Even without a Bat-Signal or capes, many Newman University supporters answered the call to “Be A Hero” during the fourth annual Giving Day fundraiser Feb. 28.
The 24-hour fundraiser involved $20,000 worth of matching opportunities from generous donors, competitive giving challenges, minute-to-win-it games, a trivia game night and more.
“Our Newman community really embraced the ‘Be A Hero’ theme, from donating to sharing posts on social media, to participating in our live events,” Laura Hartley, director of annual giving, said. “All these things really showed how much our community cares about Newman University’s students and caring is really what being a hero is all about.”
A grand total of $61,847 in the form of 175 gifts was raised thanks to the heroic efforts of each person who donated or spread the word. This fundraising amount outpaced the 2022 Giving Day donations by $16,847.
“We can’t thank our Newman community enough for stepping up to meet the challenge,” Bob Beumer, vice president of institutional advancement, said.
Battle of the Newman Stars
Newman students played four thrilling rounds of minute-to-win-it games during the Battle of the Newman Stars event in the Gorges Atrium. The winner of each round won an additional $250 donation for the fund they represented.
In the end, three students took the gold.
Junior Catherine Madison won the “Penny For Your Thoughts” game when she successfully stacked pennies the fastest only using one hand. She also won the “Nose Dive” activity which required her to move cotton balls from one bowl to the next using only her lotion-coated nose. Both prizes, totaling $500, were donated to the School of Education and Social Work.
First-year student Rosaline Martinez, who represented the Newman Fund, took first place in the “Spoon Catapult” competition, which required participants to flick a plastic ball as far as they could across the room using a plastic spoon.
First-year student Abigail Klausmeyer competed on behalf of the Metanoia Fund. She won the game “This Blows,” which required competitors to blow up a balloon and knock over foam styrofoam cups in one go.
For Klausmeyer, fundraisers like Giving Day remind her of the gratitude she feels for donors of Newman University.
“Newman is such a unique school and I definitely would not have been able to comfortably afford coming here were it not for my scholarships,” Klausmeyer said. “That support is amazing. I can pursue higher education and my Catholic faith is imbued into my education, which is very important to me … It’s something I’m thankful for every day.”
Lauren Vestring, a nursing sophomore student, jumped at the opportunity to participate in the Battle of the Newman Stars event.
“Anything that’s giving back to the school means a lot to me, especially as a student and an athlete,” Vestring said. “Newman has helped me grow as a person both here and in the greater Wichita community.”
Trivia night and contest outcomes
The “Be A Hero” theme continued into the evening with a Marvel vs. DC Comics Trivia Night, where teams entered to compete in 10 rounds of superhero trivia.
The winning trivia team was Father Adam Grelinger ‘11, Assistant Director of Campus Ministry and The Honors Program Emily Simon ‘17, Angie Ayers ‘12, student Tony Ureno, Chris Drewes and Kyle Berry.
Human Resources Coordinator Clark Castle ‘18 won the costume contest when he dressed up as the Red Lantern version of Supergirl.
Admissions counselor Joshua Prilliman ‘14, who dressed as Cyclops from Marvel Comics, served as the emcee for the evening and described the trivia experience as “incredible.”
“Having the opportunity to not only be passionate about comic books and the movies but also to dress up as a character from the cartoons I watched as a kid made me so happy,” Prilliman said. “It was a great experience to see family, friends and friendly faces from campus in a different light that we don’t always get to see, dressed up and participating in a fundraiser for students.”
With positive feedback all around, Hartley said there are plans to host more trivia-themed nights and events in the future.
At 9 p.m., Hartley announced the winners of some of the challenges: Melissa Gillenwater ‘11, ‘20 won the Broad Impact Challenge as well as the enter-to-win self-care basket for the School of Healthcare Professions; current student Abi Sanny won the After Hours Challenge; Digital Content Specialist Amy Emerson ‘19 won the Tag You’re It social media challenge.
The Metanoia Fund, which supports on-campus housing that promotes a Christ-centered community, promised that if it reached $3,000, students and staff would recreate a scene from the hit TV show “The Office.” If they reached $5,000, Simon and Grelinger of Campus Ministry would perform a rap from the hit TV show “Parks & Recreation.”
With $5,409 raised for the Metanoia Fund, Newman supporters can expect to see both videos on the Newman Facebook page in the near future.
A day of gratitude
“Everyone came together for a fun day of games, events and giving,” Beumer said. “Your gifts truly make a difference in the lives of our students, faculty and staff.”
Newman University would like to sincerely thank each of its generous donors who provided matching funds during the 2023 Giving Day. These individuals were instrumental in making Giving Day a success:
- David ’01 ’11 & Glenna Borho: Alumni Match, Tag You’re It Challenge, After Hours Challenge, Battle of the Newman Stars event
- Mary Lu Tuthill ’63 in memory of Dan and Erma Coffey: The Newman Fund
- David ’17, Jodie and Randy Reed: Fine Arts Fund
- Amanda ‘08, Diana’17, and Sheryl Stanley: New Donor Match
- Sister Betty Adams, ASC, ’66 ‘10: Broad Impact Challenge
- Anonymous Healthcare Hero: School of Healthcare Professions
- The Adorers of the Blood of Christ sisters: The Newman Fund
- President Kathleen Jagger: Student Success Center Challenge
You can still ‘Be A Hero’
Beyond Giving Day, there are plenty of ways to give and make a difference in the lives of Newman University students.