Baring soles for Toms

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On a campus of 2,100 students, fundraisers can become repetitive. However, when groups decide to get creative, fundraising can bring in the big bucks.

This is the approach the Allegheny Student Government took while planning their fundraiser for Toms shoes.

Dorm storming and tabling for a good cause can get tiring and can yield meager results. So the senators of ASG thought creatively. A dinner to support the organization was set up in Schultz banquet hall last Wednesday April 7.

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Toms is devoted to supplying shoes to children in third world and developing countries.

They operate on what they call a “one to one” business plan. This means that for every pair of shoes that someone purchases from them, they give a pair to a child in need.

With a self–serve dinner provided by Parkhurst that consisted of pasta, sauce, salad and garlic bread with chocolate cake for dessert, most students referred to it as a nice change from the usual campus food.

Students were able to pay for the meal with their AllCards or buy tickets for $5. Half of the proceeds from each ticket will be donated to Toms.

With each meal purchased, supporters were given a raffle ticket and entered to win one of 19 $50 gift cards to Toms shoes.

The fundraiser was the brain child of the Class of 2012.

The event planners wanted the dinner to coincide with Toms “One Day Without Shoes” which took place the day after the dinner.

Although the official results are not in yet, ASG representative Kami Forgie, ‘12, estimates that the dinner brought in about $750.   

The dinner was so successful that the ASG estimated participation was surpassed.

According to Forgie, the dinner was originally planned for about 200 people. Considering attendance from previous dinners, the senators thought that this would be a sufficient number to plan for.

However, the Toms dinner sparked the interest of about 300 students. ASG had to call for more food.

The senators’ number one goal in setting up the dinner was to create awareness about Toms shoes and its mission.

Facts about the dangers of living without shoes were written on paper feet that lined the tables and walls of the Schultz banquet hall.

According to the Toms Web site, soil–transmitted diseases are prevalent in developing countries. Without shoes, injuries  become infected. Also, many children can’t attend school because they don’t have shoes, which are a necessary part of school uniforms.

Toms is also the creator of “One Day Without Shoes,” an annual event April 8 to promote awareness about their cause.

“One Day Without Shoes” is exactly what the name connotes: a day where participants go through their daily routines in just their socks or bare feet.

ASG would like to make the “benefit for the barefoot” dinner an annual event and possibly do “bigger and better things [for Toms] in the future.”

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