NFI students ‘compete’ to help charity group
The latest class of National Fisheries Institute (NFI) Future Leaders is once again working with nonprofit SeaShare to help provide seafood for the needy, but this year’s event has a twist – a “friendly competition” that organizers hope will serve as a benchmark for similar projects in the years to come.
Each year, the Future Leaders work on a class project, which has traditionally involved working with SeaShare, but the 2015 class decided to spice things up, pitting all members east of the Mississippi River against those from the west, to see who can raise the most funding and pounds of seafood (Donors are invited to click here to donate to the East team and here to donate to the West).
“We’re trying to get a friendly competition going,” said Class Member Kosta Aneziris, a sales manager for Preferred Freezer based in Chicago.
But, he added, it’s not just about money and tonnage.
“What we’re really trying to drive is awareness,” he said.
SeaShare has worked for the past 20 years to bring seafood to food banks and other relief organizations throughout the United States. Jim Harmon, SeaShare’s executive director, said the nonprofit has been working with the Future Leaders group for the past seven years. Harmon said he has always appreciated the enthusiasm the classes have offered, especially the 2015 class.
“This class is pretty aggressive,” he said.
The event runs from now until the class’ annual meeting in January 2016, but Aneziris said he is hoping the spirit of this year’s event will last well beyond that. He said organizers are reaching out to Future Leaders alumni to get involved, and whatever is raised this year, he wants it to be a goal that next year’s class will strive to beat, and so on.
“We’re trying to build it for the future,” he said.
Harmon was particularly impressed with the efforts this class is making to reach out to the past and the future, and he encourages Future Leaders alumni to remain in touch with and in support of SeaShare.
“That’s a tremendous resource for us,” he said.
Harmon said he hopes the class members will see going forward that SeaShare, like any charitable organization, welcomes support even outside of special events.
“That’s a great way to look at it. It’s not a one-time thing,” he said.