Sept. 20, 2001
CLEMSON – Clemson students are lending a hand to help volunteers from the Pickens and Oconee County chapters of the American Red Cross collect donations at Saturday’s football game.
From 3 to 6:30 p.m., as people are filing in for Clemson’s football game against Virginia, volunteers from both the Red Cross and several student organizations will be posted at all gates of Memorial Stadium to accept donations to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Public donations can be made only with cash or check, but students may use their TigerStripe accounts for donations at gate 1. Volunteers will be recognizable by special T-shirts.
The idea to have a fund raiser at the game stemmed from a discussion between a small group of Clemson students and staff who wanted to do something to help the victims of the tragedies in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. When the group got word of a press release from Gov. Jim Hodges asking high schools and colleges around the state to collect money for the South Carolina Cares Fund, which has already raised more than $325,000 for the Red Cross, they knew what they could do.
Ben Walker, a Clemson senior involved with the Student Union, was one of the students who initiated the plan.
“We wanted to show our Clemson unity, to show that the Clemson family is part of the American family,” Walker said.
University president Jim Barker said he is proud of the way the students have united and responded to the crisis. He added that this is one more example of “One Clemson,” as all members of the Clemson family unite with a common goal.
“I am very pleased to see this collaborative effort that has been initiated by our students,” said Barker. “There are so many students here who have wanted to do something to help, and this fund raiser will provide an opportunity for everyone at the game on Saturday to help those in need.”
Julie Walters-Steele, director of major events at Clemson University, is one of the staff members who helped the students organize the efforts.
“It’s been great to see how the university has come together as one to support those who are suffering,” said Walters-Steele. “I am sure people will donate generously. I am optimistic that the Clemson family will raise lots of money to help in the disaster relief efforts.”
Gary Kirby, student body president, said that the fund raiser is a way for students who felt the need to do something to “apply action to their feelings.” He also spoke about Clemson’s strong military heritage.
“Clemson has a lot of links to history, and particularly because of our military legacy, we have a strong feeling of responsibility to do something,” said Kirby. “We’ve all heard of past generations at Clemson taking action, such as our grandparents in World War II. This is our generation’s time to do what we know we can do.”
Among the student organizations involved are Tigers Who Care, Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Epsilon Delta and Omicron Delta Kappa. The last time donations were taken at a football game at Clemson was in 1989, when donations were collected for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to help the victims of Hurricane Hugo.
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