Outdoor Vigil Raises Funds for Charity
Contact: Jeff Murphy
Camped out for 31 hours in a large cardboard box at the University of Central Missouri Elliott Union mall, Collin Bunch, a UCM junior from Pleasant Hill, recently collected more than $1,375 to benefit Johnson County Survival Adult Abuse Center.
Bunch is president of Chairs That Care, a group of 28 UCM business students who are participating in the fall 2007 Integrative Business Experience program offered in the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies. The program gives students an opportunity to learn first-hand about starting their own business. Members of each student-led company actually develop their own products, create a business and marketing plan, and secure a bank loan for working capital, which must be repaid by the end of the semester. All profits go toward the charity of their choice
Chairs That Care is one of three IBE companies that were formed this fall. Its members are marketing a folding tailgate chair with university insignias. Bunch said their goal is to set IBE profit records while also making a significant contribution to Survival, a facility that provides temporary shelter for women and children who are victims of abuse.
“They just had a $17,000 budget cut, and they also need to build a new facility,” Bunch said, in talking about the company’s reasons for assisting Survival. “We want to raise money for them and also collect some food, which is needed.”
Although profits raised from sale of their product will go toward Survival, Chairs That Care took philanthropy a step further. Bunch set up camp on campus Nov. 15 with a goal to raise $1,000. He planned to stay there, going without anything to eat, until he met his fundraising goal or 48 hours, whichever came first. He not only raised $1,375 and exceeded goal several before he planned, but he also collected many non-perishable goods and food items to contribute to Survival. An anonymous donor also agreed to match the total amount of money raised through his effort.
“I thought $1,000 was a pretty lofty goal,” Bunch said, adding that he was excited about the support he received, not only from contributors, but his student colleagues who stopped by his camp to keep him company during the hours he spent in the brisk fall air. Bunch and his company members set up a live web cam during his vigil and also obtained donations online.To learn more about the IBE experience, including two other student companies, Central Time and MO™ Undercover, visit the web at http://ibe.ucmo.edu/mccords_ibe/ibe-site/site/index.html