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‘Sleepless in Havasu:’ Teams pull an all-nighter to raise $45K for charity

September 28, 2018

There were several dozen tuckered out women in Lake Havasu City on this past Saturday morning who were ready to hit the hay. More than 50 of them pulled an all-nighter Friday night, raising in excess of $45,000 for charity.

Sleepless in Havasu is an annual event hosted by Michael Alan Furnishings. The money raised is earmarked for the Cancer Association of Havasu to pay for low-cost mammograms.

Early on Friday, teams of women met at the furniture store to prepare for their competition. Each team decorated a bed, hoping to win the People’s Choice award. That honor was won by the Western Arizona Humane Society team’s “Underdog” entry.

To fight off the desire to sleep, the teams were kept busy throughout the event, until 6 a.m. Saturday morning.

They traveled en masse to Movies Havasu for a screening “Life Itself.” The furniture store also hosted a party in its showroom for the public and friends and family of the teams. Eventually, supporters were shown the door and the women got down to the business of staying awake, said organizer Vanessa Liesen of Michael Alan.

“We had games, a scavenger hunt in the store, chair yoga and lots of food. You’d be surprised how hungry you get when you’re sleepy,” she said.

The women dined on appetizers, pizza, donuts and breakfast burritos. While a few sipped Champagne and wine spritzers, coffee was the beverage of choice. The food and drinks were supplied by Havasu merchants and distributors.

Liesen said every year’s Sleepless in Havasu event raises thousands of dollars, but it also yields inspiring personal stories.

“The stories are my favorite thing. We always hear great stories from women about why they want to be a part of the event. Some people are in remission, they know someone who is a survivor or they lost someone (to cancer). Every year, the stories are the best part.”

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