Gradfest donates proceeds to Haitian relief

Megan Dunick

Beads, masks and prizes filled the 157 Lounge Friday night, where the Graduate Student Senate hosted a celebration for Mardi Gras and Haitian relief.

Sponsored by many local companies, the Graduate Student Senate commemorated Gradfest in a special way.

Ninety percent of all proceeds from the event were donated to Oxfam America, an international aid organization who is currently involved in Haitian relief.

“We were told that with a larger organization, more money would go towards Haitian relief,” said Aron Massby, executive chair of the Graduate Student Senate.  “The Red Cross has been getting a lot of attention, so we decided to donate to Oxfam instead.”

The event had many specials for the more than 200 guests, such as $2 rum and cokes, as well as, $2 Coors Light.  Attendees could purchase raffle tickets in hopes of receiving gift cards to many local companies or autographed pictures of NFL players.

“We generated about $500 from the raffle for Oxfam in Haiti,” said Tim Malone, advocacy chair of the Graduate Student Senate.  “We are still waiting to hear from the bar on how much they generated for Haiti from the drinks, as they were going to donate a portion of their proceeds as well.”

An aroma from Guy’s Pizza filled the Lounge, where guests could serve themselves to an unlimited amount of food.

“We have a lot of really good sponsors,” Massby said.  “A lot of businesses are reaching in and giving something, and I am really impressed.”

T-shirts were being sold for $12 with a design of the Haitian flag and a black squirrel printed on the front.  The Graduate Student Senate plans on selling the shirts until they are completely gone.

Current and all-time classic songs got people singing and moving thanks to disc jockey Shawn Hurley.  Guest could make a $1 request to Hurley for a specific song, or pay $2 to skip a song completely.

Gradfest, in an effort to raise funds for Haiti, was a little different than in years past.

“This is the first time we have donated the proceeds,” Massby said.  “I am trying to plan more philanthropic events, so hopefully we can keep this up especially for the semesters to come.”

Contact graduate affairs reporter Megan Dunick at [email protected].