by Trevor York
Since ASWU’s commitment to raise the $250,000 needed to finance the One Million Meals program, Whitworth has raised more than $85,000. An additional $165,000 is needed to meet the project’s May 3 deadline.
“ASWU really wants to develop a sense of urgency and compassion for this cause,” ASWU Vice President Audrey Evans said. “This is something people can look back on 10 years from now and think, ‘I was a part of the first ever Million Meals campaign.’”
In an effort to raise money internally, ASWU hosted the Casino Royale Gala event on Feb. 21 and raised almost $2,000, Evans said. Other outside donors have also contributed. A private donor has given $25,000 and President Beck Taylor has pledged $50,000. In total, $85,000 has been raised or pledged, including the donations from Taylor and the private donor; $1,000 raised via the fundraising website firstgiving.com; $3,500 raised through ASWU and contributions from students; and $5,500 donated by Generation Alive. This leaves about $165,000 for the student body to raise, Financial Vice President Matt Valdez said. Whitworth sports team have donated money from fundraising events but this figure has not been added yet, Valdez said.
Students shouldn’t be intimidated by the large goal that has been set, Evans said. Instead, students should go online and work in teams toward raising the money and preparing the packaging and shipment of the food on May 3, she said.
“I would really just charge the student body to do something that is not easy, but the payoff and the reward — to say we have made a million meals for the community — is worth the hard work,” Evans said.
ASWU President Ian Robins said he urged students to work collectively to reach the goal.
“Since we have already $85,000, that means we need about $163,000, and if you split that up between the undergraduates and faculty and staff, that’s about $55 a person,” Robins said.
Both Robins and Evans advised students to look at this cause as a team event. Prizes will be offered to groups that bring in the most money. These prizes range from TV’s to an all-expenses paid trip to San Francisco to watch a San Francisco Giants game and meet Jeremy Affeldt, the founder of Generation Alive and pitcher for the Giants.
However, for some students, the convenience of Million Meals is perhaps the greatest incentive to help.
“By making the activity on campus, Whitworth has made it easy for us to participate versus going out and trying to look for charitable causes,” freshman Will McClennan said.