A helping hand: Athletes C.A.R.E. competes in all-or-nothing fundraiser

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

be chosen.

“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

time.

“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.”

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