It was fast, it was nail biting, it was one for the books and the best mouse race around.
The Fulton Rotary Club held its third annual mouse race Friday night at 54 Country. The festival-like atmosphere was filled with the sounds of laughter and fun.
Several stations were set up around the building, including a silent auction, a snack station, a photo booth, a beating station, a kids crafts table and a bar for the parents.
Many of those stations were manned by Rotaracts, individuals between 18-30.
"The point is to become rotary members and do events," Rotaract Hannah Mansell said."As for tonight, the mouse races is certainly interesting to watch."
The mouse-racing track took center stage, with six horizontal lanes for the little contestants. One side was made of clear plastic, so spectators got a great view of every second of the racing action.
Scott Gerheauser, the emcee for the evening, said the tracks don't have anything to entice the rodents to run.
"It is completely random," he said. "It ends up being a completely different outcome every time."
Gerheauser — who built the custom mouse-racing track — said mice were not actually used at this event.
"Actually, these are gerbils," he said. "They are a lot cleaner to handle and a lot less likely to bite."
Sponsors for the races were able to name their racers, which led to some very interesting names. Race one featured Silly Lilly, Bobby Books, Bold Brooklyn, Wacky Waylon, Killer Keller and Jolly JC. Other notable names were Lucky Penny, Tay Tay, Hot Off The Press, Speedy Gonzales and Thermo Booster.
Another game played was mouse roulette. Participants purchased one of 52 playing cards, then a gerbil was released in the middle of a card-lined table. The first card their paw touched was the winner.
A more serious booth at the event was a sign up to be an organ donor. Rotarian Bob Hansen was running the booth.
"This is part of 'Rotary for Life,'" he said. "Basically, it all starts with Tom Thomas and his story. He was a Westminster graduate and a Rotarian in Columbia. He had his life extended 10 years by an organ donation."
To help others who may be on an organ waiting list, Fulton Rotary joined the program with other Rotary clubs.
At the end of the night, Club President Mary Ann Beahon said the mouse races raised about $4,400.
That's a little less than last year and a little more than the first year," she said.
The benefactor of those funds is the Adult Enrichment Center, a facility for persons with developmental disabilities.