Students dress up, slide for charity

Participants skidded down an icy Buck Hill on plastic-covered mattresses to raise money for Bridging, a local nonprofit group.

Kristin Frey

Richard Simmons look-a-likes, dancing giant shrimp and University students gathered Sunday at Buck Hill Ski Area in Burnsville, Minn., to slide on mattresses down a hill covered in ice.

“We are here for fun and the charity,” social work graduate student Bethany Lyngholm said while racing in the sixth annual Bedrace for Bridging fund-raising event.

Participants from 106 teams collected pledges and dressed up in costumes before the race. Costumes included beer-drinking brides and middle-aged men dressed as flying nuns.

Groups of four huddled on plastic-covered mattresses to race one another down the hill, taking about a minute to slide down their lanes.

Proceeds from the event went to Bridging, Inc. a charity organization that provides furniture for people in need,

said Char Pfeiffer, the organization’s volunteer special events coordinator.

More than $45,000 was raised in this year’s event, said Erin Peterson, the event planner.

Dustin Maddy, a member of the University fraternity Omega Nu Alpha, participated in the event with 24 other University students in the greek system.

Although his team failed to find costumes for this year’s event, Maddy said, they have already thought about next year’s design.

“It’s either going to be Ghostbusters or the Jamaican bobsled team,” he said.

Eric Hansen, who volunteered for the event with his fraternity Phi Kappa Psi, said he was partial to the mad cow costumes worn by the members of one team.

The team members wore cow suits and bells around their necks and offered sage advice such as “Manure happens” and “Eat chicken” on their backs.

“I just thought it was humorous and different,” said Hansen, who said he found the team of “Star Wars” characters boring in comparison. “They established their own thing.”

Hansen, who helped load mattresses and polled the rankings of the teams, said he plans to race in the event next year.

He said his future team members plan to dress as sperm next year.

“We’ll call ourselves the Potentials.”