By Kathryn Kelly ’19
This year, Lafayette Athletes C.A.R.E., a charity organization started at Lafayette in 2010, is
running their annual all-or-nothing fundraising campaign a little differently: they are competing
with two other branches of the organization from different colleges to determine which charity all
the branches will fundraise for.
This all-or-nothing campaign has been held yearly at Lafayette since 2013, but until this year
Lafayette was exclusively involved in it. This year, Lafayette is competing against Boston
University and Shippensburg University in a public poll to determine which branch’s charity will
“The reason why we opened up this campaign to all the other branches is…that every other
branch will be advertising for this one location so that we’ll get even more funds,” said Julia
Wescott ’17, chairman of the board of Lafayette Athletes C.A.R.E.
“We wanted to pool all of our resources into one event,” Wescott said. “First we vote on a place
that’s going to receive the money, and then we have our [fundraising] campaign.”
As in previous years, Wescott said, none of the money gets donated if they do not meet the goal
of raising $2,750 by April 30.
Voting was open to the general public, and closed on Thursday, after being open for almost two
weeks. Shortly before polls closed, Lafayette had a commanding lead over its two competitors,
according to the results data from the online poll. Final results were not available before press
“We’re thinking it’s going to be our option, unless there’s a landslide of votes,” said Aliza
Furneaux ’17, member of Athletes C.A.R.E.
According to Wescott, one reason Lafayette is winning the campaign by so many votes is
because of the social media presence of not only Lafayette and its students, but of the
organization that Lafayette chose for the competition, Backpack Pals.
The Backpack Pals Program, Lafayette’s organization in the competition, collects and provides
food for children over long weekends, who rely on school-provided lunches during the week.
Kara Kolton, program coordinator for the ATTIC, said she feels like her “two worlds are
colliding,” since she has volunteered with Backpack Pals for the past two years and has worked
at Lafayette for the past ten.
Kolton’s good friend, Nikki Testa, started Backpack Pals of Bethlehem two years ago, so Kolton
was delighted to hear that a Lafayette organization was campaigning for the cause.
If Lafayette does indeed win the competition, Kolton plans to help Athletes C.A.R.E. raise
money for Backpack Pals by campaigning through social media.
According to Wescott, once a cause is chosen, each participating school will campaign for
donations toward that cause starting March 7. If the three schools cannot reach the goal then all
of the money will be returned to the donors.
The students of Athletes C.A.R.E. certainly want to reach that goal as their charity of choice is
one they deem as special.
“Most of Athletes C.A.R.E. supported [choosing Backpack Pals] because we do things within the
community of Lehigh Valley, and that’s what this was.” Furneaux said. “We do a lot of things
with kids in the Lehigh Valley, so I think a program that helps support the children of Lehigh
Valley in some of the school districts that we go to for after school events…just fit perfectly.”