NHS’ latest fundraising event a success

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By Adan Villa

On Friday, March 11 at 6:00 p.m. in the Bishop Gym, National Honor Society members hosted their first-ever badminton tournament, a fundraiser for the club. The event, hosted at West Chicago Community High School, featured over 25 teams. Winners Jaylee Siu and Dana Amer, both seniors, took home a $100 grand prize to be split between both members of the team. 

The badminton tournament was a doubles tournament, meaning there were two people on each team. After paying an entry fee of $10 (per team), students from every grade level came together to compete in this tournament in hopes of winning the grand prize. 

Seniors Jairo Ibarra and Katrina Dy worked their way to the final two. (Photo by Leslie Fireman)

Players were instructed to arrive at 5:30 p.m. so they could have time to check-in and warm-up. Upon entry, students were greeted by NHS members who checked the registration documents and handed out water to the competitors. 

Each game was pre-determined on a tournament-style bracket created by senior Daniel Canda, a National Honor Society member who ran the event. 

“[It was] moderately difficult to set up the bracket because of teams that dropped out last minute and uneven teams,” said Canda.

Initially, to move on to the next round, the team had to win at least two out of three games, which were played to 21 points. After the first two games, the tournament moved to single game elimination, which meant the team that made it to 21 first moved on to subsequent rounds. Matches moved quickly, though some match-ups lasted up to 20 minutes. 

Senior Mason Wright said, “The games were super intense and everyone was giving it their all.” 

The tournament ended at around 8:30 p.m. after an intense final between seniors Katrina Dy and Jairo Ibarra, who played against Amer and Siu. Canda allowed the teams to decide if they wanted to play up to three rounds, or continue with single elimination; the teams opted for the former. Amer and Siu’s team “Hot Puff” won the first 2 of 3 games.

The winners of the tournament, seniors Jaylee Siu and Dana Amer, are also members of the badminton team. (Photo by Leslie Fireman)

“It was an exciting game,” said Siu after the finals. 

Needless to say the tournament was a success considering the short time NHS had to prepare: Canda worked with senior Swapna George and advisor Leslie Fireman to put together the tournament in roughly 10 days. 

Canda said next time he would like “more time to prepare in advance so we could make it more coordinated… it was a lock and load go kind of thing.” 

Regardless, survey results indicated attendees were pleased with the tournament and would compete again. 

National Honor Society is a nationwide organization which specializes in leadership, character development and helping out the community and the school. At WEGO, the group runs both community service projects, such as Pancakes with Santa, and programs to help the school. This year, the organization welcomed 85 new members in addition to returning members from previous years. To join the club, a junior or senior must maintain high academic standing and be a positive role model in the classroom. They must be dedicated to their community and also work toward bettering the environment of the people around them. 

NHS plans to make the tournament a yearly tradition.