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Student fundraiser to benefit abused children is huge success

Hundreds of students gathered to raise awareness of child abuse during Penn State Berks’ student fundraiser to benefit the Reading’s Children’s Alliance Center on Wednesday, December 7, 2011, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center. The theme of the event was “We Care,” and students demonstrated that to be true by turning out in force for the event and purchasing t-shirts and bracelets to benefit the Children’s Alliance Center.

The “We Care” fundraiser was organized by students from the college’s Communication Arts and Sciences (CAS) degree program in collaboration with the Student Government Association. The event featured keynote speaker April Reed Schmehl, Vice President of the Children’s Alliance Center, who discussed issues related to child abuse in the Reading area. As a Penn State graduate, Reed Schmehl expressed gratitude to the organizers of the fundraiser.

“I was just blown away that students wanted to do this,” commented Reed Schmehl. “It’s been very touching.”

The event also gave students an opportunity a chance to express their feelings and voice their concern for the victims of child abuse.

“I’m always proud to be a Penn State student because no matter what, we always have a way of organizing and coming together and pulling for any cause,” said Mike Lewis, a senior majoring in Professional Writing. “I think we need to make sure the world doesn’t forget that this can actually happen.”

When asked why the students wanted to hold the event, senior CAS major Courtney Powell, who organized the event with fellow CAS majors Brittany Maack and Ashton Tupper, explained, “We were inspired to take action and represent the compassionate student body that we know Penn State to have.”  

“We wanted to do something that showed that the student body cared about what was happening, cared about humanity,” commented Maack. “Our hearts just broke for the victims who were the ones most affected by this,” added Tupper.

The goal of the event was to raise $1,000 for the Children’s Alliance Center, and the students raised approximately $1,300 in donations and an additional $500 in merchandise sales.
 
The Children’s Alliance Center of Berks County provides a child-friendly environment that welcomes abused children and non-offender family members and caregivers.