Take action by dunking baskets, raising awareness at STAND's Dunks for Darfur

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

For anyone looking to stay active during the final grim days of winter, one option is participating in “Dunks For Darfur,” a late-night three-on-three basketball tournament.

The event, held by organizers of Students Taking Action Now: Darfur (STAND), takes place Friday in the University Community Centre gym. It will raise money and awareness to combat the ongoing atrocities in Darfur, Sudan.

The event begins at 12:30 a.m., technically Saturday morning, and runs until 4:30 a.m. It includes a recreational and a competitive division and free refreshments for everybody involved.

“There will be prizes distributed throughout the night and possible music and dance performances,” said Lesley Suchter, one of the events organizers.

Sponsors include Tim Hortons, A&P and Food Basics. The tournament costs $25 per team, with a maximum of five players per team.

The Western STAND chapter encourages students, faculty and community members to enter, have some fun, learn something and contribute to a worthy cause.

“It’s going to be a great time,” Suchter said.

“Throughout the gym and the atrium there will be different advocacy-based activities set up where students can have a hands-on opportunity to help out with the campaigning for the cause,” Suchter said.

Students Taking Action Now: Darfur is an organization created by students to raise awareness and inspire action towards the crises in Darfur, including millions of people suffering through hunger and violence and the hundreds of thousands of deaths.

“The world sat by and watched Rwanda happen 12 years ago and we failed to protect civilians from genocide,” said Michelle Kudlats, campus representative for STAND Western.

“It’s time for the international community to protect the people of Darfur.”

Suchter believes basketball is a great way to get large groups of people interested and involved in the cause.

“We decided to run this tournament to attract the attention of as many students as possible,” she said.

“We thought having a basketball tournament would be a good hook to educate students about the situation in Darfur and give them the opportunity to take part in this important campaign while having fun.”

“This is the first time STAND has run an event like this, and we are very excited to be getting more and more students involved with the organization,” Kudlats said.

Sign up for Dunks For Darfur today in the UCC atrium between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. or by contacting Lesley Suchter at lsuchter@uwo.ca.

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