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Carson-Newman Hunger Games to benefit nine East Tennessee charities

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(Nov. 4, 2013) -- Now in its third installment, Carson-Newman University’s high-energy Hunger Games has grown to support nine charities in East Tennessee.

Wilderness survival, Nerf battles, and fundraising collide during this unique event

held the weekend of Nov. 15, extending through Sunday, Nov 17.

The fundraiser coincides with the popular movie franchise’s opening of “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” on Nov. 23.

Inspired by the best-selling book trilogy by Suzanne Collins and the movie, the Carson-Newman Hunger Games incorporates elements of the franchise, TV’s Survivor, and paintball to create a one-of-a-kind fundraiser.

Charities benefiting from this year’s event include: Big Brothers and Big Sisters of East Tennessee, Knox Area Rescue Ministries, Knoxville’s Global Seeds, Appalachian Outreach, Boys and Girls Club of Dumplin Valley, Jefferson County Habitat for Humanity, Bonner Out-of-School Time Programs (BOOST), Yoke Youth Ministries, and Young Life.

“It is fundraising in a way we never thought fundraising could be,” said Tommy Clapp, C-N director of First Year and Conference Services, who oversees the event.

Last spring, the games brought in close to $8,000, which went directly to Appalachian Outreach. This was a huge increase from the first games in spring of 2012, which raised $2,500. This fall the event, which is sponsored by Core Golf Center of Dandridge, will partner with nine not-for-profits and hopes to raise at least $10,000 in donations.

Donations are given within the context of the game. Eighteen contestants will represent 9 districts, and each fundraiser will partner with a district’s two tributes (contestants).

The not-for-profit’s donation amount is tied directly to their tribute’s success in the games. However, all proceeds go to each of the nine not-for-profit organizations.

The Games are a much-anticipated event at Carson-Newman, Clapp said. Students submit their names for the reaping, which is a lottery-style picking of the contestants. Cold temperatures, little food, and almost no sleep don’t seem to deter students from testing their odds at becoming a victor.

The good-natured fun in the woods is also backed by safety. Clapp said first aid stations and safety fires are available for contestants, and a nurse practitioner is on site throughout the weekend. Every three hours, contestants are called in for a safety check. Every tribute is armed with a cell phone as well.

Carson-Newman invites the community to join the fun. The games will be on live-stream, and the community is invited to donate online. Follow the games on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit cn.edu/hungergames.

For media inquiries, visit the University Relations page.

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