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Space Needle painted crimson and gray

Washington State University finished on top of Habitat for Humanity’s “Tackling Hurricane Relief” contest, which raised a total $164,293.62 to help rebuild homes in the southeastern United States affected by recent hurricanes.

The victory means the Space Needle roof will be adorned with crimson and gray paint, the WSU flag and logo, and the message “Go Cougars!” through the week of Apple Cup, the annual football match-up between the WSU Cougars and the University of Washington Huskies.

The contest, which pitted WSU fans against UW fans, began Nov. 2. Donations to the Hurricane Relief Effort made on behalf of the universities were tracked and totaled on a daily bases, and the flag of the winning school was flown above the Space Needle on the days when its total was highest.

WSU contributions exceeded that of Husky fans- $97,947.05 to $66,346.57, respectively. The Cougars went 11-2 over the course of the 13-day program.

“Although we’ll probably get more than a few phone calls about the roof being crimson-and-gray this week, we’re very proud of this program and what the Huskies and the Cougars accomplished together,” said Dean Nelson, president and chief executive officer of the Space Needle. “Raising more than $160,000 in two weeks is no small feat. The real winners here are the thousands of people who contributed generously to this cause and, ultimately, the people in the Gulf Coast region who will get new homes as a result of this effort.”

The money raised during the “Tackling Hurricane Relief” program will be donated to Habitat for Humanity’s “Operation Home Delivery,” a program focused on long-term recovery and rebuilding in the Gulf Coast. A core element of “Operation Home Delivery” is a nationwide house-building project that pre-builds parts of houses across the country that are then shipped to the devastated areas and assembled as complete homes.

Jack Thompson, WSU’s starting quarterback from 1976-78, represented WSU at the news conference and gave credit to Cougars far and wide for the winning effort and attributed the enthusiasm for the project to Cougar pride and spirit.

Program Stats:

* Total amount raised: $164,293.62

* Washington State University: $97,947.05

* University of Washington: $66,346.57

* Largest donation day: Monday, Nov., 14 with $51,000 raised in 24 hours

* Largest donation: $3,000 (University of Washington)

* Total number of donations: 2,764

* Average donation: $59

* International effort: Contributions from 32 states and 3 different countries

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