The University of South Florida organization Bulls For Kids has begun their fundraising efforts in order to benefit John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital by hosting seasonal events on campus.
Appropriately named after the 1966 Charlie Brown televised special, The Great Pumpkin Day invited students to purchase a pumpkin, promising that one hundred percent of all the proceeds will go directly to the hospital.
“John Hopkin’s All Children’s Hospital is local, and it feels good knowing that you are helping out an organization that is really close by.” said USF student Jayla Pugh.
Bulls for Kids is part of USF’s Dance Marathon, a movement of student-run philanthropies benefiting Children’s Miracle Network hospitals around the country. Bulls for Kids is the largest student run philanthropy on campus.
The Bulls for Kids Promotions Director, Clarisse Fres, provided activities that students could participate in with their pumpkin.
“You can decorate them with paint and these other art supplies. Or you can take it home and do whatever you want to do with the pumpkin,” Fres said.
With waivers signed and safety goggles worn, students were also given the option to smash their pumpkins by raising it above their heads, and launching it towards the ground. Pumpkin smashing was offered as a way for students to relieve stress.
All these smaller events are leading to the main Bulls for Kids event in the spring: the 12-hour Dance Marathon, which is where most of the donations come in.
According to leadandserve.usf.edu, Bulls for Kids broke its long-standing record at USF last year by raising $130,011.29 more than any other year before and an 82% increase from the 2015 marathon.
“It’s a year-long process,” Fres said. “Now that this year is around, we’re going to try and raise $200,000.”
Bulls For Kids has no doubt that they will reach this goal, especially with registration for the Dance Marathon already accepting teams and donations.
The Dance Marathon officially begins on Feb. 25, 2017. Registration ends Dec. 11, and donations are being accepted until 9 p.m. at the event.