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2012 Winter Issue 2 (January 20, 2012)

‘Volunteer for Carleton’ raises big money for Carleton

January 20, 2012
By Nick Bellos and Libby Isenstein

Carls came out in droves this week to munch on free Kurry Kabab and reach out to alums in the annual Volunteer for Carleton stewardship event held in the Great Hall.

With more than 450 students already having participated and nearly $20,000 raised, organizers on Thursday were quick to declare VFC 2012 a success.

“Slam dunk and a half,” Alumni Fund Annual Officer Rob Herrick said.

Volunteers sent over 3,800 postcards to alumni and donors thanking them for their generosity.
“To top 500 students—having that many people come out is a huge success,” Associate Director of the Alumni Annual Fund (AAF) Stefanie Herrick ’01 said, anticipating over 50 new volunteers on Thursday night.

VFC first began in 1996 as a simple phone-a-thon, but has evolved into an event where students thank volunteers and donors and solicit donations from Carleton community members.

“A big focus is raising awareness for what alumni do after leaving campus,” Stefanie Herrick said.
While the free food certainly sweetened the deal, many students wanted to express their appreciation to the alums and volunteers who have given time and money to make the Carleton experience possible.

“It’s good to give back. This is a piece of cake,” Chas Karch ’13 said, after completing his a stack of postcards. Pausing to craft another thank you card, he added laughing, “Friday night, this is where I’m gonna be.”

“It’s a nice way to connect with alumni and spend time with students,” Kian Flynn ’12 said nearby.
A student committee helped the AAF plan the event, and was specifically responsible for thinking of ways to make VFC a fun and appealing event for the volunteers. 

“Helping to organize the event was fun too because it was a good way to share my enthusiasm and help convince people that it’s not something to write off,” said Katie France ’12, one of the student organizers. The student committee helped plan various incentives for student volunteers to attend the event.

Dinner was provided every night, and students were able to use points they earned by making phone calls or writing postcards, to enter a raffle with prizes donated from the Carleton community and local Northfield businesses. These prizes, including a $100 Target gift card, many gift certificates to restaurants and stores in Northfield, and even some home-baked items from professors, will be awarded in a live auction and raffle today at 3 p.m. in the Great Hall.

Such a high number of students volunteered that on Wednesday night, organizers had run out of postcards and had gone through most of the calling lists.

“As one of the participants said Wednesday night, the calling especially is extremely addicting, which really shouldn’t be such a big surprise. Alums are Carls too; they’re fun!” said France.

 “Volunteer for Carleton is a super easy way to thank the wider Carleton community for their support,” said student organizer Dia Davis ’12.  “Alums, parents, and friends of the college do so much (monetary and otherwise) to keep our school the great place it is today and it is important to recognize that.”

France echoed Davis’ excitement. “At the base of it, one of the reasons I love Volunteer for Carleton is the energy. Going to the Great Hall, you get a sense of how much this place means to both past and present students, and quite apart from the excitement about earning points, it really helps you appreciate what this great experience is all about.”

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