Nerf Wars Benefit St. Jude’s

March 23, 2013 by Philip Grey
The Leaf Chronicle

The students of Harris-Holt Martial Arts Academy had a chance to experience the not-so-ancient art of “Nerf Combat” on Saturday, having a great time and raising over $3,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in the process.
The “Nerf War” tournament featured five-person teams in a large classroom at the school, under the watchful eye of instructors who quickly adjudicated all cries of “He didn’t hit me!” on the spot.
In order to play, all a student had to do was contribute at least $5 to the St. Jude’s fund, although most went above and beyond that.
One student in the 6-8 age level, Summer Robertson, raised $680 to contribute to the total.
The school committed to matching whatever the kids raised, making the day a good one for children all the way around.
Of course, in the heat of combat, a few students could be forgiven for forgetting what the day was supposed to accomplish.
Asked why they were engaged in Nerf Wars, the answers ranged from “fun” to “freedom for kids.”
For the 9-10 year-old round on Saturday afternoon, the students showed off some amazing leaping and diving skills as they fought to put their teams on top.
In the end, the winning team was the “Ninjas,” with four girls – Madeline Kemp, Madison James, Brennan Byard and her sister, Ashton – and one boy, Gunner Goble, who edged out Team “Striker” for bragging rights.
Co-owner Ralph Holt was pleased with the enthusiasm, good sportsmanship and especially for the sense of community shown by his students.
“When we announced this,” he said, “we immediately had kids and parents signing up to play the game and to help raise money.”
The academy, located on West Dunbar Cave Road, has approximately 340 students.