The Catholic University of America

Nov. 6, 2007

Student Organizations Raise $1,300 with Penny Wars

Fundraiser for Refugee Children in Tanzania Has Link to Opus Prize

The money accumulated in the Penny Wars fundraiser will be used to send T-shirts to children in Tanzania.


The Biology Club, Nursing Students Association, CUA Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Green Club raised $1,300 with their Penny Wars fundraiser in October. The money will help pay the cost of sending T-shirts to children in Tanzania.

Centennial Village came out on top as the team that raised the most money. For the fundraiser, the university was divided into seven teams to compete against each other to raise the most money. Five of the teams were divided by residence neighborhoods - North Campus One and Two, South Campus, Central Campus and Centennial Village. The two remaining groups are made up of commuter students and CUA faculty and staff.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help Associate Professor Thomas Long finish a personal project he started last summer after returning from Kigoma, Tanzania, where he taught for a month at the Institute for Social Work. Touched by the needs of the children he met there, many of them refugees, the education department professor began collecting T-shirts to send back to Tanzania.

Marion Ficke, assistant to the chair of the biology department, heard about Long's efforts and spoke to the Biology Club about helping him. Club president Christine Hunkele said club members approached Long about donating T-shirts, but he said what he really needed was funding to ship shirts he had already received to Tanzania. Approximately 2,500 T-shirts have already been donated.

Though initiated independently, the fundraiser has a link to the Opus Prize, which will be awarded by the Opus Prize Foundation, in partnership with Catholic University, to an unsung humanitarian Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. One of this year's prize finalists is Brother Constant Goetschalckx, F.C., founder and director of AHADI International Institute, Tanzania. The Institute for Social Work is an offshoot of AHADI. Professor Long traveled to Tanzania at the invitation of Brother Goetschalckx.

When the Opus Prize Committee on campus heard about Hunkele's efforts, it invited her to associate the fundraiser with Opus Prize programming being organized in advance of the dinner and helped to promote it.

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