MU Miracle hosted The Great Pumpkin Bash on Friday, Oct. 25. Mercer University students formed teams to smash pumpkins in an effort to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in partnership with The Children’s Miracle Network.
Two teams participated in The Great Pumpkin Bash, and a few other teams solely donated funds. According to external board director and junior Shelley McDaniel, “teams participated in a pumpkin toss, a pumpkin carving contest, a pumpkin pie eating contest, a tug of war competition and many other [activities].”
Senior and director Kristina Drew said, “The pumpkin bash was our October milestone event that consisted of multiple pumpkin related activities.”
Grace Dusseau, freshman and Marking Director for MU Miracle, said, “We painted a banner that we put in The Connell Student Center and we put [the event] on our Facebook.” However, she also said, “I think it would’ve been better if we had better marketed it. Next time, we are planning on really getting the word out and to market this and get people to know what we are about.”
McDaniel continued and said, “Not as many people attended the pumpkin bash as we wanted to. As a whole, MU Miracle really ends to get the word out there about what we stand for as an organization.” Drew said, “The event wasn't near as successful as we were hoping, but I think that is because we are still working to establish our presence on campus.
Although the numbers of attendees was considered low, Dusseau said, “All the money we raise is for the kids.”
The positive outlook is common among other MU Miracles members. Drew continued and said, “We aren't letting the disappointment get us down though. We are simply just using it as more motivation to improve our events and start marketing to Mercer's campus.”
The proceeds from all of the fundraising events throughout the year hosted by MU Miracle, including the funds raised from The Great Pumpkin Bash, go directly to The Medical Center of Central Georgia.
Additionally, the MU Miracle team went to trick-or-treat on Halloween night with the current children patients at the hospital designated for donations. McDaniel said, “It was such an incredible experience to meet the faces that we strive to help.”
The 2013-2014 MU Miracle organization, a completely non-profit program on campus, has a goal of $30,000 to donate specifically to the Children’s Hospital of the Medical Center. Although the Mercer program has a lofty goal this year, in previous years, and in coalition with the Georgia College and State University, they have already raised “enough money to build the entire neonatal unit at the hospital,” according to McDaniel.
Additionally, the organization hopes to have over 300 participants at Dance Marathon on March 1. Dance marathon, the main fundraiser for MU Miracle, is a nine hour event where participants engage in games, eat food and hear the stories of children patients and families who have been cared for by the children's hospital with Miracle’s support. McDaniel said, “The nine hours is to represent a nurse’s shift length and also how exhausted a child is after chemo treatment.”
At the Dance Marathon, the amount of funds that were raised throughout the year and that are to be donated will be revealed.
In order to accomplish these goals, Drew said, “We are really looking to get more people involved. In past years our organization has primarily catered to the Greeks, but we want MU Miracle and Dance Marathon to be a campus wide event.”
By promoting, marketing and raising participation for events similar to The Great Pumpkin Bash, Drew said, “We want all Mercerians to show their support for our Macon community.” She continued, “We have some big goals to accomplish and our executive board can't do it alone!”
McDaniel said, “Look out in the next few weeks and months to see more from us in order to become an established presence on campus and in the community.”
Information about MU Miracle events like The Great Pumpkin Bash can be found on MU Miracle’s Facebook page or can be reached at MercerUMiracle@gmail.com.