tvrace1

CHARITY IS SUCH A BURDEN: Racers in hazmat suits, prison chains and other extras kick off month-long effort to help vulnerable women worldwide as part of national TV auction

Read Time:2 Minute, 25 Second

Berit Vasstrand wasn’t a prisoner trying to make a quick getaway (like that’d be possible with the ball and chain attached to her wrist over a full-body striped outfit). Instead, as an employee for Svalbard’s governor (but not, as one might guess, a police officer), she and some coworkers were out to help unknown women suffering elsewhere by taking on a challenge that might be dubbed Bureaucrats Bearing Burdens.

tvracecostumes
Costume-clad competitors get psyched before the start of Saturday’s relay race for charity in the center of Longyearbyen. Photo by Mark Sabbatini / Icepeople.

However, they were just one of 21 groups of locals ranging from heath care workers to politicians to firefighters to super-secret satellite technicians participating in rely race through the center of Longyearbyen early Saturday afternoon to kick off a month of fundraising events that are a local tradition preceding a nationwide television auction to raise funds for a designated cause each October. Svalbard has for many years raised the most money per-resident and this year nearly all the relay teams appeared to feel the need to bear plenty of extra burdens in the form of outlandish outfits and accessories.

“Each of us chose what we would wear,” Vasstrand said, explaining it wasn’t the police at the governor’s office who decided on her fate as a convict. As for how much the ball and chain (a trawl ball rather than one of metal, thus making the chain the heavier burden) might slow the completion of her lap of the race, “I don’t know. Some minutes.”

A total of 49,500 kroner was raised from the race, according to the official local Facebook page for the TV auction campaign. Total annual local funds raised during a series of traditional events and a lottery drawing frequently have exceeded 1 million kroner, although the total in recent years has declined somewhat due to large-scale turnover in the population and the massive downsizing of Store Norske.

Among the upcoming local events preceding the nationwide telethon on Oct. 20 (more will be detailed as they are scheduled):

• Oct. 2: Evening hike to Varden.
• Oct. 3: Pick-up  meals from Polarflokken kindergarten.
• Oct. 12-13: Flea market at UNIS.
• Oct 16: Evening meal/entertainment/variety sale at Longyearbyen School
• Oct. 20: Auction of local items. Kulturhuset.

There will also be sales of baked goods and other items during weekends at Svalbardbutikken and elsewhere at other times.

Proceeds from this year’s telethon are being donated to CARE Norway, a non-governmental organization working in 13 countries to promote gender equality and women’s rights.

“With this year’s telethon CARE Norway will give 400 000 women in some of the world’s poorest countries the opportunity to build a better life for themselves, their families and their communities,” the telethon’s official website states.

 

 

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
strikestart Previous post ‘WE KNOW MORE THAN OUR PARENTS’: Youths at world’s northernmost climate strike say they’re living what older people have failed to learn
Next post RUSSIA EASILY CONQUERS SVALBARD, YET AGAIN: Had this been an actual invasion you wouldn’t be reading this since SvalSat and subsea communications were among targets