Charity Ball donation increases

Last October, a member of the 2008-09 Wilfrid Laurier Students’ Union Charity Ball committee came forward criticizing the committee for focusing on putting on an extravagant event instead of being concerned with donating to charity.

When numbers were finally released by the students’ union after a budget misallocation, it was publicized that Charity Ball was to give a meager $159 donation to the local charity KidsAbility.

The committee, as well as some WLUSU board members, attempted to remind the Laurier community that the ends intended to be met by Charity Ball is not a donation, but rather to foster a good volunteer experience for students.

Despite the 2009-10 Charity Ball numbers not being finalized, it has been projected that the committee has raised somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000 for Epilepsy Waterloo-Wellington.
“We’re back to in and around what Charity Ball usually gives,” said vice-president of clubs and activities Jason Verhoeve. “They usually aim for between $1,000 and $3,000.”

The committee raised the money despite low-ticket sales, which ended up being about 150 attendees lower than the projected 500. However, a lower amount of attendees meant the committee did not have to pay as much for the rental of the Bingeman’s hall and food.

After the negative publicity Charity Ball received in the fall of last year, Verhoeve explained that some costs originally projected in this year’s budget were phased out, like the subsidizing of volunteer wear; an expenditures highlighted during the fall controversy.

“I mean, $678, after the article we were like, ‘No let’s see what we can save,” said Verhoeve regarding the decision to cut some spending from the Charity Ball budget.

The committee also saved money on the hall rental, cut costs in areas such as ceiling treatments, chair covers and on promotional items.

“I know they did a very good job in monitoring their expenses and trying to cut back,” said current WLUSU president Laura Sheridan. “I’m happy if that’s reflected in their donation.”
Some that viewed the Charity Ball’s expenditures as lavish after the controversy in October went so far as to negatively interact with the committee’s volunteers, said Sheridan.

“I’m really proud of what [co-ordinator] Claire [Petch] and … her team did to overcome that challenge and I think the article in the fall raised a lot of awareness for Charity Ball,” said Sheridan. “To see the silver lining, really has been being able to showcase all the fantastic things that they’ve done this year.”