NIU Forensics team hosts fundraiser to benefit Keller scholarship


Adrianne Bassett, junior early childhood education major, checks out a customer at Potbelly, 1013 W. Lincoln Highway, on Wednesday night. The NIU Forensics team hosted a fundraiser at Potbelly for the Toni Keller Scholarship funds, with 25 percent of the profit going toward the scholarship.

By Leah Spagnoli

Students were able to chow down for charity on Wednesday night thanks to the NIU Forensics team.

Twenty-five percent of the profits made at Potbelly Sandwich Shop from 5 to 8 p.m. were donated to the Antinette “Toni” Keller Scholarship Fund.

“Potbelly Sandwich Shop,1013 W. Lincoln Highway, likes to be apart of a community,” said Noel Green, DeKalb Potbelly general manager. “About 90 percent of our employees are coming from NIU. We all talked and decided it would be a good cause to get involved with.”

Karyn Stoutenburg, NIU Forensics community service board member and Potbelly staff, put the event together along with Arielle Kalvelage, Huskies United public relation chair and acting secretary.

“When it happened, I wanted to do something,” Stoutenburg said. “I’m not her family, a friend, or police; this was about the only option I had. We talked to the family member representative at the vigil; they chose the organization. They knew her the best, we just wanted to support in the best way we could. It’s the least we could do to help in the long run.”

Stoutenburg and Kalvelage advertised all over the community and on campus.

“We went to just about every restaurant and business, even if they couldn’t post the flier in the store, they made sure they put it in their break room or something,” Stoutenburg said. “They were all so supportive: ‘This is such a great thing you’re doing. This is something I want to support.’ That’s all we were hoping for.”

Huskies United is an organization dedicated to bringing the students of NIU together.

“Although this was a tragedy, it brought Huskies together,” Kalvelage said. “Toni was a great person; we’re allowing her to live on with this scholarship. She was able to get into the world and share her art. Now, she’s giving back to someone else so they can share their art with the world.”

NIU Forensics and Potbelly Sandwich Shop raised $1,156.69 at the event.

Stoutenburg said the response to the event was positive, and she was impressed at the amount of people who came together.

“Everyone has been amazing,” she said. “Our district manager drove out here from Chicago…Not only is NIU a family, but Potbelly, at large, and DeKalb is as well.