Students at the College of William & Mary braved rain clouds on March 24 to host the first Spring FISH Market. Student organizations Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity, and Beta Theta Pi joined forces to raise money for Global Playground and food and clothing donations for a local Williamsburg charity, FISH.
Merchant’s Square, the commercial area that separates Colonial Williamsburg from the College, attracted students and community members to watch performances, buy raffle tickets, buy baked goods, or donate food and clothing items to FISH. In the raffle sales alone, $325 was raised for Global Playground.
“We got to incorporate some campus organizations [in the event] to show the community what William & Mary has to offer,” Alpha Phi Omega member Aidan De Sena said.
Performances included a jazz band, various student a capella groups, and a presentation from Global Playground’s Board Member and U.S. Teaching Fellow Ryan Drysdale.
“I was very happy to go to Williamsburg and briefly speak at the fundraiser organized by the students,” Drysdale said. “We are always excited to see other people and groups take on our cause and support us. People understand the power education has to reduce and eliminate poverty especially in developing countries.”
De Sena felt that Global Playground’s message resonated with students on campus.
“All of us really believe in the message of Global Playground,” De Sena said. “It is great to not only promote education in third world countries but also to promote cross cultural education.”
De Sena stated that the organizations were glad to continue the partnership between William & Mary and Global Playground.
“The two founders are alumni of the school, and it’s great to have the relationship to be able to connect with them when they come visit, since they are such active alumni,” De Sena said.
The organizations partnered with the Williamsburg Merchant’s Association to host the event in Colonial Williamsburg. De Sena believes this year will help the organizations host the event in years to come.
“The event, unfortunately, had a minor setback with the rain, but we really got through it,” De Sena said. “We were able to establish the event, and, hopefully, we set a foundation for a more involved relationship between the Williamsburg community and William & Mary.”
Rain closed the event early, but the raffle and collection area for FISH collected sizable donations.