Students raised more than $5,700 and 3,000 items for Farmington Food Shelf
Farmington High School students spent Friday night into the early morning hours on Saturday facing off in single-elimination tournaments for more than just some friendly competition – students participated to help the local food shelf and greater community.
The fourth annual Games 4 Change had its best year yet. Participation was at a record high. Almost 300 students participated in the all-nighter, including 34 teams of eight students each, four boys and four girls, and FHS Youth Development Committee members who organized the event. The Farmington Rotary Club and staff team called “Staff Infection” also joined in on the fun.
To participate in the volleyball, dodgeball and floor hockey tournaments, students put together a team to try to raise the most money and food items for the food shelf. Collectively, the students raised $5,740 and 3,000 food items for the Farmington Food Shelf. Students kicked off the night assembling 500 sandwiches for the food shelf to freeze. In a matter of minutes, students had the sandwiches made and packaged.
“It feels amazing to see this because we’ve been working on this the whole year, and we’ve beat last year’s totals,” said Brooke McConnell, a freshman Youth Development member.
Teams chose their own names such as “Sibling Rivalry,” “These Kids with the Sick Mids,” “App Attack” and “Vicious and Delicious.” Teams wore colorful T-shirts that ranged from the classic tie-dye to superheroes to “Sesame Street” characters.
“We had such a great turnout,” said Amanda Hansmann, a Youth Development freshman.
Both Hansmann and McConnell noticed excitement and buzz about Games 4 Change around school Friday. They hope to see more students participate in the future as the event continues to grow.
This year students also ran a shoe drive at the school and around the city for an Iowa nonprofit called Soles4Souls, which delivers shoes to people around the world. Students blew their goal out of the water, collecting 873 pairs of shoes and 30 single shoes for Soles4Souls.
Sophomore Youth Development member Andrew Lupkowski worked closely on the shoe drive and said he hopes Games 4 Change can do even more to give back to the community next year. He called the event “phenomenal.”
Natalie Pellin, a Youth Development sophomore, said it was an “exhilarating” night. She agreed that the committee would look to add even more charities and expand its reach in the future.
The Youth Development Committee is a group of high school students who work with Farmington Community Education for their high school career and learn important leadership and community service skills when planning events such as Games 4 Change.
Youth Development Committee Adviser Marianne Feely said the students ask themselves, “What can we do to make the community better?” This event shows how the students are able to give back to Farmington as well as the greater community with the Soles4Shoes drive.
“Every year gets better,” she said. “Students keep working at ways to make it bigger than it is right now.”