Teams raise money to prepare for Relay

cameron.witbeck

For many people, the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day is a time of celebration and inebriation, but for the residents of Halverson Hall, it was an opportunity to do some fundraising for a worthy cause.

Approximately 50 students gathered in the Payne-Halverson lobby on Saturday, March 14 at 10 p.m. to participate in a 12-hour Thing-a-Thon. James Dyer, a freshman political science major, said a Thing-a-Thon is an event in which people receive sponsorships or donations to do something they enjoy in a public place for a specified amount of time.

The event was put on by theHalverson Hall House Government to raise money and to advertise NMU’s Relay for Life, a 24-hour Walk-a-Thon, which will take place on March 27 and 28. The Relay is similar to others all across the country that attempt to raise awareness and funding for cancer research.

“The Thing-a-Thon boiled down to a bunch of people hanging out in the lobby having a good time for a good cause,” said Dyer, a member of Halverson Hall’s Relay for Life team.

For his “thing” Dyer camped with a tent in the lobby and sold beard rubs.

“People paid me to rub my beard on their friends’ faces,” he said.

Dyer said he was interested in participating because it was a great way to help fight cancer before the actual Relay event began.

“Like most college students, I don’t really have a lot of money, so it’s nice to do something that helps someone else that doesn’t cost a lot of money,” said Dyer.

Megan Persons, a sophomore secondary education major and president of Halverson Hall, said all participants paid a $2 entry fee, and students also had the option of receiving donations from outside sources or accepting pledges for their 12-hour “thing.” Persons said they also raised money by having a grilled cheese and pancake sale.

Persons said that she felt the Thing-a-Thon was a success not only because of the fundraising but because of the excitement it created about Relay for Life.

“It was great for people to get together for a purpose bigger than socializing,” she said.

The Halverson Hall Relay for Life team raised $300 at the Thing-a-Thon bringing them closer to their goal of raising $1500 by the end of the actual Relay.

Halverson Hall is one of 25 teams that will be participating in NMU’s Relay for Life event, said Amy Bishop, a senior zoology major. She is a member of the NMU Relay for Life planning committee. Bishop acts as a liaison between the planning committee and the teams that are formed.

Historically, dorm Relay teams have been very successful in raising money, she said.

“Teams in the dorms already have a built in fundraising network with lots of students to ask for donations.”

Relay teams from Hunt, VanAntwerp and Spalding have organized “Pie your R.A.” events in which residents pay $1 for a whipped cream pie to throw at their resident advisor.

The Payne Hall team had a Can Drive to gather cans and bottles to return for the deposits. According to Bishop, other fundraising efforts by teams have included grilled cheese sales, bake sales and seeking donations from local businesses.

“We encourage the pre-Relay fundraising because not only is it a great way to raise money, but it’s a way to get people excited about the event and get their teams together,” said Bishop.

According to Bishop, over $6,000 has been raised due to the efforts of all the teams so far. Last year, the NMU Relay for Life raised $23,100 and was given the Community Service Award at the NMU’s Leadership Recognition Banquet.

This year’s NMU Relay for Life will take place in the Vandament Arena on March 27 and 28.