University of Mary Optimist Club's Chillin' for Children Raises $2,500 for Carrie's Kids

Bismarck, ND - On a night that brought both the coldest temperatures and the first major snow of the year to the Bismarck area, not all students at the University of Mary were snug inside their comfortable residences. Instead, on Nov. 20, over 75 students spent most of the night outside - "Chillin' for Children" raising funds and awareness for local homeless young people. The University of Mary Optimist Club sponsored this event, and although it was only the first year for the fundraiser, it was an unqualified success. In addition to spreading campus-wide awareness of homeless youth in Bismarck-Mandan, advance fundraising resulted in nearly a dozen area businesses pledging their support for the students willing to brave the cold.

"The event simply wouldn't have been possible without the eagerness of local businesses to support our efforts," said Matt Becker Chillin's fundraising coordinator.

"This was a huge undertaking for our club," said Angel Klontz, '14, a Williston, ND, native and chairperson of the event committee. "Most of all, the campus really enjoyed it and we were able to spread the word to a lot of people. It was definitely worth the work." Klontz is assisted by fellow Optimist Club members: Allison Mann, '11, Dickinson; Steve Michlitsch, '13, and Matt Becker, '13, Bismarck; Liz Lee, '14, Grand Forks; and Wes Wakefield, '11, Devils Lake.

Sponsors for the event at the gold level were ABC Seamless, Goebel Pediatric Dentistry, Investment Centers of America, Ressler Chevrolet,, United Printing, and Vogel Law Firm. KXMB-TV, Chartwells Food Service, iGear, and Basin Electric Power Cooperative participated at the silver level. All proceeds were donated to Carrie's Kids, an area charitable organization that helps children who are in transition and experiencing homelessness.

Those who would like more information about the U-Mary Optimist Club can e-mail [email protected]