University students and citizens of Murray to come together in raising money for our local Needline,” said Jessie Hedrick, co-chairwoman of Maneuver Murray and junior from Palatine, Illinois. “Needline provides countless community services and supporting them should be a community effort.”
She said the event was started by Madison Mucci in 2011, who was a freshman at the time.
Hedrick said she first volunteered for Maneuver Murray in 2012, during the spring semester of her freshman year, and she enjoyed seeing how much fun each team had while completing clues and solving puzzles.
“Every year, the race is different,” Hedrick said. “Participants never know what’s next until they’ve solved a clue and reached their next location.”
Each team is given 12 clues that will lead them around Murray. Clues can include puzzles, word games and obstacle courses, according to the website. Each team will have until 2 p.m. to complete 11 of the 12 clues to be eligible to win the grand prize.
However, for every clue that is wrong or incomplete, the team will add 20 minutes to their finishing time.
Hedrick said the teams race through Murray to complete tasks on foot, bike, skateboard etc. to finish with the fastest time possible. However, cars are not allowed.
Competitors can use cell phones, laptops and GPS, according to the website. However, any team found using a car or accepting a ride will be disqualified from the race.
Anna Collins, junior from Shelbyville, Kentucky, volunteered for Maneuver Murray her freshman year and participated on a team last year.
Collins said while volunteering her freshman year, she saw how much fun the teams had, and saw nearly all participants walk away with some sort of prize, most including free or discounted food, so she decided to start a team her sophomore year.
“The task I worked with my freshman year was a giant Jenga set over one of the parks,” Collins said.
Collins said teams had to remove one of the Jenga pieces without making the set topple over.
Her sophomore year, as a participant, Collins remembers eating a cupcake from The Cupcake Lady as fast as possible, fashionably dressing a mannequin, going to a firehouse and following the steps to properly save a team member and going to the movie theater to re-enact a famous movie scene.
Collins said re-enacting the movie scene was her favorite activity, because her team chose a scene from the Lion King.
Teams of two can register for a fee of $40 and teams of three or four can register for $60. Each entry includes a t-shirt and a swag bag, according to an event flier.
This year, the grand prize will be $200 for the first place team, and $100 for the second place team. There will also be door prizes.
“Maneuver Murray is such a unique event,” Hedrick said. “It’s like putting together a massive, months-long puzzle. Seeing everything come together on race day and tallying up the amount of money we raised for Needline is an incredible, humbling reward.”