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Day of Man’ raises money for homeless

SARA FELSENSTEIN | Friday, February 5, 2010

The thermometer read 32 degrees, but yesterday 180 Siegfried Hall men braced the freezing South Bend weather in shorts, T-shirts and sandals to raise money for the South Bend Center for the Homeless.

The Siegfried Day of Man fundraiser is now in its fourth year — Robbie Bernardin came up with the idea for the fundraiser back in 2007.

“He came up with [the idea] when he ran back to Siegfried from Farley one evening. He felt cold in that short run and wondered how homeless people live with [the cold],” senior Michael Dean, coordinator of this year’s fundraiser, said.

Those involved with the fundraiser began planning the event right after winter break, assigning commissioners to various duties like recruiting Siegfried residents to participate and contacting the media.  

“[Sophomore] Dan McGrail’s job was to get the local media involved. He even tried to get us live on Regis and Kelly. That didn’t work out,” sophomore Peter Elliott said.

Siegfried men split up the shifts throughout the day, and were stationed outside DeBartolo Hall, North and South Dining Halls and the LaFortune Student Center, Elliott said.  

“We have assigned commissioners to various spots on campus to organize who will be there,” Dean said. “Also, anybody that is willing to stand outside is more than welcome to collect money.”

The first official shift was at 9:30 a.m., and then throughout the day participants in the fundraiser made announcements in class to ask for donations. The shifts went up to around dinnertime, Elliott said.  

Most Siegfried residents agreed that bracing the cold is well worth helping out those less fortunate.

“I tell myself it’s not as cold as it actually is. I can deal with the cold for a good cause,” sophomore Nick Valenti said.

“It’s definitely worth it. A lot of my money has been raised by professors this year … It’s really not as bad as you think. Last year was much worse,” sophomore Matthew Hentz said.

Elliott said after participating in the Day of Man, he has a new appreciation for what those who don’t own appropriate winter clothing must suffer through.

“We only do this for one day but some people don’t even have that choice,” he said. “It’s really the thought that people can’t choose to live every day like this … [that] definitely makes real what cause we’re fighting for.”

Dean said Siegfried hopes to reach $6,500 in donations. Donations will continue to be accepted today in the Siegfried Hall Lobby.