WSU students to host benefits for food pantry

WESTFIELD- Students and staff from Westfield State University’s Advanced Public Relations course will be hosting four events  this week to benefit and raise awareness for the Westfield Food Pantry. 

The four events will take place on Dec. 3, Dec. 5, and Dec. 7. Each one will somehow benefit the Westfield Food Pantry or other local groups who may be in need of food assistance during the holidays. 

“The Advanced Public Relations Course is a civic engagement course at WSU.  Each semester we plan an awareness and a fundraising campaign for a non-profit,” said Suzanne Boniface, adjunct faculty of Communications at WSU, “This year we are working for the Westfield Food Pantry.  The students are divided into two teams. One group is the awareness team and the other is the fundraising team.”

The first activity on Dec. 3 will take place in the Tim and Jeanne’s Dining Commons on the WSU campus. The activity, dubbed “Toss Out Hunger,” will feature a game of water pong that students can play for $1. The proceeds from this activity will go benefit students at Westfield High School who are in need via the food pantry. 

At the Toss Out Hunger activity, which was planned by the fundraising team, donations will be accepted via cash, Venmo, or CashApp.

The awareness team will be hosting two activities on Dec. 5. The first one will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ely Campus Center. There, students and visitors can take part in “Paint for Pantry,” in which one can pop balloons filled with painted. After they are popped, a special message relating to awareness for the Food Pantry will be revealed. 

Their second activity of the day will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.. and will be a continuation of Paint for Pantry at the Shortstop Bar and Grill. There, visitors to the restaurant will be able to dip their thumb or finger in a small amount of paint and mark it on a board as a way to show support for the food pantry. 

In addition to the activity, the Shortstop Bar and Grill will be donating 15 percent of all food bills throughout the night to the food pantry. 

The final event will take place at the Holyoke Mall on Dec. 7 from noon to 8 p.m.. Visitors to the table set up by the fundraising team can donate $1 to play a game of Plinko, best known from the game show “The Price is Right,” for the chance to win a Starbucks gift basket.

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