Iowa City Stories

May 11, 2010

University of Iowa – Fields of philanthropy

Hawkeye’s helpers – The leader of the pact

Caitlin Mangin spending time with the families who are a part of Dance Marathon

The University of Iowa has remarkable students who are a part of the many organizations and philanthropies on campus. These students put their leadership skills to the test and dedicate their time to help raise money for their cause. Molly McDonnell, Caitlin Mangin and Lauren Schulze are prime examples of having leadership positions in a philanthropy/organization to help groups in need.

Molly McDonnell – QUASH

Molly McDonnell is an active member of QUASH, which is an organization to help increase awareness and raise money for those with Alzheimer disease. Many students like McDonnell enjoy the feeling of giving their free time to help others and to increase awareness of a specific cause.

When asked why McDonnell joined QUASH, she replied, “I joined the Hawkeyes Fighting Alzheimer’s group to be apart of the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. As a college kid, I don’t have much time for anything outside of the classroom setting. I have little money to make a significant impact in research. QUASH is a way for young people like myself to actually make an impact through fund-raising and just having a good time with good people for a good cause even in the chaotic and limiting college lifestyle.”

Caitlin Mangin – Dance Marathon

Caitlin Mangin also believes in McDonnell’s philosophy in fund-raising. Mangin has recently been crowned as one of the 49 Dance Marathon Morale Captains for 2011. One of the many reasons why Mangin joined Dance Marathon was because she “wanted to be more involved and Dance Marathon is a great organization to get involved in to help those with cancer.”

“Raising money isn’t that hard. If you really put your work into asking around, it’ll all work out in the end. I emailed a bunch of my family members and the money kept coming in. I raised more than the minimum and it felt great.”

So there are dancers and then there are Morale Captains. What exactly are Morale Captains? “Morale Captains promote Dance Marathon and get people to join and tell people about it. They help fund-raise and we help go visit the kids in the college unit at the hospitals.

Lauren Schulze – Kappa Alpha Theta

The Greek community is also actively involved in fund-raising such as Phi Kappa Psi and Kappa Alpha Theta. These two houses recently had their combined philanthropy event here at the University of Iowa on May 1, 2010. The two houses hosted the event at the field house for the basketball tournament.

Kappa Alpha Theta’s philanthropy chair, Lauren Schulze was in charge of organizing this year’s “Phi Psi & Theta Hoops! 3-v-3 Basketball Tournament”. Schulze let us know exactly what their philanthropy event consisted of and where the raised proceeds go.

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Lending a helping hand – The crew

Others simply join the organization because they relate to the group of people within. Many groups and philanthropies consist of members who have the same interest in the cause. If it weren’t for the members, then these groups wouldn’t exist. The work and dedication of members of certain organizations really make a difference.

Chloe Lee

Chloe Lee participated in the “Phi Psi & Theta Hoops! 3-v-3 Basketball Tournament,” where I got a chance to ask her why she decided to participate in this particular event.

“A lot of the girls in my sorority enjoy being active, physically, and on campus. We wanted to help the other Greek houses for a great cause because we know we like when we have many Greek participants in our philanthropy, too.”

Madison Sheets

Senior Madison Sheets joined a sorority because she “wanted to meet other girls that were like [her] because all of [her] best friends were off to college together and [she] was all alone so [she] thought rush would be a good way to meet people”.

Sheets’ sorority has a different approach than most when it comes to promoting their event and raising proceeds for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, which is a foundation for those diagnosed by breast cancer and those who have survived. Sororities at the University of Iowa do an excellent job at marketing their event – whether it is through social media websites or face-to-face communication, Sheets’ sorority uses the old fashion method because “it is more effective”.

Women of Kappa Alpha Theta during the 3v3 Phi Psi - Theta Hoops Philanthropy Event

“We are all encouraged to ask family members and friends for donations for the race. We also talk to businesses around the Iowa City area and the University for donations, as well. We go canning during home football and basketball games. We chose Z’Mariks and Coldstone, where they give us a certain profit and proceeds. We also go around to different fraternities and sororities and other student organizations asking them to sign up as teams so we can get more donations for the race. And all the proceeds from the race go to our philanthropic fund”.

Sheets loves giving her time to those in need because “it actually feels like your making a difference. The time, stress about making the event as successful as the last makes it all worth it – especially because you’re helping people who have their lives on the line.”

Kaitlin Brown

Like Sheets, sophomore Kaitlin Brown is also a part of a sorority and other organizations on campus. One organization she cares about deeply is Dance Marathon because she “enjoys raising money for a good cause.”

Brown ran the Chicago Marathon in 2009 – which is also a very successful fund-raising event hosted in Chicago, Illinois. Many University of Iowa students ran the Chicago Marathon last year, as well.

Each year, all participants of Dance Marathon have to raise a minimum of $400, where as those who run, or take part in another marathon have to a raise a minimum of $750.

Students usually don’t have the time to raise this kind of money but students, like Brown, tend to surprise and impress many people with the amount of money each of them raise. “I had a lot of fun and a lot of support raising this money. It makes me feel like I was able to make a difference.”

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These dancers take a quick little break and smile for the camera

A little goes a long wayThe givers

Many college students already have a full schedule of classes, work, volunteer work and other activities on campus. Because of these other commitments, most students find donating money just as helpful, because it truly is.

Dominique Deery

Dominique Deery is an active giver to the University of Iowa and the associations affiliated with the University. Deery donates $25 a year to both Dance Marathon and the University of Alumni Association.

“I give to the UI because I am a big believer in improving the quality of student life and making sure it is always an improving experience for future Iowa students.”

Deery’s mother and aunt passed away from cancer and her mother always used to talk about the babies in the cancer clinics that would get the same kind of treatment [her mother] did so Deery wanted to make an impact on a child’s life.

Many students are like Deery and are a part of the University of Iowa Alumni Association because they want to better the education for incoming students. Sheets is also a part of this organization because she wants to “help make students coming to the University of Iowa have the same and better experience” like she.

“For both, I am glad to be a part of it. I wish I could give more, but I feel like every gift counts. What if they were only $25 away from having all the money they need? Then I made a difference. It makes me want to work harder to be able to give more some day.”

Katie Rosch

Katie Rosch, a sophomore at the University of Iowa, gives gifts to the Women in Business organization in the College of Business. She, like Deery, wants to see this particular organization improve and become very successful because Rosch knows “this organization will help those who want to be successful business women someday, just like me”.

Rosch continues to be an active member and continues giving to Women in Business, knowing it will “help [me] in the future. I’m in college, I have low funds but I just think of it as, I’m helping something I strongly believe in and I want this to continue in success. I can’t whip out $100 out of my pocket but I can give $10”.

Nick Eckerman

Nick Eckerman is a student who gives to organization on and off campus. Some organizations he’s been previously, and presently donating to have been Environment Iowa, Dance Marathon at the University of Iowa and United Way.

Eckerman, like many college students can’t seem to fit the time to help organize events so “giving money is the least I can do”.

“My boss takes out 5% of my paycheck for each pay period to donate to United Way. Knowing my earned money is going to a worthwhile cause makes work even more fun that it already is.”

Eckerman is ending his college career here at the University of Iowa this May. He feels great that even though he couldn’t necessarily put the time and effort like other students on campus to coordinate events, Eckerman “donated $25 every year to Dance Marathon, totaling $100”. “I give a lot of credit to those who’ve danced for 24-hours for the past four years, I know I couldn’t do it. In general though, I feel great about giving and will continue giving”.


February 18, 2010

Kate Callahan – More than a student

Being a college student is stressful as it is. With papers and exams continuously coming our way, what more could we fit into with just 24 hours in a day? Sophomore Kate Callahan takes full advantage of what she can manage. Not only is she trying to keep up with her social life by taking 14 semester hours, she also maintains a part-time job, participates in many extra curricular activities on campus, and also has the time management skills to train for marathons.

When asked how she manages her time with training, Callahan responded, “School always comes first but I like to do my workouts in the mornings so I’m energetic throughout the day cause I usually crash at night anyways. I like to get it done and over with.”

Callahan recently ran the Chicago Marathon in October 2009 and placed a remarkable time of 4:02:41, with a broken foot, just about 20 minutes shy for qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
“Well right now, I’m training for the Madison Marathon, which is on May 30, 2010. It’s not as big as big as the Chicago Marathon but you can still qualify for Boston.”

Callahan, just like any college student, has made many sacrifices but more than a typical college student has to make.“There are times when I do my long runs, I don’t have the time or energy to go out so I kind of feel like my social life is on the rocks when I train for marathons, but these are definitely positive sacrifices.”

University of Iowa Dance Marathon the Marathon

Kate Callahan, 19

Another incentive Callahan gained for running the Chicago Marathon was being able to participate in Dance Marathon at the University of Iowa. She was able to run for “Dance Marathon the Marathon” where University of Iowa students participate in the Chicago Marathon to raise even more money for this successful organization on campus.

Gretchen Glynn, 21, also ran the Chicago Marathon under Dance Marathon the Marathon and was designated a morale captain for this past Dance Marathon. Glynn knows just as well how time-consuming this may be for a college student but “it was all worth it in the end.”

Glynn, like Callahan, plans on running marathons in the near future but doesn’t know if she’ll run another while attending school.

“It was so fun and rewarding but there was so much time I had to give with all the morale meetings, training, school, and work. Running buddies and the morale captains helped me stay motivated throughout all this, too. I’ve always wanted to run the New York City Marathon, so I’m sure I can find people to train with me around Iowa City when I have the time but for now, I think I’m done with marathons for the next couple years.”

Running around Iowa City

Callahan has always been physically active her whole life so she likes to keep her well-being her priority. She prefers running outside with those who are also into physical activity because “Iowa City is not only filled with hills and stairs on the Pentacrest, but the city is beautiful and [she] can also site see while training at the same time.”

Lydia Givens, 20, is currently enrolled in Jogging II here at the University of Iowa. She, as well, likes to maintain her physical activity whether it’s running in class or around Iowa City.

“I like working out but with work and school, I feel like I have no time to get the work out time I want. I figured since I had enough room to add a semester hour into my schedule, might as well get a physical activity course in there to make up for lost time.”

Winter training for Mad-Town

Since the Madison Marathon is only a couple months away, Callahan has been training during Iowa City’s brutal winters. When Callahan was asked what she does when snow takes over the streets, she replied, “I hate relying on the treadmill because I feel like it doesn’t have the same effect but if I have to, I usually go [to the gym] between classes, like during my breaks or before or after class. It’s just easier to go to the gym when I’m on campus rather than wasting time going back home and coming right back.”

More marathons, please.

Unlike Glynn, Callahan plans on running more marathons in the near future. Regardless of the positive and negative sacrifices she has to make, she knows it’s for her own benefit, which encourages her to keep on running.

“When I broke my foot in the Chicago Marathon, I couldn’t work out for weeks and I could feel my attitude was changing in a negative way. I didn’t know what to do with my time off because I always do workouts or something in my free time. Now that I’m in college, I feel like I need to do something to keep myself healthy – so this is the route I’ve been taking for years and I plan on keeping it this way.”

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