Charity Week 2017 gave the University of Dallas community another chance to come together in support of others.
Junior Maria Labus, co-chair of this year’s “Pirates of the Caribbean”-themed Charity Week, loved seeing the whole school get together during the event.
When asked why she decided to help orchestrate Charity Week, Labus answered, “I like working with others! I had a couple ideas for Charity Week and I wanted to devote more time to the school’s traditions.”
Events this year included a well-attended Open Mic Night, a Quiz Bowl in the Rathskeller, and a Karaoke TGIT; as well as the annual upper vs. lower classmen Powderpuff game, and the much-celebrated Male Auction. Most of these required a bit of spending on the students’ part for admission.
The events were populated by pirate-hatted, bandana or eyepatch-wearing students and decorated with other festive pirate regalia such as flags, doubloons and quotes from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise. “Release the Kraken!” read the aptly painted Jailhouse this year.
On Friday, a student, senior drama major Samuel Pate,dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow even showed up to take photographs on the Mall.
The cleverly advertised events encouraged enthusiastic participation throughout the week, and while the final fundraising amount has not yet been announced, Labus stated mid-week that the count was “ahead of schedule.”
The charities this year were chosen in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Both Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas and Texas Children’s Hospital are concerned with the event. The third charity, Jonathan’s Place, is a local foster and transition home for children.
Pati Light, popularly known by cafeteria-goers as “Miss Pati,” also enjoys spectating Charity Week.
“People forget their woes,” Light said of Charity Week, discussing how the “giving spirit” inspired by the event really brings out the best in people.
The Jailhouse is a favorite Charity Week staple amongst students and professors.
“There’s a real camaraderie in here,” Dr. Mark Petersen said cheerily from inside the Jail.
“Charity Week brings the community together … I like that [the students] can bring their professors down a peg,” Dr. Petersen said.
Students were also invited to participate once more in traditions such as the week-long squirt gun fight, K.A.O.S (Killing As an Organized Sport), Crush Cans and Penny Wars.
Junior Michelle Little enjoyed being a part of the organization; her humor drew many laughs as she stood as a co-MC during Open Mic night. “The responsibility makes it fun … You have more input.”
“I’m having a great time!” Freshman Greg Vanderheiden said halfway through the week, after Father Thomas Esposito gave one of his famous top-of-the-jail performances (“Sea Piracy” to the tune of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’”). “[Everything is] really well done. Since everybody participates, it’s a good time.”
When asked last Thursday if she felt like the event was running smoothly, Labus quipped, “It’s been very smooth … There hasn’t been any chaos except K.A.O.S!”