Harvest Dinner for Hurricane Sandy surpasses fundraising goal

Junior Bridget Greene hosted the Harvest Dinner for Hurricane Sandy on Nov. 18 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Center to raise money for victims of the recent disaster.

Students and community members paid to enjoy a chicken and biscuit dinner. There were also desserts including cookies and cupcakes laid out for the guests. For the younger crowd, a “Kids’ Corner” offered coloring activities.

Greene said she wanted to provide assistance in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy because many students are from the downstate area.

Although Greene herself is not from downstate, she said she “just wanted to do something big to help” and that she feels “so fortunate, but awful for the people who lost everything.”

Over 15 organizations attended the dinner to show their support including various fraternities, sororities, athletic teams and residence hall councils. Many of the volunteers were members of Alpha Phi Omega, Geneseo Circle K and Geneseo Rotaract Club.

Despite the assistance she received from on-campus organizations, Greene said she organized the project by herself.

“I think [working individually] was a great way to [organize the event] because we were able to bring the whole Geneseo community together,” she said.

Two of the event’s biggest contributors were Geneseo Family Restaurant and GioVanna’s Pizza and Pasta. GFR made the first 300 chicken and biscuit dinners while Greene and her friends made 200 more, along with mixed vegetables and mashed potatoes. GioVanna’s donated 400 servings of bread pudding. According to Greene, they sold a total of about 400 meals.

Greene said she is thankful for the help she received from friends and the local businesses, some of which also donated gift cards for a raffle.

All proceeds from the dinner were immediately donated to Livingston CARES to provide relief to those affected by Superstorm Sandy.

Greene said she had hoped to raise $2,000 in 10 days, but by the end of the night, she both reached and surpassed her goal with $2,400.

She added that she reached the goal through a grant from the school, and a donation from The Golden Key International Honor Society.

Sophomore Jackie Germick, who attended the dinner, said, “I think [it was] a fantastic way to raise awareness.”