Written by Jeff Starck Wausau Daily Herald
More than 100 people on 17 different teams attempted to do those things and dozens more Saturday as part of the Wausau area's fifth annual Race 4 Life scavenger hunt to raise awareness and money for organ donation. The amount raised this year won't be known until today when donations are tabulated, event officials said.
Last year in Wisconsin, 125 people donated organs, according to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. More than 1,700 Wisconsin residents currently are on a waiting list for an organ transplant, according to the federal agency.
This year's scavenger hunt included up to 100 items to find and 87 tasks to accomplish in four hours before teams returned to The Rose Garden in Wausau. Teams also could visit seven designated places as part of a poker run. Each item, task and poker hand had a point value and the team with the most points won a $500 prize.
Most participants said they were more interested in making people aware of organ donation than the winning prizes. Many participants work in the medical field or have family members who have received organ transplants.
Jessica Wunsch, 40, of Merrill and her sister Tammy Hutchison, 39, of Wausau both participated to honor their father, Arthur Hutchison, 61, of Wausau, who received a heart transplant 20 years ago. A condition caused Arthur Hutchison's heart to become enlarged and led to several bypass surgeries before the transplant, Wunsch said. The sister's consider their father lucky to have received a healthy ticker and to have lived a healthy life since.
"Too many people die waiting on the list," Wunsch said.
Some of the tasks, which had to be photographed or videotaped to count, were more than a little embarrassing, such as break-dancing at a mall or belching in public. Finding a purple paisley shirt and a left-handed baseball glove were more challenging than embarrassing.
One of the stops on the poker run was Wild Birds Unlimited in Rib Mountain, where teams had to dance like a bird inside the store. Marcie Stilien, 74, of Shiocton, had no problem shaking her hips and flapping her arms for a good cause.
"I probably last did (the Chicken Dance) a year or two ago at a wedding," Stilien said.