Students raise money through annual dodgeball tournament

Nicole Becker and Delaney Oliver

Spanish National Honor Society (SNHS) organized the second annual dodgeball tournament, Dodge to Donate, held on Mon. Feb. 22 in the gym. Teams consisted of six to eight players each, and the event attracted 21 teams.

The event began last year after alumna and former SNHS president Charlotte Davis returned from a trip to Paraguay and wanted to start an event to directly benefit underprivileged residents of Central and South America. Davis coordinated the tournament with current SNHS president senior Adnan Islam, and it’s become an annual event that Islam said he hopes continues to grow.

This year, Dodge to Donate raised $1970 to be entirely donated to an organization called Unbound, which is based in Kansas City. Unbound focuses on providing for disadvantaged youth across 20 different countries with necessities such as schooling, acquiring a job and building self-sustaining communities. Along with providing financially, the organization gives it donors an opportunity to create an emotional connections with the people being sponsored by having donors write letters back and forth to the people they’re sponsoring.

“We saw it as a great opportunity to send all of the money that we collect to actual people in South America,” Islam said. “Since we’re the Spanish National Honor Society, we wanted to help the Spanish-speaking community because that’s the whole goal of our club — to engage with Spanish-speaking members and work with them to just benefit the community, so we felt this was a great contribution.”

In preparation for the event, Islam said the most challenging part for the SNHS officers was figuring out an available day to reserve the gym among various basketball practice and games. Likewise, they called numerous restaurants to sponsor the event to award the winners of the tournament prizes, and they coordinated with the Physical Education department to acquire all the necessary equipment.

Likewise, the SNHS officers decided to offer two different divisions for participants, recreational and competitive, so that every team is comfortable in its playing field. Islam said as the event becomes more established, he hopes the club can include more SNHS members in the planning to generate more creative ideas and prompt more participation in the future to ultimately raise more money for the cause.

“Everyone’s just one bad event away from being in a situation where they need a little bit of help, so I think we’re lucky right now to be in a good spot and being able to use that to help other people who are in a tougher situation really makes it worth it,” Islam said. “Just seeing how excited people get at the dodgeball tournament is really fun too. It was great to see how enthusiastic the whole community got about the whole event and how great our community is in terms of helping people.”