By Keeshawn Nicholson
I think it is time we gave a round of applause for Emergent Media Center’s courageous and innovative football game BREAKAWAY and its team! Last Wednesday the game gained awareness through success in the team’s fundraising event at Bluebird BBQ’s community night. BREAKAWAY, a computer game developed by over 120 Champlain College students at the Emergent Media Center, was introduced to the public in 2010 and strives to help reduce violence against women. The BREAKAWAY team is currently trying to raise 15,000 dollars, which will be used to make their second trip to El Salvador, where they plan to strengthen the change made last year by further training facilitators to create a model that will give Salvadorans what they need to enjoy self-sustained BREAKAWAY summer camps every year. The goal of BREAKAWAY summer camps is not only to reduce violence against women and girls to influence youth to make the right decisions in confrontation and other social interactions such as gender equality.
Fortunately, Bluebird BBQ’s community night turned out to be a success that has brought the BREAKAWAY team closer to making the trip to El Salvador. At the event, there were plenty of people who decided to come out to eat and have a great time. From the Emergent Media Center staff and their families to people who were unaware of the event but supported the cause anyway, these people made the night a success. In addition to a full house, which may have rounded out to about 60 people which caused at one point a 40 minute wait, the team raised a generous amount of $900, which included a combination of cash donations and 10% of meal totals. However, this wasn’t a one way contribution, the team gave out resourceful incentives for those who donated $10 or more; bracelets made out of recycled tires by a group of underprivileged women in Bogota Colombia that were donated to the team by ReStyle, a fair trade fashion company.
The team commemorates the highlight of the night as being the support people gave. There were people who have never heard about BREAKAWAY yet still decided to contribute to proceeds. The BREAKAWAY team appreciates every ounce of support and would not be able to make the BREAKAWAY Youth Camps a possibility without it. The team would also like to give a special thank you to Bluebird BBQ and their excellent staff for letting them be part of their community night as well as contributing to such a great cause.
If you want to know more about BREAKAWAY and how you can help take small actions to make a big impact, visit the website to learn more!