Yes U Can Extension club brings zip-line for fundraiser
What better way to start your weekend than to stand atop a 30 foot tall structure and zoom down a 180 foot long wire?
Yes U Can Extension Club allowed students to take that leap of faith by bringing a zip-line to the field behind the Christiana Commons on north campus Friday afternoon as a fundraiser for their cause.
Yes U Can Extension helps people with disabilities continue to be physically active by providing activities for them to participate in, senior and co-president of public relations for the club, Jennifer Williams, said.
The organization raises funds for its mother organization, Yes U Can USA, a non-profit in Delaware, whose founder has multiple sclerosis, Williams said.
The idea came after Yes U Can USA had a zip-lining event where Yes U Can Extension was supposed to help provide volunteers and fundraising, but was unable to do so because of a school break, junior Thea Byrne, president of Yes U Can Extension, said.
“We knew we couldn’t get enough people to come so we figured why not bring zip-lining to school so people could do it?” Byrne said.
In order to entice people to donate, Yes U Can Extension offered prizes to the top three donating teams: first place would receive Chipotle for 100 people, second place would receive free ice cream and a visit from the UD Creamery ice cream truck and third place would receive a visit from YouDee, Byrne said.
“It was a great event, but we had a lot of incentive to participate,” Byrne said. “It’s not as heart wrenching of a cause.”
Williams said she hoped to raise more than $50, the amount raised at their event last year, while Byrne said she wanted to raise more than what the school paid for the zip-line.
The event raised $3,174.63, junior Cleo Reiss said. As the other co-president of public relations, she said she has been posting that figure often and knows it by heart.
“Phi Sigma Sigma came out of nowhere,” Williams said. “They did the last kiosk, the day before and the day of the event and raised $700.”
Phi Sigma Sigma ended up raising $708.11, making them the largest contributors and ensuring their win of the Chipotle party. Chi Omega donated $431, winning the ice cream truck visit and Alpha Kappa Psi won the visit from YouDee after donating $378, Byrne says.
The event was co-sponsored by SCPAB and IFC, which donated the largest aspects of the event. IFC provided the disc jockey, while SCPAB provided the financial support Yes U Can used to buy the prizes, Byrne said.
“The event was mostly funded through the allocations board, which is why it was free to students with a suggested donation,” Byrne said.
SCPAB, Alpha Phi Omega and Gamma Sigma Sigma provided additional volunteers the day of.
Originally, Yes U Can Extension wanted to use the funds they raised to purchase an electrical stimulation bicycle for those with disabilities to use, sophomore Alison Berglund, vice president of Yes U Can Extension, said.
The event raised more money than they were expecting, so the funds will be able to go to several different things, Byrne said.
Throughout the four hours, about 300 people went on the zip-line, with 20 people or so going down it twice, Byrne said.
With that many patrons, the line was continuously moving and the line was constantly full.
“The zip-line never stopped,” Reiss said. “The workers never had a break, which was super exciting.”
Many people came to the event and donated, but did not participate in the zip-lining, either because they had class, were dressed nicely or did not want to ruin their shoes, Reiss said.
Since the event, Yes U Can has heard very positive reactions to the event, Byrne said.
“We were all very nervous going in, but we were very excited about it though,” Byrne said. “Nothing like this has been at campus before, so we didn’t really know what to expect. If it was any more, we would have been overwhelmed.”
Sophomore Michael Staufenberger said he was not aware that the event was happening beforehand, but he heard the music playing from his West Towers bedroom and decided to check it out with some friends.
“It was fun,” Staufenberger said. “I like that they have stuff like this. I love adrenaline things.”
Having only been on campus for three years, those most closely associated with Yes U Can Extension hoped the event would leave a lasting memory with students.
“A lot of people didn’t know us on campus, and we thought the zip line would bring more attention to our club,” Williams said. “We thought everyone would remember us as the people that brought the zip-line.”
Since few other clubs on campus raise money for equipment for those with disabilities, the work Yes U Can Extension does is pretty unique, Reiss says.
In addition to working with Yes U Can USA, Yes U Can Extension works with the Career and Life Studies Certificate program on campus. The CLSC program allows for those with disabilities to go into undergraduate classes, integrate into the community and learn how to do interviews as well as basic skills to get into the workforce, Williams said.
Williams said she is proud of how well the event did, especially on a weekend with other things happening, such as Resapalooza and Easter weekend.
“It was everything I expected, and it couldn’t have gone any better,” Reiss said.