TRAX Delivers Fun, Foam and Fundraising

Students raise money for charity:water through the Foam Party at TRAX.

Producing a dance floor full of bubbles may seem like an unlikely way to raise money for an organization called charity: water, but Brian Maehl ’14, founder of Susquehanna’s new charity: water club, proved that theory wrong. The party raised more than $500 for the international nonprofit organization by the same name, which provides clean water to communities in developing nations.

The club’s popularity is defying logic, too. In this year, its first, the club is attracting 20 to 60 students to its meetings each week and raising money—and its campus profile—by organizing events such as the foam party and the SU Holidays 2011 campaign, which included festive activities like caroling and a gingerbread house– making contest.

Maehl was attracted to charity: water’s work because of its 100 percent model—meaning all public donations go directly to water projects—and its practice of sending GPS coordinates and photos of completed wells to donors.

“When money is given, a direct impact is seen,” says Maehl. “All of these things contribute to my passion for the organization and why I wanted to start a campus club so much.”

This passion fueled preparations for the foam party at TRAX, Susquehanna’s on-campus, student-only nightclub.

Ethan Sentz ’13, operations manager at TRAX, says charity: water’s fundraising and awareness initiatives“are pretty remarkable when you think that it was possible through a foam party at a college dance club.”

Charity: water is not the only group to utilize TRAX’s charitable potential. Last fall, sorority Zeta Tau Alpha hosted a Highlighter T-Shirt Party at TRAX that raised money for breast cancer research, and Colleges Against Cancer threw a Tacky Sweater Party to promote the upcoming Relay for Life. Other fundraising events have included fraternity Phi Mu Delta’s annual Beach Party to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Sigma Alpha Iota’s Battle of the Bands, which raised hundreds of dollars for charity.

Campus organizations also use events at TRAX to promote their groups. Ebony Bradley ’13, TRAX event staff and public relations coordinator, says, “Mostly all of our events are in collaboration with student organizations. We believe that it is very important to support student initiatives and offer our services to as many organizations as we can.”

Contributing writers to the People & Places section are Karen M. Jones, assistant director of media relations; and Megan McDermott ’14, a creative writing and religion major from Lewisberry, Pa.

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