Thursday, March 6, 2008

Update from Brian Fisher

Hello Hello,

It’s been a very busy weekend with lots of events going on to raise funds and awareness about our Africa project. First of all, on Saturday, March 1, Sigma Pi fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority held their first annual benchathon. The benchathon is a fundraiser wherein participants take pledges based on how much weight they can bench press. I caught the end of the event, and I have to say those Alpha Phi girls can really throw some weight around. Haha, actually the sorority held a bake sale, and made and sold “Africa Project” t-shirts. On the same day, the dance team held a dance-a-thon, where they danced for 12 hours straight. These girls are so talented, they could be in a movie like “Stomp the Yard.” Dance Team senior Steph Dick even got a free dance lesson from yours truly, so you know she has skills. These events raised a ton of money and the proceeds were generously donated towards our Africa Project. I can’t begin to say how grateful we are to these groups for contributing to our cause; I don’t think any of us could have expected this kind of support from other organizations—it really is amazing and a testament to the great students we have at F&M.

The following day, we held our first annual “Kicking Aids” 3 v. 3 Soccer Tournament. The tournament was held in the ASFC and had two leagues of varying levels of competition. Each team got two exhibition games, and then they entered a one-loss elimination tournament. The winners of each division, and the winner for best “uniform,” were given $50 gift cards to the Sugar Bowl, the Brickyard, and Thomas’ Campus Deli, which were generously donated by the restaurants. There were some great costumes, with my personal favorites being Team Walk of Shame, Team Road Signs, and of course, the leopard-printed winners: Team Jungle Fever. As for the level of play, there were flashes of brilliance, such as the play were sophomore Celeste Tarbox split two defenders and finished for a magnificent goal, or the kid who performed a Maradona past a defender and finished the move by rolling it into the goal. I also got to witness the spirited play of red-headed wunderkind Brian Homer-Gunther, who nearly led his team of swimmers to a premier division championship. To top it all off, I was fortunate enough to referee the match between the two teams composed entirely of Chi Omega sisters, which I can only describe as the highest pinnacle of soccer competition yet achieved, haha. At the end of the day I think all the participants and those who came out to support the cause had a good time, and I am glad to say we avoided any fights, though things certainly got heated a couple of times between sophomore teammates Eric Corsini and Gabby Chabrier. Thank you to all who participated and contributed to our cause.

Then, on Monday, March 10th, former Survivor Africa winner and co-founder of Grassroots Soccer, the non-profit organization we will be working the camps with in South Africa, Ethan Zohn came to campus. The soccer team had a chance to hang out with him and talk to him about what to expect in South Africa. Now in a previous entry, I mentioned that our coach has a crush on Bono of U2, but this crush is dwarfed by the one he has on Ethan. But seriously, Ethan is a really cool, down to earth guy. Additionally, all the seniors agreed, as I’m sure would all the females on campus, that Ethan is a total dreamboat. Haha. Ethan gave a speech about his experiences on Survivor and as a professional soccer player in Zimbabwe, and what these experiences taught him aobut life and why they led him to start Grassroots Soccer. He is a great public speaker and a really funny guy. After his speech, some seniors on the team got to explain what exactly our Africa Project entails. Finally, Faith, a freshman field hockey player from Zimbabwe, spoke a little about her experiences living in a country decimated by HIV. Faith is an amazing person and a really sweet girl.

Finally, on Tuesday, March 11th, we held our last big fundraising effort as a team before we leave for Africa. Between 5 and 9 pm, 25% of the bills for all orders from students and friends of F&M at 2 local Isaac’s Deli locations were donated towards the Africa Project. We even set it up so that members of the soccer team could deliver orders from the downtown restaurant to campus. Supposedly, there were so many orders that Isaac’s almost ran out of food. I delivered food for a while, and I can say that food delivery is not a career I will be pursuing after graduation. However, while I know it took a while for some people to get their orders, I was amazed how pleasant and grateful everyone that I delivered too was.

I’d just like to take this chance to thank everyone who has supported any of our events or fundraisers for the Africa Project. Without all your support, there is no way we could be doing what we are doing, and your generosity will have a huge impact in the lives of some people in desperate need of help. You are all amazing.

Until next time,



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