Western Courier

Western challenges supporters on April 24

William Turkington, Courier Staff

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Western Illinois University will be hosting its third annual Western Challenge on April 24 to raise money for various university programs.

The Western Challenge is a 24 hour online fundraising campaign that challenges alumni, students, and faculty to give back to support their favorite areas of the university, while also inspiring others to do the same. This year’s challenge is to engage 1,500 donors during the 24 hour period.

Donors can choose from Western’s innumerable schools or colleges, athletic programs, or a general university fund to designate their gift to. This effort also includes the Western Illinois Quad Cities campus.

Tim Hallinan is Western’s Director of Annual Giving and is very excited for this year’s Western Challenge. He works with the campus organization “Phonathon” that helps coordinate this event.

“This year, we are highlighting the power of collective giving to keep students our top priority,” Hallinan said. “Participating in the Western Challenge with a gift of any amount sends a clear message that regardless of one’s affiliation with our University, our common focus is our outstanding students and their success.”

The event raised $63,000 in 2016 and saw that amount more than double in 2017 with $131,000 in donations. Even with these large totals, Hallinan doesn’t want people who are not able to give in large amounts to be discouraged from giving anything at all.

“It’s not necessarily about how much one gives; it’s about participation,” Hallinan said. “With hundreds of different funds and scholarships people can support, it’s really just a matter of deciding what area, or areas, of Western matter the most to you and expressing that support with your gift.”

Western has also recently launched its Alumni Plaza Project, which will feature engraved bricks purchased from students, student groups and alumni. Engraved brick purchases on April 24 will also count towards the Western Challenge total.

Hallinan would like to encourage everybody to visit the campaign page at wiu.edu often on April 24 to follow the donor totals right up until midnight. In addition to the campaign page, anybody who would like to promote this event is encouraged to do so on various social media platforms using the hashtag “#LeathernecksGive” and follow the event’s Facebook page: “The Western Challenge.”

“We are thrilled to see more students and student groups participate in the Western Challenge,” Hallinan said. “Either as “#LeathernecksGive” Advocates, making a gift themselves, or both!”

If you have any questions about donating, please email your inquiries to westernchallenge@ wiu.edu or call (309) 298 1874.

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Western challenges supporters on April 24