SPC

The Student Philanthropy Council hosted Philanthropy Day in February, and it is currently working with the Office of Annual Giving to fundraise for Grant Street Park.

Alumnus Terry Serafini’s $10,000 challenge, which stated Serafini would donate $10,000 toward Grant Street Park if 100 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors donated to the park project, was reached by students. But the Office of Annual Giving and the Student Philanthropy Council (SPC) continue fundraising.

“We appreciate all of the support and generosity of our IUP students,”  said Mary Jo Ludwig, assistant director of the Office of Annual Giving. “But our work is not done.”

SPC is teaming up with WIUP-FM to host a block party event from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 12 at Grant Street. 

The party will be held in front of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Building in front of Subway, and they will be providing refreshments, music and prizes. The location isn’t just for convenience, Ludwig said.

“We chose the location of the event for the students to look at the graphic and then look down Grant Street and imagine the unlimited possibilities for this park,” Ludwig said. “That block wall [between Grant Street and Subway] will come down, and students will be able to sit in an outdoor patio area and enjoy the park while eating their lunch.”

In addition to thanking supporters and building more awareness, the block party will give students the opportunity to donate for the chance to win a “special giveaway” and raffle prizes. 

SPC is focused on students and organizations who would like to “make their mark” by providing a tree, bench or table to the park. Donations will have a plaque displaying donors’ names.

Several residence halls and departments helped support the park this semester, too. 

Dr. John Benhart, geography and regional planning chair, helped organize the geography department’s “Free Pizza for a Cause” event March 26. Students were invited to enjoy free pizza and make a monetary gift to the park. Ludwig said the support was “truly amazing” and that many made a donation. 

The SPC has been working to make the Grant Street Park a reality, and thanks to Serafini, a 1961 IUP alumnus, his $10,000 contribution will match the donations from each class. 

Students were encouraged to donate what they wanted, and as of Friday, each class had more than 100 donors: 105 freshman, 109 sophomores, 112 juniors and 257 seniors, with graduate students contributing as well.

In an email to the student body March 22, SPC President Alex Ickes expressed the importance of the “ripple effect” and the difference that even a smaller donation can make on campus.

“I know firsthand that college is expensive,” Ickes said. “A donation less than an hour’s wage or a cup of coffee can provide support to create new campus resources, improve our education and even create a new green space here on campus.” 

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