Volunteers raise $14K at stadium
After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans last week, international relations senior Reese Everson couldn't sleep.
She would dream she was among the survivors in line at the Louisiana Superdome in the hurricane-struck city and decided she had to do something to help.
"Some things, when they bother you to the point that you can't sleep, then you know that you need to be a part of the solution," Everson said.
Lee June, vice president for Student Affairs and Services, told Everson that MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon was looking for a student organization to begin a hurricane relief effort, June said.
Everson mentioned her ideas for fund raising and, with the help of the university, organized about 60 people to collect donations before and after the first two MSU home football games. At Saturday's game, volunteers collected about $14,000 in donations at Spartan Stadium.
Margie Aimery, an executive secretary in the Office of Planning and Budgets, said she volunteered because of her care and concern for the hurricane victims.
"Being from Alabama, it really hit home," Aimery said. "And being a university employee, on behalf of the university, this is my way of giving back."
Members of the Department of Student Life sent out e-mails to different university departments and listservs on Friday requesting volunteers to raise funds at the game the next day.
"It's amazing we got such a huge response, because it was such a last-minute ordeal in the making," Everson said, adding that more people said they wanted to help but were unable to because of Labor Day weekend plans.
June said he was pleased to see students, faculty, staff and administrators come together for the cause.
"It's in the university spirit to do something like that," he said.
In addition to the university's relief effort, children of MSU tailgaters set up their own fund-raiser at the stadium.
Harrison Ammon, 11, from Holt, and his friends collected $134 for hurricane victims by selling lemonade near the student entrance at the stadium. Ammon and his friends did most of the work themselves, such as making the lemonade.
University of Michigan volunteers collected about $40,000 for hurricane relief before Michigan's football game on Saturday at Michigan Stadium.
Everson said U-M's fund raising was incentive to work harder at this week's game.
"This is absolutely 100 percent motivation," Everson said. "We're doing it for the same cause, but more so we want Spartan spirit to shine through.
"There is no harm in a little good competition, so we are definitely going to come with our buckets (this Saturday) and definitely be more prepared," she added. "I'm looking forward to being able to collect more."
To volunteer during Saturday's game call the Department of Student Life at (517)355-8286.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Melissa Domsic can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.