Senior wins Super Smash Bros. tournament to raise money for Las Manos Unidas

By Julia Pearl-Schwartz

Playing old video games is always a blast, but making it charitable is what really puts the “super” in Super Smash Brothers.

Las Manos Unidas held its 5th annual Super Smash Bros. Tournament Wednesday to raise money for supplies to bring to El Roble, El Salvador. Out of 50 student participants, senior Conrad Mascarenhas prevailed as the victor, winning for his third year in a row.

The other top three players included freshman Joey McGinley, sophomore Nick Baton and junior Paul Lobuglio.

Mascarenhas said he was proud to have won the tournament for his third consecutive year.

“I’m not saying I’m the best,” Mascarenhas said. “I’m not saying that. But I’m the best.”

Students voraciously played in a  Super Mario Bros. tournament Wednesday, a fundraiser event benefitting the Las Manos Unidas club. Photo by Julia Pearl-Schwartz.
Students voraciously played in a Super Mario Bros. tournament Wednesday, a fundraiser event benefitting the Las Manos Unidas club. Photo by Julia Pearl-Schwartz.

This tournament has become a Manos Unidas club tradition, senior and co-secretary of the club Deborah Poznansky said.

The club has been at Whitman for more than seven years, and strives to help communities across the globe. It holds various fundraisers throughout the year to support its annual trips to Spanish-speaking countries.

In addition to providing aid to communities in need, the trips also offer students opportunities to practice their Spanish.

“It’s an amazing experience,” Poznansky said. “We do a lot of great work, and I meet amazing people.”

All students involved  in the club are very active participants, Spanish teacher and club sponsor Carol Gough-Alonso said.

“What I really like about Manos is that since its first year, we’ve had a structure so that every student is a leader,” she said.

A perfect example of this student leadership is the Super Smash Bros. competition. Students alone set up, coordinate and publicize the event each year.

“I see a lot of people that I know, and it’s such a stupid game, but it’s so fun when you’re with your friends,” Poznansky said. “We make money from it and I like seeing a manifestation of all the work that we do in the club.”

Sophomore Trevor Lystad, a particpant in the tournament for his second time, said he attended the event because he enjoys playing the game.

“I came out just to have fun but the fact that it’s supporting Manos Unidos adds to it because you know you’re not just playing a video game,” he said. “You’re doing it for a good cause as well.”