ASG extends Superstorm Sandy fundraising efforts

Meghan Morris, Reporter

After raising more than a thousand dollars, Associated Student Government will extend to mid-February its three-month-long fundraising effort for those affected by Superstorm Sandy.

ASG President Victor Shao said ‘Cats Care: Project Sandy had by Jan. 13 raised between one and two thousand dollars toward its final goal of five thousand dollars. The money will benefit the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and several local relief efforts, including Restore the Shore.

In its latest fundraising push, ASG will sell Project Sandy T-shirts around campus. The organization introduced the shirts at its first Senate meeting of 2013 and hopes to sell several hundred, ASG Speaker Ani Ajith said.

“The communities affected by Superstorm Sandy still very much need our help,” the Weinberg junior said. “It’s important in times like these that we stand with our fellow Wildcats.”

The American Red Cross Club of NU will also hold a yoga or workout event, tentatively planned for Feb. 2, to fundraise for Sandy relief. Publicity chair Vicki Wang said the entrance fee will be about $3 for “Get Fit for Sandy.” ASG will help the group with publicity. The student government may also host a benefit concert, Shao said.

Sandy was the second-costliest storm in American history, with damages estimated at $62 billion. According to CNN, at least 157 people died as a result of the East Coast storm, which severely impacted the New York City area. ASG announced the formation of its emergency response group at the Nov. 14 Senate meeting.

Project Sandy is the first fundraising effort from ‘Cats Care, which Shao said is intended to be an emergency response for this and future disasters.

“This is a work in progress,” Shao said. “After this fundraising campaign, we plan to make ‘Cats Care more of an institutional force to respond to these crises, working much more closely with the administration.”

The first fundraising event took place Nov. 16 at the Delta Upsilon fraternity house. Attendees at “One Night Stand” paid $5 for the open mic night, which brought together about 20 students.

DU brother Matthew Rueger played the drums at the event. The Communication senior told The Daily in November his Long Island town was damaged by the storm.

“It was the best way for me to give back to a good cause I was personally affected by,” Rueger said.

Since DU’s open mic night, Ajith said, various fraternities have hosted fundraising events. In addition, ASG set up tables around campus to collect donations and created an online account through PayPal to accept donations. He said weekly ASG update emails, circulated on student email lists, included the link to this website.

“I can’t imagine the stress and impact (Sandy) must have, to worry that back home your folks are without power or a roof over their heads,” Ajith said. “It’s our job to make this community a place where people can learn and discover without stress from the external world.”