The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Student raises money to bring author to campus

Katie Skubisz, a junior family and consumer sciences major, is trying to raise $9,000 to have author Dave Pelzer come to campus.

Pelzer has written autobiographical works like “A Child Called It,” “The Lost Boy,” and “A Man Named Dave.”

Skubisz said Pelzer has been an inspiration of hers since she was a freshman in high school and read “A Child Called It.”

“After I read the book, I decided I wanted to become a child protection specialist and last October I decided that I wanted Dave Pelzer to come here to Eastern,” Skubisz said.

“A Child Called It” was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and was on the New York Times’ “Best Sellers” list for more than six years.

Lisa Taylor, assistant professor and graduate coordinator in family and consumer sciences, said bringing Pelzer to campus would benefit students, faculty, staff and the local community.

“Hearing the inspirational story of Mr. Pelzer’s life can help inspire others, educates everyone about the issue of child abuse, generates empathy for survivors of child abuse, helps students to reflect, connect and grow as individuals,” Taylor said.

Skubisz said the cost to schedule Pelzer for a banquet or event is usually $15,000, but the college campus rate is $8,000, with an additional $1,000 for transportation costs.

“I began fundraising in October and I would guess that I have raised around $2,000 at this point, but I am waiting on meetings with bigger organizations so I can try to get bigger donations,” Skubisz said. “I am hoping to have the funds by April but, realistically, I will probably have it by fall semester.”

Skubisz said she cannot bring Pelzer to campus on her own and is planning a co-sponsorship with the University Board and the Gender Diversity Coalition.

Organizations Skubisz said showed interest in donating to have Pelzer come to Eastern are the Newman Catholic Center, Neuro Harmony through the Department of Children and Family Services, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Sigma Lambda Gamma, the Interfraternity Council, the communications studies department, the journalism department, the sociology/anthropology department, the Honors College and the Illinois Early Childhood Collaboration.

“Pelzer surpassed all obstacles in his life to be the success he is today and that is something that can inspire everyone, no matter what major or occupation you have,” Skubisz said.

Skubisz said she plans to go in front of the Apportionment Board to try to obtain more funding so she can make a deposit to Pelzer’s agent.

“Thinking about Pelzer and how he had such a tragic past, most people would let that affect their future, but inside he relives it every day in order to reach out to those that are struggling with suppressing obstacles, problems, or issues in their life,” Skubisz said.

Skubisz also created a Facebook group titled “Get Dave Pelzer to Eastern.”

“I’m hoping that he will be able to come here because I don’t think that we have ever had a speaker like this and I think people will be surprised by how influential and beneficial he can be,” Skubisz said.

Rachel Rodgers can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

Student raises money to bring author to campus

Student raises money to bring author to campus

Katie Skubisz, a junior family and consumer science major, is raising $9,000 to bring Dave Pelzer author of “A Child Called It” to Eastern Illinois University to speak about child abuse. (Katie Overby


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