Balancing new challenges with old traditions

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Male Auction brought in a large amount in donations in support of the three charities that will receive the week's proceeds. Photo by Anthony Garnier.

Freshman Gretel Lim enjoyed her first Charity Week.

“It felt like a much-needed break, and I felt like it brought a lot of people together,” Lim said.

“The addition of the concluding social was nice because it gave the underclassmen more of an opportunity to get to know the upperclassmen,” freshman Michelle Carlson said.

Both Lim and Carlson also commented on the skilled planning and attention to detail they noticed throughout the week.

Lim appreciated that the theme was relevant to each activity, including the decorations, the social and the jail.

“The skit from the social with the witch melting and balloons cascading from the ceiling was pretty entertaining,” Carlson said.

Although the amount raised for the charities (Chromosome 18, Project Ultrasound and Heifer International) has not yet been officially announced, direct proceeds from the students raised over $25,000.

Student Activities Coordinator Stephen Thie said student participation generally equalled that of previous years, with a minimum of 100 students participating in each activity.

The most successful activities proved to be the annual favorites: the jail and Male Auction.

Male Auction was a particular hit this year, with students claiming seats up to 30 minutes before the event began. One act — the rugby team’s Deep Ellum food crawl for 25 girls — raised upwards of $900.

“In terms of [monetary] success, I think all of our events exceeded all expectations from the co-chairs and myself,” Thie said.

The success of Charity Week is especially striking due to logistical challenges facing co-chairs Allyson Grubbs, Mary Hinze and Lili Serna.

Due to the demolition of Lynch Auditorium last year, some events, such as Airband and Open Mic Night, were relocated to Haggar Foyer.

“We were, in some ways, against the odds [but] it still worked out really well,” Thie said.

All in all, Charity Week 2016 proved to be a great success, in large part due to student participation.

“Thank you to everyone who participated in the Week,” Thie said. “We truly make a difference to these charities and those who they support,” said Thie. “After talking to the charities on the phone, you can tell how grateful they are of the support we have given.”

Last week’s Charity Week story misspelled the name of the author. It is Cristina Goerdt, not Christina Geordt.

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