Penny Wars End on a ‘Blue’ Note

Globe University-Wausau always encourages our students, staff and faculty to get involved in the community. This quarter, two of our student groups learned that two local animal shelters have above average needs right now, so they immediately looked for ways to help.

Earlier this spring, the Humane Society of Marathon County encountered a large influx of cats, and still has an urgent need for cat supplies. And, the Lincoln County Humane Society needs a new building to meet the needs of the animals in their care.

Independently of each other, the Student Ambassador group on campus decided to raise money to help the Humane Society of Marathon County, while the Vet Tech Club decided to help the Lincoln County Humane Society.  When they found out about each other’s similar goals, the two student groups decided to work together in a friendly competition. They declared a penny war as a fundraising activity.

Jars were decorated and set out on the front desk, and the campus was made aware of the newly declared war. After several days though, the jars were sadly largely empty.  Then a student suggested upping the ante.  Teri Blair got Nora, the campus librarian, and Adam Smrcka, the campus director, together to propose that each of them offer a sacrifice to motivate donations.  Adam offered to adopt the Lincoln County Humane Society and sacrifice his beard if the Vet Techs/Lincoln County Humane Society won the penny war.  Nora offered to dye her hair blue for the cause in support of the Student Ambassadors/Humane Society of Marathon County.

“I suggested it to try to get people more excited about the charitable activities on campus,” said Teri Blair of her idea. “Not that donating to your favorite charity isn’t exciting, but when you add the potential for blue hair or shaving one’s facial hair, it just adds another dimension.”

Teri was right. Once the sacrifices were made known, the war got interesting. Soon, the initial jars were too small, and coffee cans had to be decorated and set out to supplement the donations.  Students from all programs cleaned out their change collections.  The Student Ambassadors even discussed penny war strategy in one of their meetings.

The strategy planning paid off for the Student Ambassadors.  They emerged victorious from the war, having collected $40.01 in pennies, with only $3.05 in silver counting against the pennies.  Their penny war total was a positive $36.96.  The Vet Tech students can proudly boast that their overall total was higher, but they collected a negative penny war balance, with a whopping $40.30 in silver and dollars counting against only $4.46 in pennies.

The overall total collected was $87.82, with the groups nearly neck and neck in their donation totals.  The total collected by the Vet Techs was $44.76, edging the Student Ambassadors, whose overall total collected was $43.06.

Nancy Curtin, a Student Ambassador, commented, “It was great to see the enthusiasm for these causes.  I don’t know who the student was, but I know that one student brought in enough pennies to nearly fill one of the cans! I’m glad she chose to donate for our side.  I really wanted Nora’s hair to be blue.”

Teri Blair agreed. “Obviously, it was worth it. Nora’s hair is awesome!”