Students raise funds, cement campus-community bonds

selling braceletsAs the season of giving approaches, five SUNY Oswego students are giving back to the community by selling gel bracelets to raise money to support the multimillion-dollar campaign to renovate the Oswego Public Library.

“We wanted to help the community in a big way and the library is the most important thing in the community,” said Laura Loomis, a business administration major and member of Blue Chip, the new student organization that created the fundraising concept. “When it gets renovated, it will bring more people in the community out.”

Blue Chip’s primary goal is to invest in the community by doing small projects that tighten bonds between the campus and the community, said junior marketing major Rob Enfield, another Blue Chip member.

Members of the organization have been selling the bracelets, which come in different colors with the Oswego imprint on them, at Laker men’s ice hockey home games. The bracelets are priced at $3, or two for $5. Bracelets will also be sold at the Oswego Public Library, Pathfinder Bank and P&C Foods, members said.

Enfield said the group hopes to sell all the bracelets and make its donation at the end of the year, with a goal of $6,000 to $7,000.

“I think it’s wonderful that the college thinks it’s important to help fund these several million dollars worth of renovations,” said Carol Ferlito, director of the Oswego Public Library. She said that the three-year reconstruction of the library will restore the historic portion while adding new space to the building.

Blue Chip was formed by Kevin Randall, a junior who derived the idea from a fundraising project in a management class. He said after the project ended, he wanted to continue raising money for different causes, and he wanted to do so locally. He handpicked four of his peers to help orchestrate the idea.

Along with Enfield, Loomis, senior Josie Maroney and sophomore Debbie Sands, Randall approached Ann Edwards-Giumarra, assistant professor of management at SUNY Oswego, for assistance.

“The students took the initiative. It was their effort. I just provided the guidance and the network,” Edwards-Giumarra said.

With her suggestions, the students approached Pathfinder Bank President Tom Schneider with a proposal. Schneider agreed to sponsor the students with $1,000 to buy the bracelets.

Randall said that once the bank decided to sponsor the group, five other supporters joined. “Staples, Dunkin Donuts, P&C Foods, Ontario Orchards and Valti Graphics all jumped on board,” he said.

“At this point we are looking for student and community support,” Randall said. “We are recruiting students who can help us sell the bracelets.”

Randall said that Blue Chip would continue to do other projects that entail helping the community once they complete this one.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Supporting community—SUNY Oswego sophomore business administration major Debbie Sands (left) of the Blue Chip club discusses fundraising bracelets supporting the renovation of the Oswego Public Library with Thomas VanEpps and his daughter Natalie during a recent Laker men’s ice hockey game in the Campus Center arena. Blue Chip is a new student organization that raises funds for community causes

(Posted: Nov 28, 2007)