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Students were dodging, running, and laser-gunning for a good cause at Habitat for Humanity’s fundraiser on Friday, April 27. This fundraiser, also known as Habitat After Dark, took place in the Spaulding Gymnasium where the only lights flashing were that of strobe and disco illuminations. Laser-tag was set up on one half of the gym and a rave dance floor filled the other portion.
Fundraising coordinator Brandon Carta explained that “The fundraiser doesn’t go to us. None of the money raised goes to Habitat, it all goes to a time and location we pick at the beginning of the year.”
This year’s choice was Vermont Flood Relief after Hurricane Irene took its toll in the state. The donation fee at the door was $2, including not only a laser tag game round but a Habitat t-shirt and food as well. Earlier that day was the group’s Habitat Day, where group members played games and had activities such as table building.
Members and other volunteers wrote their hopes and dreams on these tables which were later donated to YMCA’s Camp Dakota in Vermont.
Amie Gagnon of Habitat for Humanity said, “We figured people would really like the UV and idea with laser-tag because we don’t really have that with activities here.”
Gagnon expressed that the point of Habitat Day and Habitat After Dark was to raise money for flood relief and spread awareness about the club itself.
Bonnie Chalmers, also of Habitat for Humanity, said Habitat Day began a few years ago. She said Habitat Day is a “celebration of Habitat for Humanity and we wanted to pair it with a fundraiser to raise money.”
“It’s a $2 entry fee, but that’s so much for $2, and all that money is going straight to flood relief,” Chalmers said. Habitat for Humanity member Jen Grivers said, “We’re [Habitat] open, we’re friendly, we support a cause,” and explained that the group aimed to “provide a little relaxation and fun before finals.”
“I think Habitat Day should be something that’s done at least once a year if not twice a year just to celebrate our accomplishments and what we mean to this campus,” Chalmers said.
Prior to the event, Chalmers said, “Regardless of how many people we have here I hope that people have fun and enjoy it and that we raise a lot of money for Vermont flood relief.” That is exactly what the group did, according to Grivers. “We got all the t-shirts sold, so we made $230 for Vermont, so that’s really great. Grivers expressed satisfaction with the event’s turnout.
“I’m really happy with the event. So far all the people I talked to really enjoyed it and definitely want to see this happen again,” she said. Chalmers agreed with Grivers’ comment. Chalmers said, “I was so happy with the way the event went. I don’t think it could have gotten any better. We had a really great group of people, we had a lot of people, and overall I think it went very smoothly.”
Students came in large groups and many groups came in waves throughout the night. When it was each group’s turn, they were briefed on rules and instructions before DJ Aaron Testa shouted “Ready, set, go!”
Students scrambled across the floor, ducked from laser beams, and made shouts of victories as well as shrieks of defeat. Grivers said, “So many people are willing to do something other than go out and party, they do want to have other options.” Grivers continued, “They’re willing to help a different cause and have fun at the same time so I thought that was really good to see so many people come out and support Habitat and what we are all about.”
Grivers said she felt that students who either couldn’t or didn’t attend the event missed out. “It was a definitely a fun night. We played laser tag – how often do you get to do that at school in the gym?” Grivers prompted.
She continued, “You get free food and then you’re also supporting a place that needs it, that needs the money, the help to rebuild what was lost during the floods this summer.”
Carta compared the four years most KSC students are at college to a four-year interview. He explained that getting involved in clubs and activities such as Habitat for Humanity helps individuals grow and said he has gained leadership from his work with Habitat for Humanity.
“I think that on this campus, a lot of people have a lot of potential at the school and people don’t use that potential as much as they could and people should get involved and you’re only in college once,” Carta said.
Habitat Day and Habitat After Dark were the last fundraisers of the year for the organization.
Chalmers commented, “It’s really important for our organization because I think while we’ve been on campus for years and we do a lot of events through the year, every event makes a difference.”
Chalmers continued and explained where the fundraised cash would end up. Chalmers explained,“The money does go to a great cause and I think that was a really important aspect of the event but another important aspect of the event is that we were able to give our campus something to do and somewhere to have fun.”
According to Carta, Habitat for Humanity put on more events this year than in years past.
The group plans on putting on more events next year and fundraising as much as possible after this academic year’s successes.
Brittany Ballantyne can be contacted at