IQA Selects Fourth Annual Book Drive Winner

The IQA's book drive has officially come to a close and the top three teams have been announced.

The IQA’s fourth annual league-wide book drive came to a close on Friday Dec. 6. The first-place team with 580 books was the Horn Tailed Horcruxes. The IQA’s coverage of the Horcruxes’ success prompted Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) Quidditch, who finished just 10 books shy of winning, to kick their efforts into high gear during the last week of competition. The third place team with 28 books was University of Ottawa (uOttawa) quidditch club.

The Horcruxes won 21 exclusive T-shirts donated by the IQA ProShop. OBU Quidditch will receive a set of 21 silica wristbands. The top three teams will get certificates from the IQA.

“When we voted to take part in the book drive at the end of August, we weren't expecting to win,” said Marina Montenegro, president of the Horn Tailed Horcruxes, after she found out that her team took first place. “We saw an opportunity to give back to the community and wanted to get involved. We are so grateful to all of the friends and family members who donated books or helped out in anyway, and to all of the volunteers who helped us sort and donate the books. We're so excited to have actually won the fall book drive, and we definitely plan on making this an annual event.”

Chandler Smith, the IQA’s Southwest regional director and president and co-founder of OBU Quidditch, attributed his team’s success to a donation box at the local video store.

OBU  “I work at Family Video…and my manager
  always does some kind of cool promotion
  every single month to give back to the
  community,” he said. “So I asked her if we
  could do something with the book drive, and
  she said, ‘Yes, we’ll do it.’”

  Throughout November, the team had
  collection boxes in the store while the
  manager simultaneously ran a special
  promotion: for every five books donated, the
  customer would get a free rental.

  While the team was not able to fundraise
  much on campus due to a slow approval 
  process from school administration, it continued to persevere. The players arranged for books to be donated to Shawnee Library.

“We’re excited because each of our members on the team gets to wear a bracelet and represent the fact that we were successful,” he said.

He believes that it is important for teams to give back to and bond with the local communities that support them during the season.

“I felt elated,” said Candace Blake, the IQA’s literacy development coordinator and member of the third-place uOttawa quidditch club, upon hearing the good news. “The uOttawa community really pulled it together to come in third. We're happy with the way things turned out.”

She noted though that it was a tough road to the top.

“Success didn't come easily, but certain members of the club were dedicated and we couldn't have done it without them,” she said. “We'll be shooting for the top spot next year.”

Body photo courtesy of Chandler Smith