This was the 23rd Annual Turtle Derby at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital (here's an article and video that talks about it). It is a fundraiser that helps to raise more than $20,000 for the Child Family Life Department and other pediatric programs for the hospital. (the clinic I work out is affiliated with the Children's Hospital - my boss is the CFL manager - luckily I did not have clinic this morning so I was able to go and help out with the event!)
People sponsor turtles ahead of time and then come and cheer on 'their' turtle. There were a total of 28 heats, with 8 turtles in each heat. There were not that many turtles used. the turtles would get re-used from heat to heat... there were probably 30 or so turtles there. The sponsors were anyone from a unit in the hospital, to the CFL department, to a group of physicians, to a single person or in honor of someone.
At the start of each heat, color marker were placed on the 8 participating turtles backs, and each turtle would be announced who they were representing in the heat and placed in the middle circle.
Then the circle would be lifted and the turtles would RUN! to the outside. Everyone would cheer, if there was a group of sponsor's there, they would yell especially loud for their turtle. Each sponsor had a name for the turtles - here are some of the names (and their sponsors):
Buzz Light Turtle (Pediatric Surgery)
John Wayne Turtle (MN Medical Foundation)
Code Brown (University Emergency Department)
Turtlemodulation (Clinical Neuroscience Admin Center)
Hurry Up and Wait (Unit 2A)
Derby Dude-a-licious (CFL)
R2D Turtle (Pediatric Surgery)
The Tumor-nator (Masonic cancer center clinical trials office)
Sir Turtlot (Boynton Health Services)
I could go on and on... anyway here they are running to the finish:
And they were fast too! The volunteers would have to run to catch them before they fell off the platform:
Child Family Life was pretty much running the show. Here is Sarah and Anne leading the TV show that airs on the hospital channel throughout the inpatient floors: (can you tell Anne's pregnant?)
I was a runner, which meant me and another gal (Melissa) would run up to the pediatric unites (5A, 5B, 5C, & 5D) and collect 'messages' that kids or staff would write. These messages would be announced by the show hosts on air so the patients watching could here. A lot of patients were able to make it down to join the festivities, while some were not able to but watched from their rooms.
It was a lot of fun, hot day, but lots of fun! It was so fun watching those turtles run!!
PS: if you haven't noticed, I've finally linked my photos to my flickr account. So if you click on the photos it'll take you to my albums where I have them all (or going to start having them) together.