Posted by H2O for Life intern Talia Milavetz
The following is a Q&A with H2O for Life Student Alex Azuelos, who came up with a unique way to raise money for his peers in the developing world.
H2O: What is the Super Smash Tournament?
Alex: Super Smash Bros is a Nintendo game that spans 16 years and 4 different video game consoles. The newest version was released last year and some of my friends and I (along with a considerable portion of my grade) began playing it. The tournament was a 64 person bracket in which people played each other one on one until only 2 were left for the championship. A few board members and I sold tickets to be on the bracket during our lunches for $7.
H2O: How did you come up with the idea?
Alex: After the last snowstorm of the year hit us the day before our annual Walk for Water on World Water Day, we made much less money than in previous years. The Walk for Water was one of our biggest fundraisers of the school year so our board was faced with the dilemma of possibly not reaching our fundraising goal. My friend and fellow board member Jesse Greenberg and I came up with the idea after one board meeting.
H2O: How did other students respond?
Alex: Before we could even get the news onto our school’s morning announcements, our school started talking about the tournament. We had students offering to let us borrow their video games and consoles just to make the tournament happen. We ended up having three students let us borrow their Wii U’s and copies of the game, four students bring in televisions for us to play on, and almost every contestant bring their own controller.
H2O: What makes this fundraiser different from your previous fundraisers?
Alex: This fundraiser was done out of necessity in order to meet our goal, but ended up being a huge success. We are already planning to have multiple tournaments this upcoming school year. For every fundraiser we have it’s all about spending the least amount of money to keep our net gain as high as possible but for the Super Smash Bros tournament we spent nothing. Everything we used was borrowed from students and we used our normal club meeting time slot so we wouldn’t have to rent out a location.
H2O: What is it like being the H2O for Life President at your school?
Alex: I really fell in love with H2O for Life two years ago. Since 10th grade I’ve only missed three of our weekly meetings. At the end of 10th grade I was voted to be our secretary for my 11th grade year. Being secretary really showed me what it’s like to have responsibility for a club. However, at the end of my 11th grade year I was voted to be President. Although I know this will be a lot more work, I’m confident that we will have a successful year.
H2O: What are some of your duties?
As secretary I was in charge of organization and spreading information to our members. As president this upcoming year I will have many more duties. I will be in charge of delegation and creating a coherent weekly plan for our board members and club members. I will need to organize weekly fundraisers such as pretzel sales and in the winter hot chocolate sales but also larger events like SoundWave. SoundWave is our annual concert fundraiser that showcases our school’s bands and artists.
H2O: Why do you think service learning is important?
Alex: This year I worked alongside our sponsor and the head of H2O at Abington, Mary Rodgers. Ms. Rodgers is also the head of all service learning at Abington School District. She really showed me the importance of service learning. My school has a yearly requirement of every student to have at least 15 hours of service to the community. Although my classmates often criticize this requirement, I think it encourages students to go out and contribute to their community in ways that they might not if it weren’t for the requirement.
Thank you Alex and Abington School District for your hard work and dedication!