Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, high-seas pirates, Scooby Doo and The Mystery Machine, orange-clad prisoners, and even Spiderman himself turned out on October 30 for the 7th Annual Bed Races, an event sponsored by Rutgers University Programming Association as part of Rutgers Homecoming celebration in Brunswick, NJ. Proceeds of the event were donated to the Cuddle Me Diaper Bank.
To participate, teams of four choose a theme, decorate their beds, dress up in costume, and don bicycle crash helmets before racing down a stretch of College Avenue to the whoops and cheers (and jeers) of friends, families, roommates, and professors. It’s fun for sure, but if you think it’s easy, think again! (Ever try to steer a fully loaded shopping cart at high speed around a corner?) Here’s a glimpse of some of the contestant’s in last year’s race.
The bed races became part of the Rutgers tradition in 2007 when 15 teams of students and alumni first sent wobbly-wheeled beds, along with their intrepid occupants, careening along College Avenue for a hair-raising ride and a chance to win in one or more of four categories. As a registration “fee”, each team is encouraged to pledge at least 300 diapers. Since then, participation has more than quadrupled – a whopping 61 teams participated in this year’s race, matching last year’s donation record of 26,000 diapers!
Among this year’s teams were the Scarlet Ambassadors, Dance Marathon, and Kol Halayla along with sororities, fraternities, and other student groups. In keeping with tradition, the event’s co-sponsor, the Rutgers University Alumni Association, led the pack and was first to race.
And the winners were:
First Place Overall and highest diaper donation went to Theta Tau, a co-ed professional engineering fraternity. In Second Place Overall and first place for speed was Iota Phi Theta fraternity. The College Avenue Student Center staff won Third Place Overall. Sorority Sigma Lambda Gamma captured the award for Best Costume, dressed as characters from the hit TV show “Orange is the New Black,” while fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon garnered Best Decorated Bed, and Livingston Theater Costume took away Most Spirited. Check out this year’s wacky bed decorations and team costumes here.
Thanks to the support of organizations like Rutgers University, Cuddle Me can continue to distribute diapers to families in need. While 26,000 diapers may seem like a lot of nappies, due to increasing need, they go faster than a bed on wheels. We rely on generous donations and charitable contributions, as well as the antics of a group of college kids, to help us help children and their families. If you or your organization has an idea for a fundraising event, we’d love to hear from you!