Games for Change

Games for Change grows in 2015
Posted on 03/09/2015
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The sixth annual Games for Change fundraiser to benefit the Farmington Food Shelf will take place Friday, March 20 from 9:30 p.m. until Saturday, March 21, 5:30 a.m.

What is Games for Change? It’s an all-night event where Farmington High School (FHS) students and staff play volleyball, basketball, and dodgeball for charity. Students in grades 9-12 can form teams of 8 (4 boys and 4 girls). The Rotary Club forms a team and a group of FHS teachers also form a team. Participants pay $20 per team member and bring in food items for donation. All money and food collected goes to the Farmington Food Shelf.

The event is planned and organized by the Community Education FHS Youth Development Committee. This is a group of about 30 student leaders in grades 9-12 at FHS. They meet monthly throughout the school year, and more often leading up to the Games for Change event. It takes a lot of leadership and organization skills to pull off an event this big. According to FHS junior Jared Violette, “It’s kind of chaotic, but we make it work.”

“Somehow we pull it all together,” Sydney Bockelman, a senior at FHS, echoed his sentiment. “What I like about it is that it changes every year,” she said.

According to Marianne Feely, the group’s advisor, “[Games for Change] has grown significantly over the years. Last year we had nearly 300 students, 10 Rotarians and a team of 8 teachers/administrators participate.” Since it began in spring of 2010, the Games for Change event has raised $20,195, over 9,000 pounds of food, and 1,000 sandwiches for the Farmington Food Shelf.  Since 2013, students have also collected 2,550 pair of shoes for the global initiative, Soles4Souls. In 2014 alone they donated $6,005 to the Farmington Food Shelf, along with 3,550 pounds of food, and more than 1,449 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls.

The committee is primarily student driven and every year they like to mix things up a little. This year the Youth Development Committee has decided to implement a Week of Change. During the week leading up to the Games for Change event they will bring awareness to the global need for clean water, hunger in North America, unity against violence, and the state of volunteerism in Minnesota. They plan to do this by dedicating one day to each cause and dressing in colors to represent the cause of the day. In addition to collecting food, the group will be holding a book drive throughout the week. During the Week of Change anyone can donate food or books by dropping them off at the high school. Riverview Elementary will also be accepting book donations.

WCCO Radio will recognize Games for Change on Tuesday, March 10th as part of their Good Neighbor feature. Tune in to 830 AM at 7:52 a.m., 12:40 p.m., and 5:50 p.m. to hear more.