A Renaissance fair and a college sociology class decide to work together.

This isn’t the setup to a joke — it’s how two wildly different Kodiak groups came together to collect food for local food banks.

Brendan Doyle fights with swords in his spare time, but he also studies at Kodiak College, where he’s a student in Thia Falcone’s sociology course. That class focuses on problems and how to fix them.

“We’re studying social problems … things that have arisen because of other problems,” said Berno Atalig, a student in the class.

At the end of the class, students are asked to create a service project, something that addresses a significant issue.

The class looked at drunken driving, violent crimes and racial issues, Atalig said, but settled on hunger, or “food insecurity,” as it’s officially known.

People don’t have to be hungry to suffer, he said — they simply might not know where their next meal is coming from.

“This seemed to be the biggest thing that touched home for a lot of people in the class,” he said.

While the class understands that it can’t solve hunger on its own, it can do its part to fight the problem.

To that end, it organized a dance at the Kodiak Teen Center. Scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., the dance asks kids to bring in canned food instead of paying cash to enter.

“It’s to help supplement what the food bank can’t normally provide,” Atalig said.

As the class talked about the idea, Doyle had his own inspiration.

On the day of the dance, Kodiak’s branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism — a group devoted to preserving the crafts and arts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance — was scheduled to hold its own event.

“The event was already going to take place, and I thought if we tied it in, it would be pretty simple,” he said.

The rest of the group thought it was a great idea — hunger, after all, happened in history as well. Doyle is collecting pledges of canned foods for the rapier-fighting contest at the event, and admission will be at least one non-perishable food item as well.

It’s an odd combination, but if enough food is collected, it’s one that could work well for Kodiak’s food banks.

“I’m lazy, so I’m a fan of efficiency,” Doyle said.

Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.


The Kodiak Fairy Tale Fete will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Benny Benson Building at Kodiak College. Events include a cooking competition, swordfighting tournaments, potluck feast, bardic contest and classes on Medieval daily life. Admission is at least one nonperishable food item.

The sociology club’s dance will begin at 7 p.m. for middle school-aged kids in the Kodiak Teen Center. High schoolers are invited to attend starting at 9 p.m. to midnight. Bring at least one canned food item to be admitted.

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