Sports have always provided Michael Bush & Jack Wilson of South Lakes High School, in Reston, VA great memories and experiences that have helped to shape their lives. So when it came time for both to pick a project for their MYP (Middle Years Project), the Charity Ball was a natural fit. Bush is a member of the BRYC Elite Soccer Club and Wilson plays for South Lake’s basketball and lacrosse teams. Both are also active video game players. Having seen the success South Lakes junior Bardia Kimiavi had in raising money for the Charity Ball last year through a video game tournament, Bush & Wilson jumped at the chance to continue the tradition.
“Bardia showed us the ropes, and we made it a goal to exceed last year’s total of $500” Bush said. “We have a real competitive group in the junior and sophomore classes, which helped in getting entrants” said Wilson. The two decided on holding both a FIFA and 2k tournament that raised $850 and saw participants ranging from freshman to alumni. “It feels good to give soccer players from parts of the world that don’t have the opportunities we have been provided a chance to play the game they love” Bush said. “There were some close games and the rooms got hyped, you really felt the sense of community” said Wilson. For Jon McNamara, the South Lakes teacher who supervised the tournament, that was the most powerful part. “As I watched one of the games that went to overtime, I realized we had seven years of students together in one room for a great cause. Our school is built off community and the theme once a Seahawk, always a Seahawk and I really felt that brotherhood that day”. Towards the end of the day Wilson said a few freshman came up to him wondering if they could continue the tournament next year for their MYP. “It looks like charity video game tournament is here to stay” he said. “It feels great to tie in two big parts of our life, sports and gaming and help out people at the same time”. It’s clear the partnership with Charity Ball has helped out some deserving kids and provided some new memories for these two student athletes.
Huge thanks to Michael and Jack for using what you love to do to make a difference!