Panthers to give ‘Paws For A Cause’

Mercury Bowen, Entertainment Reporter

Paws For A Cause, a fundraiser taking place during homecoming week, will invite people to donate money to local charities.

In thanks for contributing, donators will receive a “Panther PAW” on which to write their name.

The PAWS will then be displayed in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union during homecoming week.

The charities to receive the donations will include Paradise Equestrian Therapy, a local nonprofit therapy center, HOPE, a local domestic violence shelter, and three local food pantries.

People may donate to Paws For A Cause all week.

Donation areas will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday outside the Physical Science building and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday outside of Coleman hall.

Natalia Rivera, the chair of the campus/community relations committee, said she thinks the event will be a great cause.

“Doing volunteer and charity work is super important,” Rivera said. “Even having something like this on such a big week where it is more focused on fun activities is a great thing.”

The reason the committee chose to do Paws For A Cause was to benefit those who wanted to help out but did not have time to volunteer, Rivera said.

“We always try to do a charity donation for Homecoming,” Rivera said. “We thought it’d be a great way for people to be able to volunteer kind of passively. I know that midterms are this week and next week so it’s a little hectic. They might not be able to go to a volunteer event, but donating money is always a good thing.”

Caitlyn Gastfield, a graduate assistant advisor to Rivera, said one reason why donating will be important would be to give back to the community.

“I think we celebrate who we are as a university during this week,” Gastfield said. “A big thing about that is the community. I mean we wouldn’t be who we are without being in Charleston, so giving back to the people in Charleston and a little thank you for letting us live here is what it’s all about.”

Gastfield said the event will also be about awareness.

“We thought with Homecoming we’re really promoting school pride and we should involve the community as much as possible,” Gastfield said. “I think we should also be able to give back to them. It’s kind of a celebration of that as well.”

Keeping in touch with Eastern life was what Rivera said led her to taking the position of leader.

“I thought it would be a great way to get more involved in the Eastern community,” Rivera said. “I knew that I was moving off-campus, and I still wanted to stay connected to things going on at Eastern.”

What would make the event successful according to Gastfield would be raising awareness as well as funds.

“Raising a lot of money is great, but just to have people know about it and think about it (is important),” Gastfield said. “If they can even just learn about these places and look into them in the future, I think that would be successful and have people talking about it and realizing its importance.”

Mercury Bowen can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].