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SMC begins Phone-a-thon month

Saoud, Angela | Thursday, February 12, 2004

Saint Mary’s annual Phone-a-thon kicked off last week, beginning a month of phone calls made by students asking for donations from sponsors that can be used all throughout campus.

JudeAnne Wilson, assistant director of the Annual Fund, said the drive is going well so far.

“We started making calls on Feb. 2,” Wilson said. “Already, we’ve gotten a lot of positive reactions, and we usually find that this is a good way to make contact with and let alumnae, parents of students and friends of Saint Mary’s know what’s going on throughout our campus.”

The Phone-a-thon, which has been held consistently for the past 15 years, uses paid student workers to call alumnae, former and current parents of Saint Mary’s students and people who have donated to Saint Mary’s in the past. After the students explain the latest happenings on campus, they proceed to ask for a donation, which can be allocated wherever the donator chooses.

Junior Kendall Krische is one of the 84 student workers making phone calls Sunday through Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

“It was hard at first, and I was really nervous the first time I called someone,” Krische said. “But the more you do it, the easier it gets. Let’s just say I have a newfound respect for people who do this for a living.”

Last year, the Phone-a-thon campaign raised nearly $143,000, donated by 1,621 people. In 2002, the campaign raised almost $200,000.

“Our goal this year is to raise $150,000,” Wilson said. “This is a great fundraiser for us, and most people are happy to hear from the students and get their perspective on what is happening at Saint Mary’s.”

The money donated becomes part of the Annual Fund, which covers various expenses on campus. Within that fund, donators can choose to send their money to such causes as student scholarships, the technology department, financial aid and other areas needing financial assistance on campus.

“Most people who donate really want to help out the students,” Wilson said. “We see a majority of the money being allocated into the financial aid department or into scholarship funds.”

Wilson stresses that students do not make these phone calls only to ask for money.

“When I train the students, I tell them that they are not only fund-raisers, but they are friend-raisers, as well,” Wilson said. “Part of the goal of this drive is to raise awareness of happenings on campus. I encourage the ladies to become friends with the people they call.”

The Phone-a-thon will continue until March 3.