Marquette Wire

The thousand dollar face-off

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Competition and charity don’t normally mix. In fact, on the surface they seem to be direct opposites of each other.

This is not the case with the Kapco Charitable Challenge. The competition to help others consists of $15,000, 15 groups of students, two rounds and one winner.

Teams from Marquette, Concordia University Wisconsin and Wisconsin Lutheran University each received a $1,000 grant from Kapco Metal Stamping Inc. on Jan. 27 to do as much good with the money as possible.

Each school has five teams, and each team will present their work before a panel of judges on Thursday. One worthy group from each school will then be chosen to move on to the second round, where they could receive thousands of dollars more to put toward the charity of their choice.

The three teams competing in the last round will make a final presentation to a panel on March 4, with the winner of the competition being announced later that night.

With time winding down in the first round, the Marquette teams are steadily giving back to the Milwaukee community as they vie for a seat in the final round.

The sleep out on campus was one of several events hosted by SHYMilwaukee this past week. It was meant to demonstrate the issues faced by homeless youth in Milwaukee.

Name: Support Homeless Youth in Milwaukee

Mission statement: “We recognize that our world is in need of hope. Together we commit ourselves to opening our hearts to those around us. Our family stretches beyond the walls of our house — we are called to give shelter to our brothers and sisters on the streets, open our closets to our parents without clean clothing, share our tables with children lacking a meal, and empty our pockets to family members in need. We can change the world we live in, we can change the lives of those around us, we can make this community a family. Through charity we can build a family of love.”

Goal: SHYMilwaukee wanted to alert the public to the 400 kids that sleep on Milwaukee’s streets any given night. Group members hoped to raise money to buy items for Pathfinders, the only shelter exclusively for youth in Milwaukee. SHY planned a fundraising campaign that included a variety show and a fundraiser at the Qdoba Mexican Grill on Marquette’s campus. Last Tuesday, a portion of Qdoba’s sales from the hours of 5 to 9 p.m. was donated to SHY.

Results: SHY raised more than $3,400, according to Lisa Cathelyn, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences and one of the founding members of the all-freshmen group. SHY plans to buy a dishwasher, a computer and a host of recreational items such as board games and sports items for Pathfinders. Approximately 160 people attended its variety show, “SHYne a Light.” It included performances by the Spanish O’Donnells, a YouTube singing sensation from Marquette, and teenagers from Pathfinders. Last Friday, approximately 30 people went to SHY’s “Homeless Youth Sleepout,” in which students slept outside all night between the Alumni Memorial Union and McCormick Hall to raise awareness about the children who sleep on the streets every night.

Kappa Sigma chose Franklin Pierce Elementary, located in the Riverwest neighborhood, as the lucky recipient of a new computer lab.

Name: Kappa Sigma Fraternity

Mission statement: “Founded on the noble principles of Fellowship, Scholarship, Leadership and Service, the Kappa Sigma Fraternity is dedicated to the promotion of the youth and their education at Pierce Elementary. It is our belief that a quality education is the way to a brighter future. With this in mind, we then have the duty to promote the best education possible, on every occasion, for every student at Pierce Elementary School.”

Goal: One of Marquette’s eight InterFraternity Council members, Kappa Sigma chose to help the local Franklin Pierce Elementary School, 2765 N. Fratney St., in its efforts to get a computer lab for students. Kappa Sigma used social media such as Facebook and Twitter to network and get as many computers donated to Pierce as possible. Joey Kimes, Kappa Sigma president and junior in the College of Communication, said they were using their $1,000 to pay for donors to ship their lightly used computers to the fraternity house. Kimes said Kappa Sigma plans to fix up the computers before giving them to Pierce.

Results: Kappa Sigma has already received about 20 computers, and Kimes said the group expects to receive twice as many in the coming weeks. Pending school board approval, Shepherd Middle School in Ottawa, Ill., has committed to donate 20 computers to Pierce, Kimes said.

Vince Howard, senior (from left), Tim Lyons, junior, Phil Hanson, senior and Nate Schultz, senior, work on planning events for Men Serving Others that will aid the homeless.

Name: Men Serving Others

Mission statement: “As a group of young men inspired by Jesuit ideals, we are called to be men working for others by immersing ourselves into the community we are serving, empowering others to reach their own potential, and actively working to help close the gap of poverty and privilege in the Greater Milwaukee area.”

Goal: Men Serving Others has a fairly lofty goal: eradicate Milwaukee poverty one person at a time. MSO is working with Repairers of the Breach, a daytime shelter striving to get Milwaukee’s homeless population back on its feet. MSO plans to furnish Repairers’ career center and communications room with three computers, a projector, a large table and a projector screen.

Results: MSO sought donations from local businesses and raised more than $1,000 to donate to Repairers. They also have gone to the shelter at least once a week during the competition to work with the homeless on acquiring the right job and interview skills. Andrew Schueller, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said his group plans to volunteer long after the competition is over. “We plan on continuing the project even after August, establishing relationships with Marquette University Career Services and the College of Business Administration,” Schueller wrote in an e-mail to the Tribune. MSO is also working to partner with local businesses that are willing to provide resources and participate in the job skills training sessions that will be held in the career center at Repairers, Schueller said.

Johnny Wright, junior, and Katie Simoncic, sophomore, bring eight bags of donated goods worth approximately $2,000 to Pathfinders.

Name: Orientation Staff

Mission: “Our team recognizes the inherent dignity of each human person. We believe that some of the basic necessities of life, like proper hygiene and clean clothes, can reinforce that dignity. Informed by and called to embody the Jesuit value of cura personalis, care for the whole person, our mission is to provide those basic necessities to the guests of Pathfinders, a shelter for homeless and at-risk young people in Milwaukee.”

Goal: O-Staff got a rather late start in the competition after realizing the Food and Drug Administration did not approve the eyeglasses they wanted to provide to homeless Milwaukeeans. The glasses, which allow the wearer to correct his or her own vision by adjusting the level of fluid in the lens, have been distributed to the poor in 15 countries — but not the United States. “After a series of dead ends, we were made aware of Pathfinders by a friend of our group,” said David Kruse, a member of O-Staff and senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. Pathfinders, which is also being sponsored by SHY-Milwaukee, gave O-Staff a wish list that included items the teenagers at Pathfinders could find useful.

Results: Through thrifty shopping at Walgreens and a 15 percent discount given by a manager at Kohl’s, O-Staff members were able to buy about $2,000 worth of items with their $1,000, according to Kruse. O-Staff’s donations consisted mostly of new pairs of jeans and underwear, along with hundreds of dollars worth of toiletries.

John Ebben, senior, signs a petition that will help the Burke Scholars further the progress of the Milwaukee Professional Learning Institute.

Name: Burke Scholars

Mission statement: “In the spirit of Dick Burke, who transformed each of our lives, we seek to use the resources entrusted to us to create transformative, sustainable change in our community that will continue in perpetuity. Above all, we seek to serve the voiceless in our community, to see them as whole people and to use the gifts, resources and talents entrusted to us to bring about meaningful, empowering change.”

Goal: Parker Hoerz, administrative assistant for the Burke Scholarship Program, said the Burke Scholars are using their $1,000 in a long-term project. “The team wants to use the Kapco competition as a takeoff point for a more extensive project that will continue over the course of the next year and beyond,” Hoerz wrote in an e-mail to the Tribune. The Burke Scholars plan to start a community organizing course with the Milwaukee Professional Learning Institute, a group that prepares students for higher education. Hoerz said he hopes this class will inspire high school students to make a difference in their community. The Burke Scholars plan to hold this course for approximately 30 high school students per semester and want to get Marquette faculty involved in teaching it.

Results: The Burke Scholars plan to launch the organizing class in September 2010.

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