Apr 052009
Authors: Bryan Schiele

Ten teams, donning fluorescent spandex, gym shorts and headbands, paid $20 Saturday to spend the day dodging balls and raising money for the war-torn region of Darfur in Sudan.

The first annual “Dodge for Darfur” dodgeball tournament, sponsored by the Key Plus Leadership Community, raised a total of $264 throughout the day. /

All of the proceeds collected will go directly to UNICEF in support of Darfur, a region in Africa where more than 200,000 civilians have died at the hands of Sudanese government militias since 2003 in what many are calling genocide.

An estimated 2.5 million people have been displaced since the genocide began./

Although tournament turnout was low, the organizers called the event a huge success./

“We had originally hoped to raise over $400,” said Key Plus Coordinator Lory Ann Varela. “But $264 is awesome.”/

Cecilio Alvarez, an academic advisor to Key Plus students, said the tournament did a great job of building community and helping a great cause./

“Whatever we can do to help is good,” added Alvarez./

Some speculated that the low turnout was due to poor weather overnight Friday coupled with a 10 a.m. tournament start time. /

“If it started later, I think we’d definitely get a better turnout,” said freshman history major Kenny Barr.

“I feel like $264 is not nearly enough for Darfur, but it is better than nothing.”/

The tournament was won by team “Scratch n’ Sniff”, led by tournament MVP and fifth-year senior Kyle Lankenau./

Lankenau, who joked afterwards that he will finally graduate now after being on the winning end of an intramural sport for the first time since he began at CSU, said he “had a lot of fun for a great cause.”/

Key Plus Graduate mentor Greg King said the tournament was very successful and the organizers are going to get together and figure out how to improve the event for the future./

“Dodge for Darfur” was created and organized entirely by the 24 students in Key Plus, the sophomore continuation program for students who participated in either the Key Service or Key Academic communities their freshman year. /

Staff Writer Bryan Schiele can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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