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Rain or shine “Blackout” fundraiser successful

October 1, 2010

After weeks of planning for Family Weekend’s “Blackout” football game, not even rain could stop a successful fundraiser for the Easter Seals Society. Since before the school year started, coach Steve Bell and the football team, as well as the Service House on campus have been working hard to promote a “Blackout” game to raising money for Easter Seals. 

Easter Seals is an organization that for almost 90 years now has been dedicated to helping individuals and children with special needs. The group offers services to children with disabilities such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, transportation and more. They also educate families about their child’s disabilities to know what is needed to help the child maintain daily function.

In 2008 Elmwood-Brimfield Illinois High School’s head football coach, Todd Hollis, came up with the idea to start “Blackouts.” It was hoped that this philanthropy would educate and involve students as well as the community in fundraising for Easter Seals. Since then, schools all over Illinois have started hosting a “Blackout” game during their football season. It was coach Hollis who contacted Bell, about a “Blackout” night here at MC. Bell then contacted students living in Service House to see if they would be organize the event.

Easter Seals then came to campus and sports teams were invited to come to the talk about what their organization stands for. “The whole football team showed up … it was impressive,” said senior Cami Johnson. The Student-Athelete Advisory Council and the football team began contributing to planning for the “Blackout”. From there a Facebook page was set up and sports information director Dan Nolan, sent out a message to all alumni about the Easter Seals “Blackout”. Campus wide e-mails and fliers were also sent out to all the area businesses and organizations around Monmouth.

T-shirts were then made available for students to purchase for $10 in honor of the “Blackout”. The shirts were black with white writing and had the Easter Seals logo on the back along with their trademark lily that, according to their website was adopted due to its meaning of resurrection and new life. The front of the shirt had the “Blackout” writing along with MC versus Illinois College.

Those who purchased the t-shirts were told to wear them during the football game on Sept. 25, for the actual “Blackout”.

Although rain put a damper on the spirit at Saturday’s football game, there was no shortage in success of the “Blackout.”

“The weather did have an effect, but it was still very, very successful,” said Johnson. “We ordered 75 extra shirts to have at the gate, and we sold all but one. If we had a larger amount of smaller sizes, we could have sold a ton more! The t-shirts were gone before the football team even went on the field for the national anthem.”

Monmouth College sold more than 550 t-shirts and raised around $3,100 to donate to Easter Seals toward providing services for the families. The college hopes to continue fundraising for the group in years to come. “It is a goal to make it an annual event. Hopefully it will happen again next football season,” added Johnson.

Co-News Editor

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