Penn State

Penn State adds two causes to #GivingTuesday list

The trombone players from the Penn State Blue Band practice the night before their last home football game performance. The Blue Band Legacy Fund will be part of the fifth annual Giving Tuesday.
The trombone players from the Penn State Blue Band practice the night before their last home football game performance. The Blue Band Legacy Fund will be part of the fifth annual Giving Tuesday. adrey@centredaily.com

The fifth annual #GivingTuesday philanthropic initiative is set for Tuesday, and Penn State has added two causes to the growing movement.

#GivingTuesday was created in 2012 by the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at 92nd Street Y, which is a cultural center in New York City. The center provides a multicultural learning atmosphere where people can come together in an effort to affect global social change.

Through a global social media campaign, which begins Monday evening, participants will flood their accounts with information about their cause and links to donate.

The 2015 campaign had more than 1.5 million social media mentions, which yielded more than $116 million through donations from 71 countries.

Over the past five years, more than 20 Centre County organizations and schools have participated in the initiative and this year Penn State added two more: the Blue Band Legacy Fund and the Penn State Alumni Association’s FastStart mentoring program.

The Blue Band Legacy Fund was created to support the Floating Lion club, which provides financial support for the Blue Band. David and Lori Bowers Uhazie, class of 1982 and Blue Band alumni, will be matching donations made on #GivingTuesday up to $10,000.

The FastStart mentoring program was established by the Alumni Association to provide mentors for incoming students from underrepresented backgrounds who are at the highest risk of not progressing through college.

Paul Clifford, CEO of the Penn State Alumni Association, said the #GivingTuesday initiative is a great way for Penn State to not only raise money, but also to spread the word about important programs such as FastStart.

“With 658,000 alumni and 100,000 students, there’s any number of ways that we can continuously improve to provide engagement opportunities and that’s what this does,” Clifford said. “The more money we have the more we can do.”

Penn State Alumni Association members Dave Paterno and Greg Sam have pledged to match donations up to $1,000, according to Clifford.

“It’s just a great opportunity for us to be able to not only support the students that we have and support these good programs,” Clifford said, “but then also leverage that to grow more programs because of the support that we’re getting.”

A full list of Centre County organizations and schools taking donations can be seen at www.givingtuesday.org.

Leon Valsechi: 814-231-4631, @leon_valsechi

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