Extra pennies to help terminally ill children

By Grant Miller

An NIU sorority is currently working to raise money for terminally sick children by saving pennies.

Sigma Lambda Sigma service sorority is working to raise $3,000 for the Starlight Foundation of Chicago. The sorority is working on the first part of a three-part philanthropy project.

The “penny voting,” first in the series, is a project designed to raise money for the second part of the philanthropy, the sorority’s annual “Study Break Auction” which will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium. The last event will be a raffle to be held on Nov. 30.

Penny voting sites are found in Wirtz and Cole Hall and in the Center Cafe. Voting times are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The voting process is different from most elections. Voters donate change to the candidate they feel should have the most expensive date package offered at the auction. When a dollar bill is donated to a particular candidate, it decreases the chances of the candidate. This way, competition is involved for candidates to raise money for their date packages as well as the organization.

The money raised from these events will go to the Starlight Foundation of Chicago, an organization dedicated to making kids’ dreams come true. Last year, the sorority raised $4,000 and was able to send three terminally ill children to Walt Disney World.

Sorority members have more options available to them this year. “We haven’t really decided how to spend the money with the Starlight Foundation,” said Event Organizer Regina Whitmore. “We have more options this year and we want to make a choice that is right for the kids.”

Sorority members said they feel the event is running smoothly this year. “I think this year we are better prepared than we were last year,” said sorority member Marci Shiffler. “We aren’t as rushed and we had the involvement of active members and pledges.”

This is the second year the organization sponsored the event. Sorority member Erin Cynar said the idea came from a sorority alum who worked with the Starlight Foundation in Chicago. Cynar said they are hoping to get more people out to the auction this year.

“Last year we had about 250 people attend,” she said. “Hopefully this year, since we have more time, we can get more people to come out for the event.”

So far, sorority members have said they are enjoying the extra effort being put in the project. “We have had a lot more advertising to do this year,” said sorority member Kelly Fitzpatrick. “I think it will really pay off in the end.”