Residence halls, student organizations compete in Can-a-Thon

Nolan Krebs

In celebration of the 30th year of the TV-6 Can-a-Thon, the NMU Volunteer Center will be holding the first collection date of its on-campus can-collecting competition on Tuesday, Dec. 4 in the Payne-Halverson lobby.

The competition, which began on Monday, Nov. 12, consists of two divisions: one consisting of down-campus houses and on-campus apartments, and another consisting of students organizations, Spooner Hall and West Hall.

While the volunteer center has been involved with the event for over a decade, the competition is new to campus this year, said volunteer center coordinator Nik Krawczyk.

“We do the Can-a-Thon every year, but sometimes with mixed results,” Krawczyk said. “We’re hoping to collect more this year with the competition.”

According to the TV-6 website, the competition began in 1982 and raised about 700 pounds of food for the local pantries. Since its first year, more than 2.9 million pounds of food have been raised across 10 counties in Upper Michigan. In 2011 alone, the Can-a-Thon raised more than 142,000 pounds of food.

The winner from each division will win $100 for their respective organization and will appear on TV-6 with the volunteer center staff, and the runner-up from each division will receive $50 for their organization.

The first collection will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4 and the second collection will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5 in the University Center atrium outside the bookstore.

Donating food and other household products for those in need is an important part of the holidays, Krawczyk said.

“This time of year, when a lot of students are just getting back from the holiday break and having amazing home-cooked meals, it’s important for people to remember that others aren’t always as fortunate,” Krawczyk said. “Even though poverty in Marquette might not seem like it’s as visible as in bigger cities, it’s still present in the community.”

For senior marketing major Adri Bruening, donating to the needy around the holidays is a tradition in itself.

“In school it seems like we’ve always done some sort of can drive around Thanksgiving and a sharing tree or something like that around Christmas,” Bruening said. “As much as the holidays are about celebrating with family and being thankful, it should also be the time of year when we remember to pick each other up.”

Bruening, who is collecting canned goods to compete as a member of the High Adventure Club, is optimistic about the turnout for the can-a-thon this year.

“I’m not so sure that our club will win first or second place, but everyone’s certainly pitching in,” Bruening said. “It’s just good to see people get excited about it.”

All donations will be locally distributed through the St. Vincent DePaul Society and Salvation Army food banks and pantries.

Those interested in donating outside of the competition may drop off cans in the collection boxes found across campus until Thursday, Dec. 6.

For more information, call the volunteer center at (906) 227-2466 or email [email protected].