Charity week in review: committee chairs share their impressions


Margaret Mary Welsh and Tara Ann McCrorey
Co-Chairs of Charity Week 2011.

Whether it was your first or last, best or most awkward Charity Week, this past week is one that will definitely be hard to forget. Papal-flag and watergun-brandishing ambushes, legendary pudding cake, and surprising vaudeville performances glittered the seven days, roping in thousands of dollars for local charities. Since Charity Week is always a highlight of the fall semester, we were incredibly excited to be part of the planning process.

Although there was a lot of behind-the-scenes work involved, most of our responsibilities as co-chairs came from reviving and refreshing the events students love to see every year. It was wonderful to see that many of the changes our class made were well received, such as the addition of Student Activities and Recreation’s Charity Challenge. Attendance at the Professor Talent Show and Karaoke TGIT was also particularly high, which was very rewarding since our class worked particularly hard to revamp these two events.

Alongside our excitement for the week, we also felt the pressure of meeting the standards the University of Dallas holds for all of its traditions. Almost everyone at UD has their own favorite part of Charity Week and, understandably, high expectations for and suggestions for improvement of all aspects of the fundraiser. We sincerely hope Charity Week did not fall short of those expectations, but we also hope our school recognizes that it is an extremely unconventional event and should always be regarded as such.

For example, much of its success comes from both the enthusiasm and prudence of the individuals involved.

While its skeleton is assembled by the chairs on our junior class committee, Charity Week is brought to life by the jailers and the jailed, the auctioneers and the auctioned, the bakers and the buyers, etc. Enjoying the spontaneity, excitement and creativity of individual students and professors is an integral part of every Charity Week. (Dr. Norris’ surprise visit as the Dread Pirate Roberts will no doubt go down in Charity Week history.)

This aspect of Charity Week, however, leaves it exposed to everything from questionable Male Auction performances to some unintended but serious physical injuries. We sincerely apologize to any who were offended or injured during the festivities and hope all those participating recognized their role in painting the face UD presents to the outside world.

To Charity Week’s critics, we again hope they recognize its unique character and take its imperfections along with its many, many good intentions and positive impact on our tight-knit community.

Finally, we thank each and every one who made Charity Week 2011 happen, especially the junior class, and we ask you all to take to heart the words of St. Thomas Aquinas:  “It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.”

Matthias Andrews
Co-Chair of Family Day 2011.

Every year the inevitable claim is always made – “This has been the best Charity Week ever.” Trite platitudes aside, Charity Week 2011 improved upon almost every aspect of the game over last year. This is not to disparage any previous Charity Week, but instead to highlight one of the greatest aspects of Charity Week: the solid continuity from one junior class to the next.

I volunteered pretty extensively for most events, but my biggest job was co-chairing Family Day with Devon Lueck. Early in the planning stages, we got in contact with our predecessors, Kenneth Spence and Elijah Salazar, and right away they provided us with a huge list of things that they thought could improve this year’s Family Day. This kind of information was invaluable, particularly because organizing an afternoon carnival from scratch would have taken months of work. The rest of the process developed in the mindset, “This is what they did last year. Is there any way we could improve on it?” And improve we did. Overall I think the whole of Charity Week was built on this same mind-set.

Looking back on the last few days, I want to give a shout out to the class of 2013, especially to our chairs Tara McCrorey and Marty Welsh. When the chips were down, it was pretty cool to watch everyone from our class go all-in with the different activities. I also want to give a tip of the hat to past years for all their advice. And finally, to the current sophomores: Top that!

Patrick Brehany
Co-Master of Ceremonies for Male Auction.

CHAWITY. Chawity is what bwings us together today. That bwessed awwangement. That dweam within a dweam … For those reading this article who did not immerse themselves in Charity Week and its theme, “The Princess of Bride,” the previous sentence must seem very strange; fortunately that seems unlikely based on the wonderful community experience which was Charity Week 2011.  Reflecting on my experience as volunteer coordinator, several elements emerge.
First, I was struck by the incredible support of the student body. While the University of Dallas provides significant support and advice, the week relies almost entirely on student leaders and volunteers. Its complexity requires long term leadership and significant commitments for every event. With that in mind, you might imagine finding volunteers was difficult.  Instead the enthusiasm of the student body ensured each table was filled, and every event had volunteers.

Second, I know that UD students will take the spirit and purpose of Charity Week with them after they graduate. The books and ideas that fill our time here at UD can often seem disconnected from the real world. Charity Week reminds us that we must lead by example. From personal experience and talking with volunteers, I know that many of us didn’t think we had the time or talent to make it a success, much less the money.

However throughout the week, people came to their shifts, performed their acts and found some extra change on the dorm room floor.

Christian Charity is the love of Christ made manifest, the willingness to give beyond what seems possible; what should be clear from this week is that such giving is never in a vacuum.  We are assisted by grace and friends in making a difference.  May such traditions fill our lives.

Mary Lacy Knapp
Co-Chair of Male Auction.

Going into Charity Week, I was very excited about being one of the chairs for Male Auction. It has always been one of my favorite events.

There were some very good acts this year that exhibited a variety of “talents.” Some were classier than others. I greatly appreciated all the guys that came to me ahead of time and told me what they were planning on doing. I was pleased with the apparent organization on stage, because behind stage it was very chaotic. It almost reminded me of the Italian public transportation system.

Overall I think the event was a success even though a couple groups of girls did not pay for two of the acts.

Regardless, Male Auction raised a total of $3,762 for the three  charities.


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