by Madison V. Fisler
Nov. 26, 2013. While many people in the High Country were gearing up to watch the new “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” on its opening day, many others were participating in the real thing on ASU’s campus. On Nov. 22, the third annual Hunger Games was held at ASU to benefit the Hospitality House of Boone as part of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
Started three years ago, the event was conceived by ASU student Chris Criqui as a way to help stock the pantry and help those in need at the Hospitality House. The first year it was held raised 400 pounds of food, and the next year raised a staggering 1,400 pounds.
This year’s event raised much more than the first two events combined, bringing in well over 3,000 pounds of food to stock the pantry of the Hospitality House.
“This is by far the largest orchestrated food drive we have ever had,” said Todd Carter, director of development for the Hospitality House.
“Our shelves were almost completely bare yesterday, and they are certainly not bare anymore. They rolled in the big truck and started unloading and it just kept coming, and boy did we need it.”
Spectators from throughout the community were encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the Hunger Games in order to sponsor their favorite tribute, saving them from elimination and keeping them in the games longer.
“750 pounds of food was raised just from spectators alone,” said Carter.
For the games, each tribute was equipped with a balloon and two flag football belts. The arena contained a variety of markers, sharpies and shields. In order to “die” a tribute’s balloon must be popped, belt flags removed and shirt marked on by any kind of marker. Last person standing wins.
In a new twist this year, spectators could donate food to get a fallen tribute back into the game. Also, the Games were not just limited to Appalachian State University. Students from Watauga High School also participated in the reaping.
“This was the final signature event for Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week,” Carter said.
“And don’t worry, we have secured this event for the future.”
For more information about the Hospitality House of Boone, visit the website here.