Nate Deardorff and Dan Straley are roommates at Anderson University, friends who spend time together, and on Tuesday afternoon they were partners on a wooden teeter-totter. Since Wednesday, Deardorff had ridden the teeter-totter for four hours, Straley for two — and they each had 10 more hours to go. The pair of roommates are members of AU’s social club Novus Dux, which is hosting Teetering-for-Tots, a 100-hour event where the club raises money for a good cause — and keeps a teeter-totter constantly in motion the whole time. This year, Novus Dux is raising money for Horizon International, a Pendleton-based national organization that helps African children with AIDS, said Novus Dux president Jason Clodfelder, 22. The senior said so far they have raised $4,000, mostly through donations, and their goal is at least $8,000.
“It’s a good cause — raising money for kids with AIDS,” Deardorff, 20, said, bouncing up and down on the seesaw. “I hope it can really make a difference in their lives.”
The annual fundraiser was started 20 years ago when Novus Dux was founded, but died out a few years later when the club fell apart for several years, Clodfelder said.
Six years ago, the club came back to life, and its biggest event returned three years later.
Daniel Kihm, a graduate student who is the unofficial adviser for the club, was a member when the teeter-totter was designed by students. Kihm then took the design to his father’s company in Cincinnati, where the steel frame was welded together, then returned it to Anderson where students finished building it.
“It’s a great feeling of success,” the 25-year-old said of the resurrected event. “We saw this as something that the social club had done in the past and wanted to do again. Being able to pull off an event and raise significant amount of funds for needy individuals — it makes you feel like you are contributing something lasting.”
The group set up a tent on the south side of the AU Wellness Center, and kicked off the event at noon Wednesday. While the guys have been going to class, they have been and will be spending most of their time in the tent, even sleeping there, and keeping quite busy. And all AU students, faculty and the public are invited to join them in their activities, and are encouraged to donate money to the cause.
“In the four years I’ve been at school, pretty much the highlight has been the Teetering-for-Tots,” Clodfelder said. “It’s awesome living with the guys in a tent. It’s a little weird, but cool, even though we are kind of roughing it.”
But they aren’t roughing it too badly, considering the way they entertain themselves between classes.
More than 35 movies will be played 24 hours a day on a big-screen television, ranging from “Braveheart,” to “Finding Nemo,” to a “Seinfeld” marathon. Seven other televisions are hooked up to video games, including Mario Bros 3 and Pac Man, for which there are several ongoing tournaments, which after paying $5, you can participate in as many as you like.
The big video tournaments are tonight and Saturday at 11 p.m. and midnight both nights, where teams will compete in “Halo.” Teams of four must pay $10 per game, or $16 to join all tournaments.
Live entertainment is also available to the club members and anyone interested in stopping by. Thursday night, they watched the comedy group Randomonium. Tonight, there will be concerts from 8 p.m. until the last band starts at 9:45 p.m. On Saturday there will be live bands at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. All concerts are free, but donations will be asked for the charity, after a speaker talks to the audience about AIDS.
The club is also raising money by selling hamburgers, hot dogs and soft drinks, and having a silent auction.
And of course, there is the teeter-totter that must be ridden constantly throughout all five days — and volunteers who want a relaxing half-hour ride are still wanted. The seesaw was built three years ago by Novus Dux members.
Deardorff, who so far had ridden the most out of all members, didn’t expect to be riding that much.
“As members we have to ride two-and-a-half hours. But I ended up on for three hours (Wednesday),” he said. “I decided it’s kinda fun, so I want to keep going.”
Straley, still riding the seesaw with Deardorff, also got himself in over his head, but isn’t complaining.
“I got suckered into this,” the 20-year-old junior said, chuckling. “I got all these people to sign up, but they had no partner, so I have to ride with them. But it’s probably a very good way to meet girls!”
— Writer MELANIE D. HAYES is a reporter for the Anderson Herald Bulletin (www.theheraldbulletin.com).