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Student Celebrates Life of Friend through Cubing Competition

One of Junior Adam Chen’s fondest memories of his friend Kyle Plush begins with a Rubik’s Cube.

“I started cubing in sixth grade and held on to that hobby all throughout Middle School and Upper School, to the present day,” said Chen. “Kyle and I shared a bond of cubing. He would get the Rubik’s Cube in the library or Mr. (David) Brott’s office and ask me to solve it as fast as I could. I was teaching him how to solve one as well. When he passed away, I wanted to honor our friendship through one of the elements that defined it, so I thought cubing would be a great way to honor our friendship as well as raise money for his family’s organization, Kyle Plush Answer the Call Foundation (KPATC).”

Adam said everything got rolling on Kyle’s birthday, Sept. 17, when he shared the idea with Kyle’s mother, Jill Plush.

“She thought it was a good idea,” said Chen. “I contacted a World Cube Association delegate and he replied he would be happy to help me out to make the competition possible.”

After securing a venue—Lakeside Presbyterian Church—plans for Cubing for Kyle quickly gained momentum for an event that exceeded Chen’s expectations.

Chen received sponsorship from LaRosa’s Pizzeria, Perfetti Van Melle, and Dunkin’ Donuts. The night before the March 30 event, a network of Seven Hills friends came together to set up the gymnasium with tables and chairs. Several Seven Hills students also participated in the event, including juniors Kayzad Bharucha, Chloe Gardner, Ella Samaha, Geereesh Shankar, Matt Wabler, and Chase Young.

“My friends really helped out a lot, which was probably the reason the competition ran so smoothly with more than 300 people there,” said Chen. “I think they had a good time helping out and were glad they could be part of a charity event for our classmate and friend.”

Seven Hills Director of Experiential Learning Nick Francis said the event was a great way to raise awareness and funds for KPATC. “Adam did an amazing job organizing what was a very impressive event,” said Francis. “There were 100 competitors solving all sorts of Rubik’s cubes in seconds! This was a whole new world that I didn’t even know existed and I was so impressed. There were judges, automatic timekeepers, runners, people setting up the cubes, and lots of competitors who could solve Rubik’s cubes very quickly!”

Chen said the competition was tough but Lucas Etter, a former world Rubik’s Cube record-holder, won the main event with an average time of 6.51 seconds in the 3×3. Cubing for Kyle incorporated six different categories, including 3×3, 2×2, 4×4, 5×5, Pyraminx, and one-handed.

Chen said he and his friends are heartened by the results of the competition, which allowed him to achieve his goal for his friend, Kyle. “I was interviewed by WCPO, WLWT, Local 12, and Fox19. The news spread to Fox43 in Pennsylvania, and it even made it to the Fox National News, so the video released by Fox19 was played nationwide,” said Chen. “This is great because the news is spreading more awareness about the foundation and what they are striving for, which was the goal of my event. We are still counting, but we estimate that we raised a few thousand dollars that would ultimately help KPATC reach its first mission which is to improve 911 systems nationwide.”