Teetering for Tots

Mon, 2007-04-23 07:49 -- univcomm
April 23, 2007

Parents should not discount recess as an important “subject” in school. What students learn on the playground can change the world in the future — like teeter tottering. No, really, it can. Novus Dux, a men’s social and service organization from Anderson University, is proving just that.

Recently, this group, along with many other AU students, began taking turns teeter tottering to raise funds for Horizon International, a Pendleton-based national non-profit Christian relief and development organization dedicated to creating a world of hope for orphans affected by HIV/AIDS.

“We teeter tottered for 100 hours straight,” said Jeremiah Blackford, Novus Dux historian as he floated up and down and up and down.

Blackford attempted to break the record for most hours on the teeter-totter. “Someone teetered for 35 hours in one week,” he said. “I’m going for 36.”

The students take turns teetering on the giant contraption made from a large wooden beam and steel pipes. With old red car seats duct-taped to the ends, Blackford said its a comfortable ride (maybe not after 36 hours, though) [Photo: Zack Wolff, left, and Kyle Hundt, right, hang out with Joe Balbaugh, far left, and Jeremiah Blackford, far right, while they teeter totter during the Teetering for Tots benefit at Anderson University sponsered by Novus Dux.].

This is approximately the fifth year for the fundraiser, Teetering for Tots, but proceeds have specifically benefited Horizon International for the past three.

“Over the years, they have raised a lot of money which goes directly to our Drop-In Center in Africa,” said Bob Pearson, president of Horizon International. “The Drop-In Center is multi-purpose. It accomplishes basic medical treatment for these orphans, gives those who are HIV positive a chance to lay down for 24 hours to build up their strength while being monitored and it really gives them a safe place to be.”

Last year, Novus Dux raised approximately $2,500 but would like to double that this year.

“We sent out church donation letters and hit up all the local businesses,” said Daniel Berkey, coordinator. The teeter totter is housed in a giant tent next to the fine arts building on campus which looks more like a social lounge than a fundraising event.

Filled with couches and lounge chairs, big screen televisions, video game systems and all the DVDs you could ever want to watch, students gather not only to participate in the fundraiser but just to hang out.

“We have all kinds of events going on,” said Berkey. “We have video game tournaments, cornhole, a car smash and, of course, the teeter totter. This is a well-known event on campus. It’s a lot of fun.”

While Blackford teetered inside the tent with fellow Novus Dux member Joe Balbaugh, Brandon Magaw went to town beating up the shell of an old car with a large sledge hammer on the south side [Anderson University sophmore Brandon Magaw uses a sledge hammer to hit a 1973 Ford Fairlane as part of the car smash Tuesday evening. Proceeds from the smash go to the Teetering for Tots benefit sponsered by Novus Dux.].

“This is the first year for our car smash,” said Neil Rutan, president. “We hope to pull in more money. They did it during Homecoming and it was very popular. It’s $2 a minute and $10 for five minutes.”

Although “Children At Play” is the slogan for their event, Blackford said each member takes the fundraiser seriously.

“There’s a lot of clubs on campus that do a lot of good things, but I feel this is one event where you can actually see the impact it has,” said Blackford, still teetering. “We all have a drive to help the orphans and love the world as we’re supposed to.”

— LYNELLE A. MILLER is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin in Anderson. Story and pictures reprinted with permission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.