Holiday Food Drive wraps up

By Sika Patton

Those persistent volunteers clamouring for your money are gone, but their efforts during the Holiday Food Drive will stock the shelves of the food bank for another holiday season. Although organizers are still tallying revenues, the total for the Nov. 22-26 campaign is estimated to be around $17,000. This is under the projected $20,000 and less than last year’s total of $25,000, but the numbers do not worry Students’ Union Vice-president External Nassr Awada.

"Our real aim this year was to promote awareness," said Awada. "Through raising awareness, we have brought a lot of new groups like the Graduate Students’ Association and faculty on board."

Awada noted the lower total also reflects the reduced fundraising days, which were down to three from five last year.

While the food drive incorporated some new elements this year, such as a treasure hunt and a benefit concert with the Planet Smashers, the traditional Clubs Challenge also made a strong showing. The Clubs Challenge, which awards points and prizes to student organizations based on participation and revenue collected, was the largest single fundraising event again this year. Over $11,300 was raised this way.

Among the top contributors was the Commerce Undergraduate Society, whose executives helped organize the food drive and whose members were active in the Clubs Challenge.

"We’ve been taking more of a charitable focus," said CUS President Nancy Lebosquain. "As a club, as a team, we want to focus on helping people."

Lebosquain noted CUS’ most successful fundraising tactics involved competition and persistence.

"AEISEC donated $100, the Accounting Students’ Association donated $150, [the clubs] are very competitive, so our Business Day Group donated $200, CUS donated $250," said Lebosquain. "We had also amassed quite a bit just from harassing people."

At an average cost of $60 per food hamper, the food drive proceeds will create about 285 hampers for needy students, faculty and staff. This is not the end of the Campus Food Bank’s efforts, however. The Birthday Tree set up in MacEwan Student Centre was launched last week but will continue. This new strategy allows students to pick up a card with the profile of a child receiving aid and buy him or her a birthday present. The food bank is also still running the adopt-a-student and adopt-a-student-family programs.

For more information call 220-8599.

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