The Konosioni Senior Honors Society recently donated over $15,000 to seven local charities, agencies and community organizations. The money was raised last spring at the annual charity auction put together by the society. As impressive an accomplishment as this may be, Konosioni has been doing it for nearly twelve years, and has been contributing to the well-being of the community for far longer.
In 1934, Konosioni was formed when two secret societies at Colgate merged. Over the past 74 years, the group has grown into an organization comprised of 26 peer-selected senior students who exhibit outstanding leadership, dedicated service to the community, and the preservation of Colgate traditions. Current member and treasurer, Matt Inbusch, said that once a year, the society puts together a fundraiser to benefit the residents of Madison County.
The charity auction held each spring is just one of Konosioni’s many contributions to the community, though it has grown to be, by far, its most substantial. The auction is open to everyone and has become very popular over the years. Faculty, staff, students and members of the Hamilton community all come together to chip in. Even generous alumni help out by coming back to campus to place bids or by providing items to be auctioned off.
All proceeds raised at the auction are distributed among various organizations around Madison County, chosen based upon project feasibility, value to the community, and overall need. In the fall following the auction, over 100 organizations are notified of the opportunity to apply for a share of the funds raised. Once the proposals are sent in, the members of Konosioni meet and decide which groups are the most eligible.
This past year’s fundraiser was the most successful yet, with the auction generating around $4,000 dollars more than the year before, a total of $15,300.
“It gets bigger every year,” Inbusch said. “In terms of attendance, funds raised and publicity, it’s grown. [The charity auction] is relatively new in retrospect of Konosioni’s history, so we’re hoping this trend continues in years to come.”
The funds raised in 2008 were received by the following seven organizations: MadArt, St. Patrick’s Food Pantry, Fountain Fire Company No.1, the Madison County Office for the Aging, the Madison County Historian, the Madison-Cortland Ark and RSVP.
As a leader on both Colgate’s campus and throughout the surrounding community, Inbusch has a few words of advice for younger students who wish to make a difference.
“The [Center for Outreach and Volunteer Education] is a great place to start, but unfortunately I think it tends to be underutilized,” he said. “There’s a lot more opportunities out there for service than most students realize.”