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Kristen Cyr
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Student clubs raise thousands to help those
in need over the holiday season

Jan. 23, 2013

Pictured is the Winter Wonderland at the Knight Campus. Fundraisers such as the Winter Wonderland and Bob Carosi Penny Social at the Knight Campus in Warwick and many others across CCRI campuses helped student clubs raise funds and collect donations to help those in need over the holiday season.

Student organizations at the Community College of Rhode Island raised thousands of dollars for charity in many individual fundraisers over the holiday season, taking it upon themselves to give back to the Rhode Island community through toy drives, bake sales and other events to support established charities as well as specific individuals in need.

In Lincoln, the Flanagan Campus Student Government partnered with the Flanagan Campus Psychology Club to raise $1,400 for two local families who have children with disabilities.

“Ever since I’ve been at CCRI, the Psychology Club has adopted a family for the holidays,” said Cody Fino, a member of the club and also Flanagan Campus Student Government president. “This year, we decided to make it stronger by partnering with the Student Government and having two groups of people working together.”

The Knight Campus Student Government held its own fundraiser, Winter Wonderland, which included music, food and raffle prizes. It raised $500 for the West Bay Community Action Program, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, The DaVinci Community Center and Friend's Way.

Many individual clubs performed their own fundraisers: The Knight Leaders, DECA and SkillsUSA sponsored the annual Bob Carosi Holiday Penny Social to raise $1,800 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Adoption Rhode Island; Lincoln’s Human Services Club held a series of Christmas party fundraisers to benefit several different groups, and The Unfiltered Lens raised money for Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Lens Business Editor Stephanie Bly said their toy drive, called “Holiday of Hope,” was inspired by a desire “to do something nice for somebody else and be able to help somebody at Christmas.”

The student newspaper staff worked with Hasbro Inc. to secure toy donations.

Toy drives were common throughout CCRI. The Student Physical Therapist Assistant Club, based at the Newport County Campus, sponsored a holiday toy drive for the families of soldiers deployed with the Rhode Island National Guard.

“We really tried to focus on teenagers because that’s the age group that tends to be neglected,” said Rehabilitative Health and Physical Therapy Professor Martha Vigneault, the club’s adviser.

The physical therapy students collected enough iPods and other electronics, musical instruments and athletic equipment for 30 gifts.

A toy drive sponsored by the French and German Club was aimed at members of our own CCRI community. Club members collected about $1,600 worth of toys and gave them away to students.

“So many of our students have little children or brothers or sisters that we thought it would be good to give directly back to our own community,” said club adviser and Foreign Languages Professor Carol Pannacione.

The club also donated some of their proceeds to the CCRI Student Veterans Organization’s Toys for Tots drive and the University of Rhode Island Women’s Center.

“It brought the students together and gave them the magic of the season,” Pannacione said.

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Last Updated: 8/25/16