‘We Ignited Impacts Today’ — Gardner-Webb Students Host Third Annual March of Pie Fundraiser

By Marianne Luedeman

Photos by Taylor Payne, Intern for University Communications

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Several student organizations at Gardner-Webb University recently sponsored their third annual March of Pie fundraiser for the March of Dimes. This fun event allows both students and community members to throw pies at other students, faculty, and staff in exchange for a donation.

The pie throwing took place on March 20 in front of Tucker Student Center. It featured an auction style donation system where members of the campus community could bid for the right to pie the event’s nominees.

Among those nominated were Dean of Students Lesley Villarose, Director of Housing Shelbilyn Boelsche and University Vice President and Athletic Director Dr. Andrew Goodrich among others.

All proceeds from the event went to the charitable organization March of Dimes, described by organizer Cyrus Richer as “a national association that leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies through advocacy, research, and education.”

Nominees prepare to be pied once their auction ends.

In explaining the origins of the event, Richer noted that he wanted to find an engaging way to bring attention to the March of Dimes’ cause. “We have a D+ rating (from the March of Dimes) for our country overall on maternal healthcare. In order to shed a little bit of light on that, I wanted to host an event that would both be fun and bring awareness,” said Richer. 

The fundraiser, which has occurred annually since 2022, has been tremendously successful in both raising awareness and raising funds. 

“This year we were able to raise over $886, and we are still expecting a few more donations. We raised $882 in the first year and a little over $500 the second. Our total is well over $2,000,” said Richer. 

The event was a multi-organizational effort, being organized by members of FBLA Collegiate, the Student Government Association, the Student Nursing Association, and the Math Club. The lead organizers of the event include students Cyrus Richer, Breanna Littlejohn, Jailyn Tineo, Courtney Gant, Lauren Setzer, AJ Leyva, Crystal Aldridge, and Allison Shortridge.

The March of Pie Executive Board poses for a photo after the conclusion of the event.

The 2024 fundraiser notably featured the first-time participation of the Math Club, as the event also served as their recognition of Pi Day (March 14). 

“My executive team and I talked about how we wanted to do an event involving Pi day. One of our team members was in FBLA, and asked if we knew anything about March of Dimes. One thing led to another, and Cy then reached out to us and asked us to collaborate,” said organizer and Math Club Vice President Jailyn Tineo. 

The executive team behind the event shared their appreciation for the students, faculty, and staff who were pied, noting that the event couldn’t exist without them.

“The nominees were such good sports about everything. (Despite getting) pie thrown in their face on such a hot day, we just really want to thank them for being such good sports,” said organizer Courtney Gant. 

Gardner-Webb’s Director of Housing and Residence Education, Shelbilyn Boelsche, is pied.

The event’s executive team ultimately credited the event’s success to the Gardner-Webb and Boiling Springs community who donated and participated. 

“It takes an entire community to lead a movement like this and the fight for the health of all mothers and babies. We did that together, we ignited impacts today. It’s always been the community who have really driven that impact and that change through the March of Pie,” concluded Richer.

For questions or comments about the event, Richer can be reached at [email protected]