When Patricia Masters, a nursing student at Penn State Worthington Scranton, decided to hold a fundraiser to benefit victims of child sexual abuse as her final class project for her Social Problems 005 class, she wasn't exactly sure what the end result would be.
On August 7 she found out.
Her Happy Hour Fundraiser at Kildare's in downtown Scranton that evening raised nearly $2,000 for The Children's Advocacy Center, which provides a full range of services to children who are victims of abuse, and a lot of awareness for the Center and its cause. Organizers estimated the attendance that night as over 150 individuals.
Students, faculty, and the general public paid $20 to attend, half of which was donated by Kildare's to the Center, and raffle tickets were sold. A total of 28 gift baskets were up for grabs, a testament to the hard work Ms. Masters, and some of her fellow classmates did prior to the event to get local businesses and vendors to donate items so that additional funds could be raised.
Maripat O'Donnell, instructor for the Social Problems 005 class, praised Ms. Masters' efforts and all the hard work she put into the fundraiser. "Patricia really worked very hard on this and I'm glad to see it's turned out so well," she said on the evening of the event, as friends and supporters started filing into Kildare's for the event.
Mary Ann LaPorta, executive director of the Children's Advocacy Center, said that local Penn State Worthington Scranton alumni have historically been supportive of the CAC's efforts and mission, but with this particular effort, she found it even more philosophically important that the iniative for this fundraiser came through a student at the campus.
"What she was able to pull off, in a relatively short timeframe, was incredible," Ms. LaPorta said. "We were all energized and inspired by the level of commitment that Patricia had; and even more impressive was that she made the connection between the curriculum of the course she was studying and the tragedy of child abuse, and took it upon herself to do something about it."
Ms. LaPorta said she was especially impressed by the level of commitment Ms. Masters showed once she got involved with the fundraiser. "She became totally immersed in the meaning and the message," Ms. LaPorta explained.
The Children's Advocacy Center in Scranton is a non-profit that helps victims of child abuse. However, despite its non-profit status, it receives no dedicated funding from state or local sources and relies on fundraisers, such as the one organized by Ms. Masters, as well as grants, individual donors and other sources of funding.
Anyone interested in learning more about the CAC and its efforts, or in becoming a volunteer or donor, can learn more at its newly launched website: cacnepa.org.