Someone dropped the Charity Ball

This year’s budget for Charity Ball is $34,000. Last year the ball raised approximately $250.

The discrepancy between the amount raised for charity and the amount that is designated for an elaborate party is mind-boggling.

In comparison, Laurier University Charity Kouncil (L.U.C.K.) is budgeted at $15,000 and donated approximately $16,000. That is 64 times the amount Charity Ball accumulated.

Clearly, the problem is not with committee fundraising but rather with Charity Ball.

Charity Ball presents their various events, such as Luminera, Hair for Hope and the Charity Ball auction, as though the money is being raised for the charity in which they are in association with. In reality they are donations made to Charity Ball and their expenditures, which include excessive extras such as a chocolate fountain ($375).

The term “charity” in the title of the ball is deceitful. Students have supported the event believing that a substantial amount of their ticket, which costs between $45-$70, will be given to charity.

Companies and community members who sponsor or donate to the event believing they have done so for a good cause have really just paid for Laurier students to host a party.

Laura Sheridan, president of the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union, argued that the ball is more about volunteering with the charity than a monetary gain.

Although the volunteers did participate in a tour of KidsAbility and a radio-a-thon KidsAbility fundraiser, at the end of the day it is the charity that is losing out.

Charities need money to operate and Charity Ball is not meeting this need.

With such a misconception about the operation of the Charity Ball, the ball must either lose the term “charity” or host a modest party and donate a substantial amount of money to charity.

Although there has previously been a discussion amoung the board of directors, there has to be limitations – on how money is raised and who can be sought for donations – outlined for the students’ union to avoid this sort of abuse in the future.

This misuse of charitable donations and goodwill by Charity Ball has damaged the volunteer and fundraising reputation of Laurier; it is an embarrassment to the university.

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