As the fall semester came to its end, so did LIM’s first Benefaction Challenge, a semester-long volunteer effort developed by the Student Leadership Council. A celebratory dinner was held on November 19, 2014 to honor this great collective accomplishment and to individually congratulate its participants.
The Challenge involved a total of eight volunteer opportunities, regarded to as challenges, which ranged from helping at an elderly home to playing with kids at a McDonalds. Participants of at least four challenges earned a bronze award; these participants included Alyssa Pfaus, Drishtee Gupta, Elise Cardona, Joely Liriano, Stephanie Lendaro, Stevie Bowen Tiana Webb-Peterson, and Victoria Lally.
Winners of the silver award completed six to seven events; these participants included Aubriana Sweet, Nicole Porras, and Rayna Tobin. Participants who completed all eight events won the gold award; the one and only person to win this award was Brittany Minetti.
Minetti saw the challenge as a chance to show appreciation.
“[It is] important to give back because we have so much and are blessed with so much," she said. "It is important to give back to those who are not as fortunate.”
The idea to create the Benefaction Challenge came about last year in the minds of members of the Student Leadership Council. The event was fully developed by SLC members Nicole Porras, Aubriana Sweet, Risa Lisette, Adrienne Ramos, and Ali Petherbridge.
“You learn a lot about yourself [and] see the world differently,” said Porras, who serves as president of the council.
Attendees of the dinner included staff, students, alumni, and men and women involved in the sustainable fashion business, including keynote speaker Taryn Hipwell, as well as others involved in volunteer work.
According to its organizers, the Benefaction Challenge is not only an opportunity to do good with friends, but it is also an opportunity to be impacted.
“The benefit is [that you] feel good about yourself, and in turn, you are doing good for other people. [Also, you] get to meet people you wouldn’t have, [and you] open your eyes to [important issues],” LIM alumnus Amanda Tedeschi said.
Photo: Suzanne Balestier