Fair Trade event brings students to Bingo

Kristina Wyman's picture
Katelyn Parente

On February 12 at 10 p.m., The Social Justice Ambassadors held their first late night event in the history of Assumption College: a Bingo event intended to raise awareness of “fair trade.”

The SJA is affiliated with Catholic Relief Services, the international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, and their main goal is to bring awareness to the social justice problems occurring all around us and throughout the world.

These social justice problems range from hunger to homelessness to the refugee crisis and more. This year marks the first time that the SJA are considered an official Assumption club, not just a committee.

For their first late-night event, the SJA chose the theme of “fair-trade.” Fair trade is a social issue that focuses on when you buy a commodity like coffee, cocoa or chocolate at a fair price to help promote better wages and working conditions for the workers who cultivate those products.

Senior Brendan Natal a Social Justice Administrator, was excited to host an event highlighting the issue.

“[We] wanted to host this event to bring awareness to social justice problems occurring in our world today and bring knowledge of the SJA club to the students,” said Natal.

Natal says that the SJA decided on bingo as the way to share their message.

“[Bingo] is such a well attended event here at Assumption, and we wanted to be sure to attract as many students as we could to spread our message,” said Natal.

He seems to have succeeded. Over 150 students, ranging from first-year students to seniors, showed up to try their luck at bingo. They crowded around 5 long tables with the overflow extending all the way into the snack bar area.

Natal hosted the games and kept the crowd entertained with lines like, “The next number is O-65, feeling alive” and “I-29, I can’t think of a rhyme.” Other ambassadors also worked to manage the event, including senior Shannon Porter who worked the bingo balls and Amy Lydon and Heather Ewell, seniors who greeted attendees and handed out bingo and raffle cards.

Along with the game, the group also offered fair trade cookies and chocolates to highlight the good behind buying fair trade. All the while a range of tunes, from uplifting pop music to funky disco music, played in the background and got the crowd moving.

This event featured over $500 dollars in prizes, which ranged from a 32-inch flat screen TV with Chromecast to a $100 Boynton gift card. Other prizes included a Keurig coffeemaker with fair trade coffee and a movie passes gift package.

The SJA group also raffled off three $10 Starbucks coffee gift cards, two $20 dollar Dunkin Donuts gift cards and a $30 gift card to the Assumption bookstore. These smaller raffles came in little red cups with chocolate roses, which were fair trade, of course.

The highlight of the evening came in the fourth round when Natal announced that the 32-inch television prize that was at stake. The crowd went wild when he called out, “if you want the TV, you need to get every number.” In other words, Natal declared that the whole board needed to be filled to win.

For sophomore Austin Dicerbo, the Bingo Night offered an opportunity to learn about an important subject.

“No I didn’t know [about fair trade], but now I’ve learned something new,” said Dicerbo.

First year student Daniel Cooney agreed with Dicerbo.

“[Natal] gave us some neat statistics about fair trade,” said Cooney.

Perhaps just as importantly, everyone seemed to have fun. Sophomore Olivia Parziale, who won the movie passes and candy

“Bingo is my favorite late night event, and I learned more about the group,” said senior Kim Urena. “I had no idea what they did or stood for until now.”

Be sure to email one of the group members if you are interested in joining this great club, and don’t miss out on their other great event.

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