‘Zombies’ Helping Raise Money for ETSU Natural History Museum

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Zombie Tag is the latest in creative fundraising at East Tennessee State University.

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Museum leadership is using the current “zombie culture” to raise awareness about science education and paleontology, as well as to include students in fundraising efforts.

ETSU and General Shale Natural History Museum and Visitors Center at the Gray Fossil Site is organizing a campus-wide game of Zombie Tag, as well as several other zombie-themed activities throughout the day for all ages.

Museum leadership is using the current “zombie culture” to raise awareness about science education and paleontology, as well as to include students in fundraising efforts.

“We hope to remind people about the importance of science education and being accessible to the public,” said Dr. Blaine Schubert, director of both the museum and ETSU’s Don Sundquist Center of Excellence in Paleontology. “We also want to include students as well as the community. With such a fun, unique game, we can raise money for exhibits and remind people that the museum is part of ETSU, too.”

The main event is a game of Zombie Tag at 5 p.m. for those ages 18 and up. ETSU and other regional college students who are age 17 may participate with valid college ID.

The goal of Zombie Tag is to “survive” the game. “Human” participants attempt to reach six checkpoints on ETSU’s main campus without getting tagged and turned into a “zombie.” Each player is required to wear a black shirt over a white shirt, with the black shirt denoting “human.” As players are tagged, they must remove their black shirts to reveal their white shirts, which indicate “zombie.”

The day will begin at 10 a.m. with a Zombie 5K co-hosted by ETSU Campus Recreation. Runners and walkers may dress up like zombies and follow a certified course through the campus. Prizes will be awarded for top runners, as well as for costume creativity.

For those ages 11 and under, a “flag” Zombie Tag event will be held at noon on the intramural field beside the Wayne G. Basler Center for Physical Activity. Each participant will receive a free child’s and adult’s pass to the Natural History Museum. There will also be face-painting, a costume contest, inflatables and more.

Zombie Tag for those ages 12-17 will follow at 2 p.m. on the main ETSU campus, with rules identical to the main event.

Throughout the day, Zombie Tag players waiting to enter or having exited the playing field may visit a variety of vendor booths, including professional make-up artists, event merchandise vendors and sponsors.

For both the teen and main events, visitors should report to the gate and festival area, which will be located on John Robert Bell Drive, between Warf-Pickel Hall and the ETSU/Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center. Parking for all events is available in lot 21, which is near the parking garage off State of Franklin Road.

Tickets to the main event are $10 online in advance or $12 at the gate for all players, including college students; ID will be required. Tickets are $10 for the teen event and $5 for the children’s event. The Zombie 5K is $15 for students and $20 for non-students. All tickets may be purchased at http://zombietix.com.

A promotional video may be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AqLds7my6M.

The ETSU and General Shale Natural History Museum and Visitor Center continually showcases the Gray Fossil Site and its unique ecosystem. Weather permitting, visitors may continue to observe live excavations at the Gray Fossil Site through October.

In addition to permanent and temporary traveling exhibits, many special events are held at the museum, including a monthly speaker series and “Fossil and Artifact ID Nights” every other month, as well as ongoing youth programs.

The museum, located 1.8 miles off Exit 13 on Interstate 26, is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call (866) 202-6223 or visit http://www.etsu.edu/naturalhistorymuseum.
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Twitter: #ETSUFossil

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