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Circle K Hosts First Smash MNT Tournament

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ– Monmouth University Circle K introduced a new president, Christian Blanco, as well as a special new fundraising event: the “Smash MNT” Smash Bros. Tournament.

1. Circle K President Christian Blanco stands with members before the Smash MNT Tournament.
Circle K President Christian Blanco stands with members before the Smash MNT Tournament.

“I’m really passionate about helping people,” said Blanco, who is studying Criminal Justice and Computer Science while planning a number of fundraisers and bake sales in his new leadership role on campus. “That’s why I wanted to join Circle K here at Monmouth University in the first place, and it’s an honor to be the club president. I especially love the moments when members make suggestions for events and I am always open to new ideas from members on how to raise money for the different causes that Circle K supports.”
Last month one of those moments came when two members of Circle K, Rehvin Hao and Pruthvi Pediredla, approached Blanco with the idea to hold a tournament where players competed against each other to win rounds in the popular Nintendo video game, Super Smash Bros. The winner would get a $15 gift card to Applebee’s.
“Me and [Pruthvi] love Smash. We played it often during this past semester,” said Hao. “It just seemed like an obvious choice for a Circle K fundraiser because it combined two of our likes: video games and community service.”
After coordinating with Monmouth’s Video Game Club, Hao and Pediredla’s novel idea became a reality on November 19 in the Carol Afflitto Conference Room. The event attracted members from the Video Game Club and Circle K, as well as outside participants.
In total, the Smash Bros. Tournament made $50 from player donations at the door. Proceeds went toward the Eliminate Project, a global campaign that works with Kiwanis International and UNICEF to completely eradicate maternal and neonatal tetanus.
Fifty dollars may seem like a small amount for such an ambitious goal, but the money raised at Monmouth University Circle K events like the Smash Bros. Tournament this semester has accumulated into massive sums that are making a visible change in the big picture.
In an article published on the Kiwanis website on November 12, Worldwide Report Day, campaign chairman Randy De Lay elaborated on the enormous progress made with the Eliminate Project so far.
“The number of babies dying from neonatal tetanus dropped more than 15 percent between 2010 and 2013, according to a new report by the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group,” said De Lay. “Approximately 9,000 fewer babies are dying each year thanks to Kiwanis, UNICEF and its partners!”
This good news has prompted President Blanco and Smash MNT founders Hao and Pediredla to consider continuing the Smash Bros. Tournament as a recurring event during the spring semester. Blanco relates that further plans will be announced at a later date, but he would like the tournament to be a monthly event. This could only help the Eliminate Project as it continues to reach for its goal.
2. Circle K President Blanco is always looking for new, creative ways to raise money for different causes.
Circle K President Blanco is always looking for new, creative ways to raise money for different causes.

Monmouth University’s chapter of Circle K International is not the most ostentatious club on campus; it is a characteristic that coordinates well with its humble community service goals. As just one branch of the many service organizations in the larger Kiwanis International family, Circle K International is committed to providing aid to those who need it in the area through various projects and fundraisers.
Circle K chapters around the country are always looking for new members or students who would like to participate in the club’s events. If you are passionate about community service here at Monmouth University, consider attending Circle K meetings on campus every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in Bey Hall, Room 226, or stopping by the Circle K office on the third floor of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center to find out about upcoming events. Alternatively, other chapter locations can be found on Circle K’s website.