Tsunami Victims Find Relief in COVE Fundraising

Winter break brought with it many jubilant times and lovely memories. The winter holidays arrived, filling us with delight. Life appeared to be pleasant and carefree, until catastrophic ocean waves crashed down upon all hopes for a happy new year. Treacherous winds, shattering earthquakes and severe sea storms ravaged the land, bringing death to over 280,000 men, women and children. What was supposed to be a splendid time of year was instantly changed into an unforgettable period of natural destruction.Although the tsunami did not hit the shores of North America, it immediately grabbed worldwide attention. Donations were sent from all over the globe, and now Colgate University, due to the perseverance, diligence, and generosity of its student body, is planning on becoming a part of this great effort. The first meeting of the Tsunami Relief Project took place before classes began this semester and had a turnout of over 40 people. Led by enthusiastic senior Jeremy Neigher, this new group of Colgate students planned various fundraising events at the meeting in order to realize its goal of raising at least $13,000. All proceeds will be donated to the nations and people affected by the Tsunami. “I was amazed by the turn-out — so many enthusiastic students came with great ideas of ways that we can raise money,” said senior Betsy Harbison, a member of the group. “They have put a lot of hard work into the fundraisers and events going on around campus. I think it’s great that so many students are working together for such a worthwhile cause.” Here are some of the events planned:

The Banquet A leading fundraiser of the Tsunami Relief Donation Fund will be a grandiose banquet, co-sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA) and the South Asian Culture Club (SACC).Neigher is attempting to bring in speakers with varied opinions on how the aftermath of the tsunami will affect the culture and economy of the nations it hit. He is also trying to make it an interactive fundraiser, with help from students, faculty members and administrators. Thus far, he has received support and volunteers from various fraternities and sororities, such as Kappa Kappa Gamma and Gamma Phi Beta, as well as student groups, including the SACC and the College Republicans. Please note: this is not the same banquet as another one also sponsored by SACC. The SACC banquet will be held on February 26, the two month anniversary of the tsunami, and will be focusing on the Diaspora and celebrating the culture of the nations affected by the tsunami.The Tsunami Relief Donation Fund Banquet will be held in March at the Hall of Presidents with food donated by the Colgate Inn. The cost will be $25 per ticket, or $40 dollars for a couple. Neigher believes that the banquet will be a great way for Colgate students to help out with the Tsunami Relief Project. “Basically,” he said, “every little bit helps. I just want people to remember to do something.”

The BraceletsAlmost every student on campus sports one on his or her wrist. The bracelets are sold daily at the Coop, and there are two variations that benefit the Tsunami Relief Fund. One is the LiveStrong bracelet, and the other is maroon with the phrase “Colgate Cares” written on it. The bracelets sell for $2 each and are a unifying way to support the relief project.Sophomore Erin Frohardt has also organized a volunteer group, where Colgate volunteers, children from local Madison County Elementary School Art Club and local Girl Scout troops partake in a fun and charming way of raising money: they will be beading the colors of the flags of the nations affected by the tsunami into bracelets. These too will be sold, proceeds going to the fund. When asked why Colgate students should purchase the bracelets, a nine year old girl at the Madison Elementary School wisely said, “Because they are pretty, and they have love in them.” Her friend quickly added, “And we could save peoples lives.”Save the ChildrenThis non-profit organization began in Westport, Connecticut in 1932. Since then it has spread to 18 different states in the U.S. and 40 countries. The primary goal of Save the Children is to reunite lost children of the tsunami with surviving family members or to provide them with temporary foster and health care. Save the Children has been recently gaining recognition and attention on Colgate’s campus thanks to first-year Robert Sobelman, who has been promoting this worthy cause by hanging posters and providing pamphlets. Sobleman is currently working to get Save the Children bracelets which are sponsored by 7-11 Inc., sold at the Coop. More information on how to help out with this organization is available at the official Save the Children website: http://www.savethechildren.org.

The COVEStudents, members of the Hamilton Community and other interested donors can send money to the COVE group on Colgate’s campus to help achieve – and perhaps surpass – the goal of raising $13, 000.Please donate in any way you can. Whether it is your time, energy or resources, anything can help. The tsunami destroyed people’s lives and homes, but that does not mean it destroyed their humanity. Look out for all the abovementioned fundraisers, and get involved. Please, let us, as Colgate students, realize these goals and surpass them.