Waterguns are at the ready. Men are practicing their moves. Students are sitting in jail. Professors are strategizing their escapes. It’s Charity Week.
Months of planning have led to the activities prepared for the week of Sept. 28 to Oct. 3. Supporting Homeless Veterans Services of Dallas and Honor, Courage, Commitment, Inc. are the charities being supported this year.
This decades-old tradition brings the University of Dallas community, past and present, student and faculty, alike together to participate, volunteer, and donate. Katie Spellmeyer and Rachel Parkey were elected co-chairs for the Class of 2017 by their class.
“Honestly what excites me most is seeing everything going and watching everyone [participating],” said Spellmeyer. “Seeing the slew of people on the Mall participating is really exciting.”
Parkey echoed this sentiment.
Air Band kicked off Charity Week on Monday night in Lynch Auditorium. Air Band is a competition in which participants choreograph and perform lip synch routines. Seven acts took to the stage. Juniors Katherine Zoch, Brenna Rossi and Victoria Nelson performed a dance to the song “It’s Raining Men.” In keeping to the song lyrics, the girls included guest performers, senior Alex Henderson and juniors Brian McCutchon and Peter Locker. The group stole the show with 135 votes and won the opportunity to perform again on Saturday as the opening act for Male Auction.
“My favorite act was definitely ‘It’s Raining Men’ because the girls were having so much fun with it and I could tell that they put a lot of time into it,” Freshman Erika Keever said. “It was so cute when the guys came out and were dancing with them.”
Keever enjoyed the dance from the audience, and Rossi said it is just as fun performing the routine on stage.
“It ran smoothly, and it sounded like the crowd enjoyed it,” Rossi said. “I’m so glad they’re putting [a recording] online so I can watch later.”
Keever plans to attend the Male Auction as well, along with other Charity Week events.
“I am looking forward to the social this Friday and the Male Auction on Saturday,” Keever said. “But I really love Charity Week because I get to put all my friends in jail.”
The senior class orchestrates the jail. Last year’s co-chairs, Jake Loel and Stephen Thie worked closely with the St. Joseph Society to bring the jail together.
Reflecting on the importance of the jail, Loel stressed the significant role professors play in the success of the jail.
“Ultimately the jail is important because it ties professors into the tradition,” Loel said. “The students get to see their professors partaking in something they are also partaking in.”
Students and faculty can participate in Charity Week events throughout the week. KAOS, Tuck-ins and various booths have been open since Monday, and QuizBowl, Karaoke TGIT, the social, the Semper Fi-ve K and Male Auction will happen as the week continues.
Junior Tom Pierick has volunteered for AirBand and Tuck-Ins – he and his group have prepared a Richard Simmons themed “party off the pounds” act. Pierick and friends also have a Male Auction routine ready for Saturday, but before then, Pierick will host QuizBowl on Wednesday evening.
“We have a faculty team on QuizBowl this year,” Pierick said. “We also have more categories than normal and are switching up the categories to make them more interesting. For example, one of the categories is ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ which includes everything but the kitchen sink.”
There are plenty of events and opportunities to participate and donate. For Charity Week to be successful, everyone needs to know that every dollar helps. “I think sometimes people get this idea that because they can’t go in and put $30 or $50 down at a time, they can’t help,” Parkey said. “One dollar at a time is what is going to make this work on a college campus. People underestimate [that].”
As of Monday night, $4,000.03 have been raised.