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By Rose Gause
Frostburg senior Michelle Banks created the 4 CUW 5k fundraiser to raise money for County United Way Incorporated (CUW). CUW is a corporation which aims to provide assistance to communities in Allegany, Garrett, Mineral and Hampshire counties through educational, health, and financial stability programs. They accept donations and fundraiser money to distribute to nonprofit organizations which assist low-income families throughout the four counties.
Banks became interested in CUW because she is a big supporter of non-profit organizations and loves helping people. As a business administration major with a minor in marketing, during her junior year, Banks realized helping CUW with marketing would be the perfect internship for her. During her tenure with CUW, she created campaign videos, helped raise money, and spread awareness of CUW's mission.
“I got a really good insight on the different kinds of programs they support and the different kinds of people that are getting impacted by these programs. It really opened my eyes to how much of a necessity County United Way is to the area,” Banks says.
Although her internship ended in May 2016 and she will soon be graduating in Fall 2017, she decided to return to CUW her senior year to raise money and awareness through 4 CUW, a 5k race she has spearheaded.
The race will take place on Saturday, April 22, 2017 with check-in at 9:45-10:50 a.m. at Frostburg’s Bobcat Stadium. The 3.1 mile race will leave Bobcat Stadium at 11 a.m. and wind its way through campus and finish at 2 p.m. Prizes will be awarded following the race. Tickets are $5 for students and $15 for non-students.
Banks' goal is to raise at least $1,000 in donations for CUW, allowing them to help more people. She hopes this event will help students become more aware of the issues around them.
As fundraiser chair of the Creative Communication Club, Banks has put on many fundraisers such as bake sales, Valentine’s Day Candy-Grams and 50-50 raffles, but none have been as large as 4 CUW.
Unlike the Creative Communication Club, Banks did not have a student organization behind her with iSweat4 CUW, but she still received help from multiple University and community representatives. She hopes Frostburg will one day start a CUW organization on campus.
Banks says, “It has been difficult not having a student organization behind me. I feel like it would be so much easier, but at the same time, it’s helping me learn all the steps and different pieces it takes to put a big event like this together. I hope that eventually, they bridge the gap between CUW and Frostburg State University and hopefully start an organization on campus that gets their message out there.”
Like most student Banks is not from Allegany County, the county which will receive the donations from 4 CUW, but she still feels the need to help.
She says, “Remember this is where we are right now and even if this is not where you consider home. This is the university that we go to and this is the place we are living in right now. It’s important to make an impact wherever you go and in whatever society you belong to at that moment in time.”
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