Jane Ziolkowski, Contributing Writer
This week, be on the lookout for cowboys, Indians, and plastic toy guns – it’s Charity Week 2013, and the theme is “The Wild West.” Charity Week is the University of Dallas’ annual chance to have fun for a cause. This year, however, UD students can no longer say, “It’s for the babies,” a reference to the pro-life charities UD usually supports. Charities for this year are The Least Among Us, Catholic Psychotherapy Association and Living Water International.
Maggie Krewet, junior and Charity Week co-chair, explains: “We looked at charities that were previously donated to and then tried to add some of our own. The Least Among Us is an alumni-founded charity that has been previously donated to, but the Catholic Psychotherapy Association and Living Water International are new this year.”
Catholic Psychotherapy Association supports Catholic psychologists “by promoting the development of psychological theory and mental health practice which encompasses a full understanding of the human person and society in communion with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church” (from its website).
Living Water brings clean water to people in developing countries “that don’t have water at their fingertips [like we do],” said Chris Goldkamp, junior and second co-chair of Charity Week.
The Least Among Us attempts to help all impoverished children whose families can’t support them. Goldkamp and Krewet gave a short talk on The Least Among Us and Living Water before the Airband event on Monday, and Catholic Psychotherapy Association may send a speaker to give a short presentation before Male Auction this Friday.
Few changes have been made to Charity Week’s most long-standing traditions, but some will look a little different this year. Goldkamp and Krewet resurrected the Faculty Human Chess Game, in which students pay to pit faculty against each other. If it is successful this year, it may continue for years to come.
One new event is the pie-eating contest. Contestants will pay to eat the most pie – with no hands. In addition, the annual bake sale will consist mostly of pies, though other baked goods will still be sold.
The Shave-Off will include the traditional pledges to get a haircut if a certain amount of money is raised, as well as a Western-style barbershop, where students can pay $10 to get a haircut. Several UD students who know how to cut hair have volunteered to assist for two hours Thursday afternoon.
KAOS (Killing as an Organized Sport, a Charity Week classic) may have a Cowboy-Indian day when participants can dress up as either a Cowboy or an Indian, and “kill” the opposite with toy water guns. (Indians can shoot cowboys, but not other Indians.) This will take place later in the week, on Thursday or Friday.
UD is expecting to raise $13-18,000 from the week’s events.
Goldkamp thinks the university may raise more than usual this year, thanks to the Charity Week committee’s dedication and hard work.
“This year, we’ve done a very good job of going out and raising donations, rather than paying for [the events] ourselves, so our low goal is $20,000, which is higher than usual. If we do really well, we’re looking at somewhere between 20 and 25k.” Last year, UD was able to donate $17,883.56 to charity.
About 100 students contributed to preparations for the week, including 18 committee members (about one for each event) and six to ten volunteers for each event.
For Krewet and Goldkamp, the theme was an obvious choice.
“We thought it would appeal to a large portion of the population [from the Southwest] and a lot of people from Texas,” said Goldkamp.
Krewet added, “Also, it gives everyone a chance to wear their cowboy boots.”
Goldkamp mentioned that he had received many concerns from UD students about the lack of pro-life charities this year. “A charity is a charity. There’s so much in the world to reach out to, so many people that need help, and we do so much for pro-life. We just want to extend our fingers a little further in helping out, because we do have Crusaders for Life already.”
A minor benefit comes from the support of the non-pro-lifers at UD. “We are aware that there’s a small percentage of people on campus that aren’t necessarily pro-life who sometimes feel a little alienated during Charity Week because everybody’s yelling, “For the babies,” which is a great thing in itself, but we feel that by helping out other causes … we’ll be able to attract that part of the population as well,” said Goldkamp.
He added, “Of course, I know that in later years Charity Week will incorporate pro-life [charities] again. We’re not dropping it completely. We just want people to be aware that there are other charities out there too, and it’s not bad to help them.”
Senior Clare Elfelt summed it up in a few words. “Babies grow up. And they need our help always.”