Bio-Chem Club makes altruistic alchemy with Halloween fundraiser

Contributor and Sports Editor

Clowns, spiders and various costumed luminaries squared off in the in CCM’s gymnasium for a benefit dodgeball tournament organized by the school’s Biology and Chemistry Club on Thursday, Oct.

The Biology and Chemistry Club at County College of Morris delivered the snacks, drinks, music and glory they had promised at their Halloween Dodgeball Tournament benefitting the Futures Without Violence Foundation.

Elyse Angle, biology major and Vice President of the club, described the point of the tournament to raise funds for Futures without Violence, which is a domestic violence awareness association.

“They help people, women and men and children try to live a life without domestic violence, so it’s a really good cause,” Angle said.

Christine Kelly, biology professor and advisor to the club, described dodgeball as “consensual violence,” meant to contrast rough and forced physical abuse with a safe and relatively gentle contact sport.

“This isn’t supporting domestic violence, but this is supporting a fun way of organized contact sport. Not violent sport,” said Mike Masino, engineering and biology major and current club President.

On their Facebook page the Biology Chemistry Club states that their activities are meant to further the education and career opportunities of their participants. They also provide peer support for fellow students and attempt to bring awareness of biology and chemistry topics to the public.

While most people would picture their meetings and activities to occur in a classroom or laboratory, the CMM Biology and Chemistry Club has decided to have a bigger impact on their community. While their purpose is to still “bring science and non-science students together in a forum where those students can discuss and provide insight to current and relevant biological and chemistry topics,” they are also striving to bring awareness and raise money for several other causes while still having fun.

“We love dodgeball; we play it every day, so we’re here to win,” said Computer Science major and captain of the Pink Bandits, Ranvir Singh, before the tournament. “We play trampoline dodgeball usually. This is our first time playing floor dodgeball, so we’ll see what happens.”

The group, according to Singh, plays regularly at Sky Zone.

Biology and Nutrition Major Isabelle Paz said that she watched to see the competition.

To the beat of DJ Flash, 12 teams battled and dodged each other in the tournament. The price of admission was $35 per team, which included six players with an optional substitute player, and $2 per spectator. The event was open to the public, and it ran from 6:30 p.m. through 11 p.m. There was also a prize awarded to the best costume, snacks and drinks provided by the club.

As some teams dressed in costume for the event near Halloween, a costume contest was held. The team Weenie Hut Junior’s sported polos tucked into khakis and glasses with thick rims, imitating the clientele of the restaurant, Weenie Hut Junior’s, in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, No Weenies Allowed.

“SpongeBob is awesome, and the Weenie Hut Junior’s I think is a funny way to enjoy a friendly, non-competitive dodgeball game,” said Alex Brezo, Business Administration major and player on the team.

         Don Phelps, associate director of the CCM Campus Life Office, helps oversee and manage CCM club activities was in attendance.

“I definitely support what the clubs are doing,” he said, “The Biology and Chemistry Club is also one of our most active clubs, they often have events and fundraisers going on.”

Phelps was part of the Student Government Association team, and while he didn’t dress up for the event, said he was happy the SGA could have some fun while raising money and awareness for a good cause.

“This month was Domestic Violence Awareness Month” said Messino. “We decided to make our dodgeball tournament to raise awareness towards that.”

Elyse Angle, vice-president of the club and a biology major at CCM, made sure to pick a reputable charity.

“We went through a website that checks all the credentials of certain organizations” she said, “It analyzes where their funds go, what the C.E.O. makes and gives them an overall rating. This [foundation] all around seemed like the best one to do, especially where they put their money towards.”

Phelps, along with the Campus Life Office, must always approve of the organizations CCM students donate toward.

“They must be recognized as a charity,” Phelps said, “They can’t raise money for a specific person. The organization must be approved and recognized by the government.”

Previously the Biology and Chemistry Club has hosted several trips to the Bodies exhibit in New York City and a volleyball tournament that raised money for Relay for Life. They have other events to look forward too as well.

“In the spring we will have another volleyball tournament” Messino said, “We have a brewery exhibit trip coming up in the spring as well. We will go to a brewery and figure out the biochemistry behind beer-making.”



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