The fundraiser whose goal was to draw attention to child abuse by encouraging people to wear blue to last weekends Penn State-Temple football game netted almost $75,000 for a statewide advocacy group.
The Blue Out raised $74,685, and all of that will go to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, which likely will put the money toward an abuse prevention initiative.
Blue Out organizer Laura March, a graduate student at Penn State, said she got a tally of the
proceeds this week. The second organizer is Stuart Shapiro, another graduate student.
March said she was overwhelmed with the support after seeing so many people wearing blue clothing.
I feel so proud to be part of this community that is willing to help make sure this doesnt happen again, said March, who graduated from State College Area High School in 2003 and got her undergraduate degree from Penn State in 2007. I think that message was conveyed during the game.
The idea for a Blue Out came about in November 2011 after March and Shapiro read the grand jury presentment against former university coach Jerry Sandusky.
The pair quickly organized the fundraiser for the Penn State-Nebraska game, which was a few days later, and they raised almost $50,000. Money was split between PCAR and another organization, Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania.
For last weeks event, volunteers raised money from T-shirt sales, from a donation- through-text-message campaign, as well as another student offering proceeds from sunglasses she sold in the summer.
Around Beaver Stadium, volunteers also raised money by canning or collecting donations in a can thats been made popular by the annual dance marathon.
That alone raised $12,000, said Kristen Houser, a vice president at PCAR who got the numbers from Penn State. Houser said people at PCAR did not know what to expect from this years fundraiser, and the amount thats been tallied is phenomenal, she said.
The check will be presented to PCAR in the next month or so.
The money will go into a fund PCAR has called Vision of Hope to support initiatives for abuse prevention strategies or programs.
Houser said PCAR has a gala each year that serves as the fundraiser for that purpose, and the organization may be able to offer more money this year because of the influx from the Blue Out.
Penn State spokeswoman
Lisa Powers commended the entire Penn State community for the support they showed toward the cause.
The students have really led the way with their initiatives and their resilient attitudes, and we are certainly proud of their efforts in fundraising and beyond, Powers said. They are really moving forward and putting their time and energy toward helping people.
Next year, March said she hopes the student organization One Heart will take over the Blue Out fundraiser, as she expects to graduate in May.
I really hope they continue next year and many years beyond, she said.
Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter@MikeDawsonCDT.