First 24-Hour Challenge Raises More Than $100k

The Fund for OswegoOn 11-12-13, 605 alumni and friends participated in SUNY Oswego’s first-ever 24-Hour Challenge, and contributed $101,823.79 to The Fund for Oswego, exceeding three goals announced throughout the day.

Loyal alumni Jim Kaden ’78 and former Oswego Alumni Association board member Debbie Adams-Kaden ’78 donated $11,121.30 to The Fund for Oswego before noon, when 100 donors—the first goal—made gifts.

To secure his gift of $11,121.30, College Foundation board member Bob Moritz ’85 set the bar higher, more than doubling the original goal to 250 donors. Enthusiastic donors surpassed that number before the end of the workday, but the Telefund students were just getting warmed up.

To keep the momentum going, another generous alumni couple issued a third challenge of 500 donors to secure their $11,121.30 gift to The Fund. By 11:30 p.m., donors met that final challenge, and gifts continued to roll in right up until midnight EST.

“Each of the three separate chal­lenges unleashed a new level of excitement and energy among our constituents that far exceeded our expectations,” said Joy Westerberg Knopp ’92, director of annual giving. “We received gifts from members of the Class of 1940 through the Class of 2014! The response from Oswego’s alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends was absolutely fantastic.”

Kristine Hyovalti Bushey ’72, administrative assistant in Student Affairs who has worked at Oswego for 27 years, said she was impressed by the generosity of the alumni challengers and wanted to help reach the goal. “It was exciting to think about the possibilities created by that kind of generosity, rather like ripples on a pond: far reaching and touching so many different people,” Bushey said. “We can make a difference in the lives of students, just as Oswego made a difference in our lives.”

Oswego College Foundation board member Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ’77 kept the conversation exciting on the Facebook event page, and even came up with suggested donation amounts playing off the 11-12-13 theme. He posted: “Some ideas—$1,112.13 or 111.21×3=$333.63 or 11.12×13=$144.56.”

Although she is currently between jobs, Lisa Valentine O’Beirne ’86 posted to Facebook that she couldn’t make a huge gift, but she gave “at least something and the matching will help.”

Indeed, every gift helped secure the $33,363.90 in matching funds from the Kadens, Moritz and the anonymous alumni couple, and the 605 gifts from other challenge participants totaled an impressive $68,459.89.

“It was an exciting day here,” Knopp said. “Our alumni really showed their Oswego pride, and I am so proud to say I am an Oswego alumna!”

—Margaret Spillett

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