When we were offered the opportunity to join the team at Venture Club (Kingstonist’s official headquarters) in welcoming new Arts and Sciences students at Queen’s University to Kingston during their orientation, we couldn’t pass it up.
After all, every year, thousands of new students arrive in this awesome city, bringing fresh energy, stimulating the economy, and making Kingston a hub of some of the most bright and innovative young minds – and the more they feel at home, the better it is for everyone.
So we were more than happy to work with Venture Club and its sister company, Varsity Communities to help make that happen. In doing so, we thought about ways to get students engaged in our community, so we got together with some great local partners to make that happen. We think Kingston Sport and Social Club (KSSC) offers some great programs that allow people to be active, socialize, and just plain have fun, so we reached out to them to bring a taste of that to Venture Club. Then we thought about some of the major issues in this city and how to get students involved with combating those issues. We decided to focus on youth homelessness, and we came up with a list of local charities that support youths in need of housing and supports, as well as those that help to prevent youth homelessness.
But then we thought: What if we could get the students to participate in an activity to raise funds for one of these charities? That’s when Taylor AutoMall came in, graciously offering to donate $2,000 to a charity addressing youth homelessness.
With that, we created the Dodgeball Cage Match to Combat Youth Homelessness in Kingston! But what is a dodgeball cage match without some tunes? That’s where K-Rock came in, bringing their road crew to the Venture Club parking lot, where the Kingstonist, Venture Club, Varsity Properties, and KSSC teams all came together to cage in a majority of the parking lot.
There, on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, clad in their new Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) Queen’s orientation t-shirts, students began to stream through Venture Club, and into the parking lot, where they broke into teams, and began hurling balls at one another – all for a good cause!
After some 1,500 to 2,000 had been through the property – many of them trying to best one another for the fastest time to eliminate their opposing dodgeball team – the fastest team was declared. ‘The CBC Newts’ took home the honour of fastest team in the Dodgeball Cage Match, but more importantly, they read about charities we’d listed and got to decide which one would receive the $2,000 courtesy of Taylor AutoMall.
The ‘Newts’ decided that Kingston Interval House, a local emergency shelter and second stage housing facility for women, children, and youths experiencing violence. The frosh students felt that Interval House provides a crucial service, and one that certainly helps to protect children and youth from homelessness right here in Kingston.
Thanks to all of the awesome new students who shared some conversations, laughs, friendly competition, and freezies with us! Thanks to Venture Club for inviting us to participate, to KSSC for making it possible, and to K-Rock for keeping us entertained.
And a massive thanks to Taylor AutoMall for your generous partnering in this, and to Kingston Interval House, for helping Kingston fight the battle against youth homelessness. We’ll see you again next year!