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100 Days Til BuckeyeThon event to include sumo wrestling

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For BuckeyeThon organizers, Thursday is a day to celebrate, as it marks 100 days until Ohio State’s 10th annual dance marathon. But it is also an opportunity to raise money and recruit participants.

The event, called “100 Days Til BuckeyeThon,” will take place from 4:30 to 8 p.m. in the Wexner Center plaza.

Attendees can participate in an array of activities and attractions, from a bounce house to sumo wrestling, but the purpose of the event is to recruit dancers for BuckeyeThon 2011, OSU’s 17-hour dance marathon to end childhood cancer, said Rachel Prescott, BuckeyeThon president.

Proceeds from this year’s BuckeyeThon will go toward the hematology and oncology floor of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

BuckeyeThon teams have raised $23,000 so far this year, which makes them slightly ahead of where they were last year. But there are fewer dancers registered so far compared to last year. The organization’s goal is to break last year’s newly set fundraising record of $100,000, Prescott said.

Victoria Wykoff, director of recruitment and morale, said this is the first year OSU will celebrate 100 days until BuckeyeThon.

Wykoff got the idea for the event when she was enrolled at Penn State. The university had a similar event called “100 Days Til Thon.”

“The event was very successful at Penn State, so I wanted to implement it here,” she said. “Seven hundred people are attending on Facebook, and there are 1,200 ‘maybes’ so far. We are hoping for a good turnout.”

All activities at the event will be free because it is paid for through BuckeyeThon’s portion of OSU’s Student Activity Fee.

Sumo wrestling will take place in the plaza, and a bounce house will be available for all ages, but “children will have first priority,” Prescott said.

Other events include a pizza-eating contest among registered BuckeyeThon dance teams. There will be men’s, women’s and coed divisions. In the men’s and coed divisions, the winner will be determined by which team can scarf down three large pizzas the fastest. In the women’s division, the winner will be determined by which team can devour two large pizzas first.

The pizza-eating contest requires a $10 entry fee per dancer. Five dollars of the fee goes toward an award pot for the winning team and the other $5 goes toward each dancer’s fundraising goal, Wykoff said.

BuckeyeThon dancers are required to raise $100 each.

Wykoff said she expects three families with children in Nationwide Children’s Hospital to attend.

Students can register for BuckeyeThon 2011 for $10 at the event Thursday.

BuckeyeThon will take place from 5 p.m. on Feb. 26 to 10 a.m. on Feb. 27. For more information, visit buckeyethon.osu.edu.

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