Today we feature a guest blog post authored by Sean Donegan, a pre-med student at Cornell University and colleague of Seth Hoffman, author of last year’s Student Summer Series. Sean writes about his upcoming philanthropic venture – organizing a fundraising dinner for the DC-based nonprofit Share Our Strength. Although Share Our Strength (who has blogged for End the Neglect in the past) focuses domestically on childhood hunger in America, NTDs and hunger can be comparable in that they are both problems that affect marginalized populations. Furthermore, NTDs and hunger alike disproportionally impact children, delaying their development and adversely affecting their performance in school, which perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Read on to see what Sean and his peers are doing to help break this cycle:
It’s 6:00am, I’m riding a horse through the forests and farmlands of Western New York. Thirty men and women in britches and blue blazers on horseback are staring me down because my phone just went off informing me about this blogging opportunity. The Fox Hunt will proceed with me one hand typing my first blog post.
Hello, my name is Sean Donegan, I’m a Senior at Cornell University. I’m the Director of Philanthropy at my Fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho. Through a collaboration with Seth Hoffman (last summer’s blogger), I will be helping to organize a Charity Dinner that will hopefully deliver over $5,000 to Share Our Strength.
Last spring, I hosted my first Charity Dinner through my Brotherhood that raised over $3,200 for the Congo Leadership Initiative. The collaboration was made between my Fraternity and three other Greek Houses. After meeting with Seth Hoffman, Philanthropy Chair of The Sigma Phi Society, we decided to expand the dinner to a total of seven Greek Chapters and to give the proceeds to Share Our Strength. We will be sponsored by three clothing retailers; Vineyard Vines, Southern Tide, and Life Changing Apparel.
The Charity Dinner itself will bring in over three hundred students to Alpha Gamma Rho to support Share Our Strength and its campaign against childhood hunger. Each participant will pay $15 for a formal dinner catered by the chefs of the participating Greek Chapters. The Dinner will also feature a silent auction in which one of the Philanthropy Chairs (Dan Krenitsyn of Psi Upsilon) will auction off merchandise from our corporate sponsors to donate directly to Share Our Strength. He will also be overseeing the sale of Share Our Strength promotional wristbands.
The purpose of this blog post is to describe the process of organizing such a fundraiser to encourage other students across the world to organize their own for charitable causes. Similar to NTDs, hunger especially affects those in poverty, and is an issue that deserves great attention as well. Through this experience, I hope to educate others so that they might create similar events and raise money for these and other neglected causes. I am personally overjoyed at this opportunity to raise money for such a worthy cause.
The Charity Dinner itself will be a collaboration between myself of Alpha Gamma Rho, Seth Hoffman of the Sigma Phi Society, Taylor DeLorenzo of Delta Gamma, Dan Krenitsyn of Psi Upsilon, Hannah Claudio & April Aviles of Alpha Phi, Lizzy Palmquist & Tess Nelson of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Marion Smith of Kappa Alpha Theta. Many of us following our passion for Global Health and Share Our Strength’s campaign to end childhood hunger.
Sean Donegan is a PreMedical student at Cornell University, majoring in both Animal Science and NeuroBiology. He has minors in both Global Health and International Relations. He is a Senior Research fellow in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and a member of the Cornell Men’s Varsity Polo Team. He is the President of Order of Omega, the Greek Honor Society and cofounder of The Donegan-Hoffman Foundation.