One could call Yakima Avenue the Crimson and Gray Highway — at least for the next week.
Fans of Washington State University cast the most votes in a Downtown Yakima Rotary Club fundraiser that built on the rivalry between WSU and the University of Washington.
The Cougar victory will result in WSU school colors being painted on a portion of the city’s main thoroughfare and WSU banners flying along the avenue and at City Hall, the Yakima Convention Center, the Larson Building, and at the Yakima Air Terminal.
City street crews will paint the Washington State University colors on the stripes on Yakima Avenue from First Street to the Convention Center on North Eighth Street beginning by 9 a.m. this morning.
Traffic on Yakima Avenue will be limited to one lane in each direction most of the day. Painting should be completed by 5 p.m., the city said.
The Yakima City Council also will proclaim Yakima as Cougarville this week.
Results of the online contest were announced Saturday at the Rotary Auction.
The “U Rule Yakima” campaign enabled fans to donate $20 for a chance to cast votes for their favorite school.
Dana Dwinell, a Rotary Club member who oversaw the project, said the fundraiser brought in $2,868 for Rotary Charities, the club’s funding arm. One voter donated $1,000.
The money will be used for Rotary scholarships for students and grants the club awards to local programs.
The final vote tally was 62 votes for the Cougars and 35 for the Huskies. The figures were not as high as organizers had hoped. The attention the fundraiser attracted, however, means the program will be considered for a repeat next year and a chance for Husky fans to redeem themselves.
“Raising awareness of Rotary and Rotary Charities, doing something outside the box, and the positive feedback for the city, I think we did all of those,” Dwinell said.
Cougar fans are still celebrating their team’s victory in the Apple Cup on Nov. 23, a 31-28 overtime victory at Martin Stadium in Pullman.