BY JONATHAN CALIXTE
On Tuesday, November 28 students at St. Thomas Aquinas College hosted an event at Growler & Gill in Nanuet to help donate to People to People and join the Global #GivingTuesday Movement. The St. Thomas Aquinas College public relations course that hosted the event collectively accumulated $2,045.
STAC Junior Stephanie Gorman, a student involved in the project, said the event was inspired by Santa Con; an annual charitable ‘bar crawl’ in New York City featuring merry revelers dressed in holiday-themed outfits.Gorman proposed the idea to her Communications Arts Instructor Prof. Elaine Winship and ultimately STAC linked up with local non-profit food bank People to People.
Gorman said she was looking for a way to help the less fortunate. When the idea was proposed to Prof. Winship, she saw its potential and made things happen.
“Prof. Winship is always on board with whatever ideas we have as long as is it is safe for everyone,” Gorman explained, “which is why we didn’t have a bar crawl and just [used] one bar.”
People to People Executive Director, Diane Serratore, who said she had a great time working with the students, was pleased with the way the evening panned out.
“They’ve really been incredible building a social media profile for us,” Serratore said. “If you want to get young people interested in what you do, you need to go through social media.”
The Communication Arts students at St. Thomas Aquinas College made sure they got the word out about the idea. They posted all across various social media platforms making sure plenty of people went to Growler & Gill for the event to support low income children.
For nearly a decade, Diane Serratore has been the executive director of People to People and she still gets surprised by people’s generosity. “I’m constantly surprised at how incredibly generous people are,” she says. “There are a lot of folks that need help and we can’t do what we do unless the community helps us helps others. The community is certainly helping each other out.”
Charitable events take place year round at Growler & Gill. “We do charity bartending events where all the tips go towards the cause and it’s usually pretty successful,” Mike Fitzgerald, co-owner of Growler & Gill, said.
“It’s good to give back,” agreed Doreen Fitzgerald, wife of Mike Fitzgerald.
Only students 21 or over were permitted to have a beer at the STAC fundraiser. Mike Fitzgerald quipped that “young people know more about craft beer than people my age.”
Prof. Winship has been doing charitable events for years, from Toys for Tots to the annual Penguin Plunge. And with Santa Claus coming to town soon, this is a wonderful time of year to do something charitable.