Charity week cuts expenses, aims for $20,000

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    Amanda Polewski
    Contributing Writer

    -----------------------Photo by Danny Sauer----------------------- The University of Dallas Groundhog serves time in the brand new Charity Week jail, “The Pit of Despair.” The jail is one of the largest fundraising enterprises of the week.

    With the chaos of Charity Week over, a clear picture of the week’s results is starting to form, even though the final totals have not yet been determined.

    “We definitely met the average amount of funds raised, though it might be slightly under our goal of $20,000 when we do the final count,” said junior Marty Welsh, co-chair of Charity Week. “We certainly won’t break under $15,000.”

    Charity Week 2010 raised over $19,000, according to last year’s chair senior Heather Capozzella. The money raised this year will benefit the White Rose Women’s Shelter, the Elderly Outreach Program of Catholic Charities of Dallas and the poor of South Dallas.

    Welsh and fellow co-chair junior Tara McCrorey were already hard at work planning, organizing and contacting businesses as potential in-kind donors last spring. “Businesses are really generous if you give them fair warning,” McCrorey said.

    Nor were they the only ones who got an early start. The co-chairs attribute the revival of the Professor Talent Show to the initiative of junior Hannah Roberts, who began recruiting professors as early as the second week of this semester. The co-chairs made an executive decision to cut Poker Night and reinstitute the Professor Talent Show in its place, as Poker Night tends to break even monetarily.

    Their decision stemmed from a larger plan to cut Charity Week expenses and work on a bigger scale with the same budget – a plan which extends beyond this year.  “We worked on cutting a lot of expenses, but at the same time, we built a new jail,” Welsh said. “Consider it a donation to future classes.”

    Rather than having Movie on the Mall, they chose to show “The Princess Bride” in the New Residence Hall to avoid having to pay royalties for a public showing. They did away with the practice of taking IOUs at Male Auction, which McCrorey said saved them a lot of trouble. They managed to acquire a bigger petting zoo than last year’s for Family Day for a roughly equivalent price.

    “Family Day probably didn’t raise much money, but it was a lot of fun and a great way to kick off Charity Week,” Welsh said. And McCrorey added, “It’s a good way to get freshman initiated into UD traditions.”
    However, challenges arose along the way – namely, the shortage of senior jailers due to conflicting class schedules. Regarding the tradition of having seniors manage the jail, McCrorey said, “Sometimes you have to make exceptions.”

    “It’s pretty disorganized,” senior Karyn Taylor said about manning the jail. “But everybody’s having a great time, and it’s raised piles of money. Thursday and Friday have been so busy that we’re having to make deposits every few hours just to keep room in the moneybox.”

    Likewise, McCrorey and Welsh both called the senior girls’ bidding at Male Auction “disappointing.” The first rows in Lynch Auditorium are reserved for senior girls with the understanding that their bids will account for the majority at the auction.

    Still, the planning and execution of Charity Week was financially right on target, said Treasurer Brett Combs, a junior. Initial counts put money raised from Silent Auction at $1,584, Male Auction at $3,760 and the bake-off at $350.

    “Looking at the individual events, I’m very happy,” Combs said. “Everything was very well organized. It made my job very simple.”

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