NEWS: Sweat, Tears and Fundraising

by Kyle Gibbons


The beginning of one round of a tug-of-war tournament

Upbeat music reverberates throughout the gym. A crowd of people all hurry to switch from one exercise to another. Some people easily handle thirty seconds of whichever part of the routine they’re on. A few participants discover they’re not as in-shape as they thought. This is not a typical workout class. This is a fundraiser.

The Transitional Bilingual Learning Community held its 11th annual Cardio Fitness Workout fundraiser this past Wednesday, Nov 6.

This annual fundraiser has raised $115,000 in the 11 years it has run according to Ana King, a professor in the TBLC program who helps organize the event. King, who has a passion for body-building, wanted to combine that passion with fundraising for the TBLC Scholarship Fund. She got the idea while “on a quest for the ‘anti-bake sale.’”

At the fundraiser itself, held in the Truman Gym, different stations were set up. Organizers divided the participants into groups, each assigned to a station. Then each group went through two different workouts for 30 seconds each, switching to another station after both workouts were complete.

Exercises varied from planks to jumping jacks, from push-ups to burpees. Each group cycled through all the stations three times. As easy as 30 seconds of exercise can sound some participants soon found it more difficult than expected. Regardless of difficulty the fundraiser saw a reasonable turnout, just shy of 30 people at the start of the event.

The TBLC program itself “is designed to prepare ESL English language learners (ELL) for college-level courses taught in English within a period of two semesters,” according to the program’s CCC page online.


Moments before victory in the final round of the tug-of-war tournament

A tug-of-war tournament at the end of the fundraiser created the sweat. The TBLC program, however, has created a few tears, thankfully of happiness.

King recounts an experience when several TBLC graduates formed a TBLC Alumni Association. The Alumni Association held a banquet to honor the professors and advisors involved in the program. King told The Exchange “They presented each of us with a crystal “apple” award and gave heartfelt testimonials for how the TBLC had changed their lives.  There was not a dry eye in the house.”

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