Story by: Chase Hockema
To raise funds for the Healthy Bulldog Backpack Program, Gardner-Webb faculty and staff hosted a banquet for sponsors in Stewart Hall on Friday, September 30.
The Backpack Program was started around eight years ago for students at Springmore Elementary School. Every two weeks, people from GWU come together and stuff backpacks full of healthy snacks for kindergarten through fifth grade. The organization initially fed twenty students, but developed a waiting list within the first year.
Lou Ann Scates, Registrar Office faculty member, helps run the group and makes sure everything goes smoothly. She ensures that enough snacks come in and that the backpacks get to the social worker in time. Ms. Scates also managed and organized the banquet, securing tables and entertainment for the banquet’s guests.
For the fundraiser, different schools, administrative offices and departments decorated a total of forty tables. Starting at 6:00 p.m., guests could come in and tour the tables, which ranged in themes from “Old Hollywood Glam!” to Harry Potter. “The tickets were sold for twenty dollars apiece,” Ms. Scates said, “and the proceeds will help us buy snacks for the kids.”
Guests also had the opportunity to vote for their favorite table by putting money in tip jars. At the end of the night, the table with the most money won a prize, and the donations went directly to the Healthy Backpack Program. “It was very difficult to make a choice. They were all very good,” Charlene McCraw, a local resident, said. “Obviously whoever made up the tables cared a lot.”
The banquet fundraiser aimed to raise enough financial aid to start sending out backpacks every week, rather than every two weeks. “Every college wants to be a good community partner,” said Dr. Jeff Tubbs, Vice President for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness. “One way in which this plays out is when faculty and staff take initiative and invest in the lives of residents. Gardner-Webb is no different in this regard.”
For more information about the Healthy Bulldog Backpack Program, contact Lou Ann Scates at email@example.com.