By J1 Reporter Rylee Gregg
A variety of people in the Marian community participate in Walk-A-Thon and the Advancement-led fundraisers, but few know how they actually compare.
Walk-A-Thon is well-known as Marian’s only student-led fundraiser, which means that the students of Marian do all the organizing and fundraising for the event. This year, more than $130,000 was raised, which goes directly back to the students in the form of tuition assistance.
Mrs. Susan Rosenlof, Marian’s Marketing and Communications Director, was able to shed some light on how exactly Walk-A-Thon affects the Marian community. “The actual cost to educate each student is about $2,000 more than what a full-paid tuition fee would be,” Rosenlof said, “and about 50 percent of the student population receives tuition assistance. Walk-A-Thon goes into that, the Marian Fund goes into that, and some of the events go there as well.”
Advancement leads various fundraisers all year, including continuous fundraising from donors, as well as specific events like the Lexus Champions for Marian Golf Tournament during the summer, Grandparents Day in the fall, and perhaps the most well known, February’s MarianFEST. According to Rosenlof, MarianFEST is the biggest Advancement-led event. “It’s a typical gala, so that involves dinner, a silent auction and a live auction. Last year, we had close to 600 people in attendance, and we raised over $550,000.”
While MarianFEST might not have as much student involvement as Walk-A-Thon, there are still plenty of opportunities for students to volunteer. They can choose to greet guests, check coats, run auction information to tables, help donors with the online bidding process and much more.
Junior Molly Griffin is one of many students who has helped out at this event in the past. “I really enjoyed volunteering at MarianFEST because it was a very rewarding experience and it was a lot of fun!” Griffin said. “I love how MarianFEST allows students to participate and volunteer even though it is not a student-led fundraiser.”
While Griffin enjoyed helping at this event, she still believes in the importance of Walk-A-Thon. “I really think it is great that both of these school fundraisers incorporate the students in all aspects, and I especially love how Walk-A-Thon is student-led and organized.”
While the small amounts of money brought in by each student may seem insignificant in comparison to the grand amounts brought in by events like MarianFEST, Rosenlof assures students that the money does matter. “You can’t discredit that resource. That’s roughly the equivalent of a smaller special event. People from Advancement would have to work on that, and we might even have to hire additional staff. That’s a big contribution on behalf of the students.”
After all is said and done, Walk-A-Thon and advancement-led fundraisers may be different, but they have a similar impact in the Marian community, providing opportunities to Marian girls for generations to come.