BY AMIELLE CHRISTOPHERSON/PHOTO BY SARAH LAFLAMME
Those walking through the Forum Nov. 27 would have seen a table set up in front of the Wellness Week motivational posters. Manned by Augustana Advancement staff, Assistant Director Bree Urkow and Communications Coordinator Sydney Tancowny, the two were helping spread the word about and collect donations for this year’s Giving Tuesday project.
Giving Tuesday is a follow up to the spending that happens during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, often putting funds towards community and social justice projects. This year, Augustana Advancement was collecting donations for a Winter Rec Library.
According to Jadene Mah, the Athletic Services Coordiantor, this project was encouraged by Dean Allen Berger almost three years ago. The idea is that the Winter Rec Library will be a borrowing program comprised of skates and cross country skis made available to Augustana students, “in part with the hope that we could promote an active outdoor life during the winter for our international students,” said Mah in an e-mail.
Mah said, Nordic Legend, Les Parsons, pushed the project forward and contacted Head Librarian Nancy Goebel, whom Mah said “was on board immediately!”, and Feisal Kirumira, as an International Student Advisor. Almost three years later, with much support from ED of Student Life, Randal Nickel, the project is starting to take off.
The parties involved with making this project a reality are the Augustana Library, the Augustana Vikings’ Nordic Club Team, Campus Recreation – Student Life, Augsutana Advancement, and Dean of Students’ Office.
During Giving Tuesday, the group was looking to raise $4,000 for the project, which already includes a $2,000 matching gift. They have also already received an additional grant of $7,000 from the Dean of Students’ Office to make this project a reality.
Although the bulk of the fundraising effort was done through Giving Tuesday on Nov. 27, the Winter Rec Library is still accepting gifts. Those who are interested in donating can visit the Office of Advancement (L-34D AG01 Founders Hall) or do so online, indicating the gift is for the Augustana Innovation Fund (Giving Tuesday-Winter Rec Library).
All fundraised monies will go towards costs of the project, which includes purchasing skis and skates and storage cabinets.
The group is looking to purchase 20 complete sets of cross country skis and 10 pairs of boots to go along with them and an undecided number of hockey style skates.
Although ski donations are not being accepted, skates can be donated, as long as they’re hockey skates in good conditions. The sizes most needed are men’s 8, 9, and 10. Those can be dropped off at the Augustana Fitness Centre with name and contact information.
To go along with the equipment, there will also be programming put in place. There will be Learn to Ski and Learn to Skate programs rolled out in the New Year.
“Programming will include instruction and encouragement from the Nordic and hockey teams,” said Mah, adding that, “the ‘learn to’ opportunities are critical parts of our larger plan to encourage campus rec involvement.”