By: Cate Talaue- The Brock Press
While most of us spent our Saturday morning preparing for early St. Patrick’s Day weekend festivities, watching cartoons, or trying to do some catching up on homework, some students were busting out their running shoes and competitive attitudes to participate in UNICEF Brock’s dodgeball tournament. The second annual event was hosted in the Ian Beddis gym where six teams, consisting of three girls and twenty-seven boys, participated to support the Syria crisis and the aftermath of the typhoon in the Philippines.
One of the benefits of intermingling recreational activity with a charity event is that it gives students an opportunity to relinquish stress, get some exercise, as well as feel that they are genuinely contributing to the cause rather than forking out change from their pockets. They are giving more of themselves such as their time and physical strength rather than being a passer-by in the infamous Mackenzie Chown A block hallway.
Fun for charity means more for the participants and volunteers than only raising awareness and money for the cause. It also gives them a sense of purpose. “It’s nice to feel like you’re helping out, and you get to hangout with your friends at the same time,” said Mark Vandermaarel, who played in the tournament and is an active volunteer for UNICEF Brock.
Similarly, Executive member Aamir Telia says that “it feels good to know that people care,” especially since time and money are quite limited this time of year for the average student.
Saumik Biswas, co-founder and President of the club says that the event was also used to showcase the successes of UNICEF Brock for the 2013-2014 school year, and to celebrate the volunteers and executive members efforts in making this year as great as it was.
Having been an established club at Brock University for only two years, Saumik is happy with the success and turnout of the day, “We did really well this year, especially with this event. Considering it was all done on such short notice, I was surprised to see how great of a turn out today was. We could have done more, such as earlier and more frequent advertising, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.”
This tournament is the club’s third most successful event, raising nearly $200 for Syria and the Philippines. The Valentine’s Day roses sale in February and Masquerade Dance last November were both successful and in the end the club raised $3,400 this year. In any case, their primary goal is having fun while supporting a worthy cause. Though UNICEF Brock is winding down for the year, they are always looking for students to volunteer and be part of the Executive team.
For students that are interested or would like to know more information, e-mail email@example.com.