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Carson-Newman “Hunger Games” raises over $7,700 for AO

C-N freshman Hunter Rich of Jefferson City stands with sophomore Kathleen Hagerty of Nashville.  Rich placed second while Hagerty was declared this year’s winner of the C-N’s Hunger Games.  The fundraising event benefited Appalachian Outreach.

C-N freshman Hunter Rich of Jefferson City stands with sophomore Kathleen Hagerty of Nashville. Rich placed second while Hagerty was declared this year’s winner of C-N’s Hunger Games. The fundraising event benefited Appalachian Outreach.

Carson-Newman University students spent the weekend (April 19-21) battling the elements and each other in the second annual Carson-Newman Hunger Games, resulting in a fundraising boom for Appalachian Outreach. Despite temperatures dipping into the 30s, the good-natured fun resulted in raising over $7,700 for the home repair ministry.

“Last year we raised $2,500,” said Tommy Clapp, C-N director of First Year and Conference Services, who helped oversee the event. “We thought ‘Wow. We did really well for it being a first attempt at doing something like this.’” Clapp explained that they set this year’s goal for $3,000. He attributes this year’s success to the ability for donors to give online during the games. “We had donors from as far away as Georgia and Florida to donate online.”

According to Google analytics, the C-N Hunger Games drew online followers from across the country and around the globe including such locations as Germany, the United Kingdom, Turkey, France, Russia and Australia.

Based on the New York Times Best Seller book series by Suzanne Collins, as well as a movie release, the unique fundraiser pits 18 students, competing against one another in what has been described as a cross between the Hunger Games, Survivor, and paintball. The event, which began Friday afternoon and closed on Sunday, was held at Ballinger Farm in Jefferson City.

“I am shocked,” said AO Director Jean Ann Washam, as she described her reaction to the fund raising total during the event’s closing ceremonies. She said she first thought that maybe $4,000 might be raised as she followed the event over the weekend through emails and Facebook. “I know it’s been a tough few days for you all in front of me,” said Washam as she addressed the participants at the event’s close. “I appreciate your suffering out there in the woods,” she smiled. “This will make a huge difference for Appalachian Outreach.”

Clapp said that planning is already in the works for the third Hunger Games, which will be held in November.

Established in 1984 as a home repair ministry for those in need, AO is routinely involved in projects throughout East Tennessee.

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