On Sunday, September 14, the Deerfield Community held the annual Dorm Olympics, but this year there was a change. The faculty, staff, students and other members of the Deerfield community participated in a Guinness Book of World Records-breaking water balloon toss.
Signe Ahl ’15, the chief organizer, recalled, “Last year in the beginning of February, I was watching the news, and I saw a community of people breaking a world record on mini trampolines. It occurred to me that there must be a record we could feasibly break at Deerfield. I went on the website, and the balloon toss was the most realistic. I then filled out the application.”
It took over six months to organize the balloon toss and raise over $14,000, half of which was donated to the Posse Foundation, which provides college scholarship money to qualified students.
Ahl, who worked at the Posse Foundation over the summer, described the balloon toss as “the perfect way to bring together two extraordinary communities.”
“I was working with the president and founder of Posse, Debbie Bial, and her team in the national headquarters in New York City,”Ahl explained. “I met with them over spring break junior year on Wall Street to update them on exciting developments with the project. Their support made all the difference because they can relate to the difficulty of putting a large-scale event together and raising money to make it happen.”
The organizing committee—Catherine Fleming ’15, Lucy Baldwin ’15, Zeke Emerson ’16, Gavin Kennedy ’16, Kate Palmer ’16, Serena Ainslie ’16, and Arianne Evans ’16— began fundraising last spring, reaching out to the community for donations.
“Last spring we had many bake sales at sports games, as well as in dorms after check-in,” Fleming explained. “We needed $7,000 for Guinness and the rest of the money we raised went to the Posse Foundation.” The committee plans to sell t-shirts to further benefit Posse in the coming weeks.
Ahl concluded, “It was incredible to see how much support I got from the Academy and various faculty members to make this happen. The sense of community truly is what defines Deerfield.”