Umass students give back to the Amherst community

By Eli Rosenswaike, Collegian Staff

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Due to the recent riots on campus, the University of Massachusetts has been cast with a great deal of negative publicity. But Delano’s, a local bar on N Pleasant St, has devised a way in which students can still have fun – but in a safe way that is good for the community.

Each Monday during the fall semester, Delano’s held a trivia night – similar to Tuesday nights at the Harp – where teams would compete each week to accumulate points. The teams that finished in the top five over the 14-week contest got to choose which charities received the $2,000 donation put up by Delano’s.

“Delano’s put together a prize pool of $2,000 for the teams of students to compete for,” said Mark Power, manager at Delano’s. “All of the money goes to charity, and the teams get to decide where and how the money is distributed.

“They picked out some interesting charities to give some of the money to,” he continued. “The rules are simple; it has to go to an Amherst area non-profit charity, and it can’t be political or religious. But other than that, it’s completely up to them.”

The Andy B. Anderson Memorial Fund was a popular choice amongst the winning teams, receiving a total of $750 from three teams. The charity was named after Andy B. Anderson, a former UMass professor – nominated for Professor of the Year in 1989 – who passed away in 2001.

“Andy was a very popular professor and was always about teaching little kids to do outdoor activities,” said Power. “It’s a non-profit charity, and the money will go towards youth sports and educational activities. A lot of the groups chose to donate into that because it’s a great charity with a UMass connection.”

“It’s a good youth organization that helps raise money for little kids to get involved in sports,” said UMass senior Greg Eardley, a member of the winning team. “It was just a good opportunity to do something worthwhile, while also having a good time.”

The UMass men’s rugby team received the second largest donation, amounting in $500. The remaining $750 was divided into three different charities, including the Amherst Regional High School band, Hitchcock Center for the Environment, and the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society.

Due to its financial success and the fun had by many of those involved, Power – who also owns the Harp – is planning on running the same event again for this semester, starting next Monday.

“We’ve been doing this at the Harp for about five years, and we’ve raised about $10,000 per year for charity,” he said. “This is the very first semester we did it at Delano’s, and we’re going to start it again on Monday at 8 p.m. The more teams we get, the bigger the prize pool we’ll be able to have.”

“It was fun coming here each week,” said senior Leanna Toy. “I really liked the trivia aspect of it, and it’s really good to be able to donate all that money. It helped me get away from school every Monday night, and it was for a good cause.”

For Power and many of the students, it was important to show that the student body at UMass can benefit the community.

“This is all supposed to be for fun,” said Power. “The idea is that there are ways for college students that get the short end of the press coverage, to show that they are actually doing a lot of good. They can have fun, enjoy themselves and raise money for charity.”

“It feels good, especially because of the press UMass has been getting because of the riots and everything,” Eardley said. “With this, people get to see there’s something good going on campus.”

Eli Rosenswaike is a Collegian Staff Writer. He can be reached at [email protected]