Top of Space Needle to be crimson and gray?

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY and the University of Washington will be facing each other sooner than the Nov. 19 Apple Cup. And the winning school from this competition will have its school colors prominently displayed on Seattle's most famous landmark Apple Cup weekend.

From now through Tuesday, Nov. 15, the Space Needle is teaming up with Washington State and the UW to raise money for Habitat for Humanity in an effort to build homes to replace those destroyed by recent hurricanes in the Southeastern United States.

As of Nov. 2, fans, alumni, students, faculty and staff – anyone – can make a donation of any amount to the "Tackling Hurricane Relief" program. When they do so, donors will be asked to choose to enter their pledge into either the Cougars' Fund or Huskies' Fund. Every morning throughout the program, the Space Needle will announce the previous day's leading fundraiser and will fly that team's flag atop the Space Needle's flagpole for the day.

Donations can be made online, 24-hours-a-day at or in person at the Space Needle's restaurant check-in desk at the base of the tower.

Upon the conclusion of the fundraiser, Nov. 15 – just days before the Apple Cup on Nov. 19 in Seattle – the school that's raised the most money over the course of the entire program will have its school colors, logo and a message of encouragement painted on top of the Space Needle for the world to see. The crimson-and-gray or purple-and-gold paint job will remain atop the tower through Apple Cup weekend.

Carrying the fundraising ball for each school, so to speak, are two famous running backs: Rueben Mayes from Washington State and Greg Lewis from Washington. As honorary chairmen of the event, these two alumni will be encouraging the faithful to open their hearts and wallets to help those in need.

"Anyone who knows me can tell you I bleed crimson but remember I wore another jersey during my career and it meant the world to me," Mayes said. "I was a New Orleans Saint for five years and I grew to love the culture and people of Louisiana. To say that it hurt to watch the hurricane devastation doesn't begin to describe the feeling.

"I have wanted to do more to help and that is why I am thankful for this opportunity," Mayes added. "I know Cougars far and wide want to see the Cougar head and WSU flag on top of the Space Needle but I know they will also want to be part of this hurricane relief effort. GO COUGS!"

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