Texas Academy students host Fish N’ Fest fundraising event

The Texas Academy at Lamar University recently hosted its largest student-led fundraising event, Fish 'N Fest, in Orange, Texas on Oct. 28, successfully raising a total of $21,000. Texas Academy Fish N Fest Student Group  

The initiative, planned and executed by the Texas Academy students, drew inspiration from the triumph of a previous redfish tournament organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers at Lamar University and executed with the help of local organizations.   

“Our efforts were bolstered significantly by the support and assistance from local fishing organizations, including the Saltwater Anglers League of Texas and the Neches River Bass Association. Their involvement was instrumental in the planning and execution of the event,” Texas Academy Student Body President Matthew Chin said.  

 Of the money raised, $10,000 will support Texas Academy programs.  

 “The funds will support participation in academic competitions like Model United Nations, debate, and mock trial, which typically require students to pay out of pocket for entry fees and other related costs. By covering these expenses, the Academy can ensure broader participation and lessen the financial burden on students,” Chin said. “The funds will also be allocated to professional development initiatives, including inviting guest speakers and organizing workshops.” 

 The event took six months of preparation where students were at the helm of planning, logistics, fundraising, and execution.  

“The planning process was thorough and involved assembling a diverse team, each member bringing unique skills and insights,” Chin said. “Given our target of approximately $11,000, we immediately sought sponsorships and various types of donations. Securing these sponsorships was critical; we engaged with local businesses and alumni, offering them a chance to support education while also gaining visibility for themselves.”  

The fundraising efforts included door-to-door campaigning conducted over the summer.  

“Team members dedicated their time to travel extensively along I-10, visiting numerous companies to secure sponsorships and support,” Chin said. “This proactive approach not only contributed to financial backing but also played a crucial role in building strong relationships within the community." 

With the collaboration of sponsors, Texas Academy students not only secured necessary funding but also awarded an impressive $11,000 in cash prizes during the event.  

Starting with zero dollars, their generosity was essential in transforming this event from a concept into a profitable reality,” Chin said. "Sponsor support ranged from financial backing to various in-kind donations, demonstrating a deep commitment to our cause. Their generosity extended beyond monetary assistance to practical contributions such as door prizes, ice for drinks, and promotional efforts, including news coverage. The involvement of numerous local businesses and individual donors highlighted the remarkable community spirit that embraces our institution." 

 To learn more about the Texas Academy and its initiatives, you can visit their website at https://www.lamar.edu/texas-academy.