Students fight for a cause

Brightly colored water balloons sailed through the air and shrieks echoed on the mall as participants were drenched with water.
Friday, marked the first water balloon fight which founders hope could become an annual tradition.
Freshman Brian Howard said the idea evolved after receiving a bag of water balloons as gag gift from his girlfriend.
“It was just going to be me and a small group of guys having a water balloon fight,” Howard said. “We threw the idea around with some guys in the Delta Tau Delta house and they said that a bunch of them would want to do it.”
What started as an idea between a group of college students became a Facebook event with almost 300 people planning to attend, and later it became a way to help with a cause.
Howard and fellow freshman Will Butler decided to organize the fight in conjunction with the Butler University Dance Marathon (BUDM) to raise money for The Riley Children’s Hospital.
“The idea didn’t really come about until two nights beforehand,” Howard said. “We thought at first it was just going to be fun, but then we saw how many people had responded to the Facebook page and we were like, ‘let’s do this for a good cause.’”
After talking to sophomore Scott Schmelzer, head of recruitment for BUDM, they decided to collaborate by asking each student to bring $1 which would be donated to the charity.
Even as first year students, Butler and Howard found it easy to become involved on campus early in the school year.
Butler said he chose to help with BUDM after attending the call-out meeting.
“I have always been interested in helping kids and dance marathon just seemed like a good way to raise money for kids,” Butler said. “I liked the idea and the fundraising and just kind of went with it.”
Butler then encouraged Howard to get involved with BUDM.
Howard and Butler both said the planning for the event was simple.
“We had shoeboxes with holes cut out to collect money,” Butler said. “We just set it next to the balloons and asked that people donate at least a dollar.”
Howard and Butler provided 1,000 balloons for the fight and asked people to bring some additional balloons if possible.
The afternoon of the water balloon fight, students started gathering on the mall 30 minutes before it was scheduled to begin.
During that time, some students signed up to become dancers for BUDM and others walked around soliciting donations.
Butler said the event raised $120 and between 80 and 100 students attended.
“The water balloon fight will be coming back,” he said. “We would like to make it a tradition the weekend after Labor Day.”
Next year, Butler said his goal will be to have 300 students in attendance.
Butler said the group is looking into organizing a snowball fight and sledding on the mall to continue to raise money for The Riley Children’s Hospital.

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