Brittany Ballantyne

Equinox staff


Imagine whipped cream littering the floor, causing some passerby to lose balance. All of this was for charity.

On Friday, April 1 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Carle Hall was the Pie Event, where resident assistants volunteered to get pied in the face to raise money for the organization Be Like Brit. While this event had many purposes, such as bringing the dorm community closer, the main goal was to support a charity that began with a girl named Britney Gengel.

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Gengel attended Lynn University where she participated in a trip to Haiti with her class and group “Food for the Poor.” There she helped children living in orphanages.

These children were so thankful that they touched Gengel in a transforming and powerful way.

Gengel texted her mother on Jan. 12, 2010 saying, “They love us so much and everyone is so happy. They love what they have and they work so hard to get nowhere and they are all so appreciative…I want to move here and start an orphanage.”

Hours later, she, as well as 230,000 others, passed away in the Haiti earthquake that tore many lives and hearts apart.

Gengel’s family decided to start Be Like Brit, a non-profit organization whose mission is to serve the children of Haiti by “establishing a safe, nurturing and sustainable orphanage in an environment where they can grow, learn, and thrive.” By raising money, this organization can continue to finish Gengel’s journey in helping these children of this third world country.

Even help from a relatively small school like Keene State College can make a difference. RA and RD Shannon Jordan of Carle Hall lined up on a plastic sheet waiting to be whipped creamed in the face.

Each whipped cream pie cost just 50 cents, making it easy for students to offer petty change for a good cause. Hundreds of pies were made and sold and laughter and shouts bounced off the walls of the lobby.

Those who pied the residential staff had a great time doing so and multiple times volunteers who were pied sought revenge and playfully got back at their residents.

Event coordinator and resident Brian Fitzpatrick was ecstatic over the event and said he was “so excited we have all these people here, the RAs are excited to get pied in the face… everyone’s peppy and we’re having a good time.”

Right as he had finished his statement, a fellow resident and friend surprise attacked him with a pie to the face. Another one of the event’s coordinators, Alyssa McKernan, is from Gengel’s hometown of Rutland, Mass. McKernan was busy explaining the charity to participants and on-lookers who were curious about what the charity did for humanity.

She worked hard the whole event working to sell not only 50-cent pies, but t-shirts and bracelets for the charity as well, spreading word throughout the KSC community.

McKernan was “excited to raise money for Be Like Brit, but [she] wished it was outside so [they] could make it more campus-wide.” Originally the event was scheduled to take place outside of the L.P. Young Student Center to attract a bigger crowd alongside the Make-A-Wish Carnival. However, both events had to change their plans due to the always changing New Hampshire weather. Regardless, the event raised a good amount of money for the cause. Many students donated money worth more than five pies, and some students put in money only to give up the chance to pie an RA or RD in the face.

There were more volunteers than expected, and some residents considered volunteering themselves to get pied as well.

Even the RD’s husband volunteered, where the couple was double-teamed and tagged in the face at the same time with cans of whipped cream. In addition to the pies were free Air-Head candies, hot chocolate, and a donut-on-a-string contest. Students who could bite powdered donuts off a series of strings were awarded a free pie.

This donut activity was a powdery success, and a number of students won pies from their eating-off-a-string skills.

Many of the pie-throwers came back for more, thrilled to pie their “landlords” after semesters of living with them. It was all good-hearted fun, and by the middle of the event some RAs were pie-ing each other.

RA begged for towels and laughed at how silly they looked and felt.

White suds splattered across their clothes, faces, arms, and heads. Students who bought pies made sure they put their pie to good use, not letting any cream go to waste.

Resident Assistant Sydney Dionne was covered and frosted in whipped cream while she explained that it was all worth it.

“I feel really gross, but it’s for charity! We had a successful turnout and it was definitely worth it. It’s nice to be able to do something since it was such as terrible earthquake” she said. “I’m gonna go shower now!” she laughed as the floor council crew began to clean up the cream filled lobby.

Those who participated and volunteered were happy to have raised money for a good cause while having a blast doing so.

If you would like to learn more about this charity or donate yourself, visit their website at


Brittany Ballantyne can be contacted at

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