It was a cold and rainy November afternoon. “Shotgun!” I called excitedly, although Akul and I were the only ones in the car. As we waited for the car to heat up I pestered my brother to play some tunes. As I heard the elegant intro to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” we looked at each other with the same giddy smile knowing we were about to listen to a musical masterpiece. This is one of my fondest memories of Akul because I don’t have a connection like that with anyone. I think that’s what Charity Ball is all about. It’s not that big check at the end, but the connections and relationships we build that make Charity Ball happen. Akul taught me what it means to make real connections with people and how important it is to do things that bring you joy. So, whether you’re in your dorm listening to Fleetwood Mac or you are with Mohammed listening to Lil Baby, from the bottom of my heart I want to tell you: thank you, Akul.
Let’s rewind to last winter. Ben Hogewood, the current Student Body President was
jamming with Akul in my attic—an all too familiar scenario. On this day, I mustered enough courage to text my brother, “Yo bro, is it straight if I play with you guys?” To my surprise, he said yes and I cautiously entered his room, with cold sweat beading down my face. I sat down and started to play “Dust in the Wind” with the boys and all of a sudden, I wasn’t nervous. I was an equal among the musical legends before me. This brought forth my love for music and that will be forever with me. I only have one person to thank for that, and you guessed it—Akul. He taught me passion, one of the most important characteristics a person can have. My passion for music drove me to use that skill and apply it to Charity Ball in the form of a Music Night fundraiser. That is what is so special about Charity Ball. It brings out the best in everyone as you can use whatever brings you happiness and use it to bring joy to others as well. I think the best part about Charity Ball is the fact that we get to see how everyone wants to be seen by their community. Do they want to be artsy? Or would they rather show their finance potential by getting corporate donors? Maybe they want to be shown as outgoing and constantly volunteer at IGNITE. Whatever their reasons may be, Charity Ball truly lets everyone shine on their own unique attributes.
Charity Ball is more than an event. It’s like a feeling that you get. It tingles and makes
you feel warm and enlivened because it really is a group of kids set on doing the impossible. Charity Ball is a family. If I look around the room at a Greatco meeting, it’s all smiles because Charity Ball has a vibe of acceptance and welcoming as it would never be able to happen without every single person’s effort that is a part of it. Every time I walk through the evergreen doors of IGNITE and see John making fun of Akshar, I can always feel that uncanny feeling of Charity Ball. I am blessed to even be able to be a part of this wonderful event and I hope to be able to keep grinding for my next 3 years at Enloe.