Campus, community members give generously to student fire victims

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Campus, community members give generously to student fire victims

January 24, 2011

 NWOSU Art Society members presenting check to fire victims.
Northwestern Oklahoma State University Art Society members present checks to New Year's Day fire victims (from left) Trent Penner, Dustin Goodno and Ryan Penner. The group held a fundraising “Goodie Giveaway” at the Northwestern Rangers’ basketball games on Thursday, Jan. 6. A grand total of $1,119 was collected for the Northwestern students allowing three individual checks of $373 to be presented. NAS members pictured include (from left) Shawna Gilbert, Andrew Lauffer, Brad Amerin, Erika Dorrell, Dalton Lamberth and Kylea Copeland.

More than $1,100 was raised by a campus club for three Northwestern Oklahoma State University students recently after a fire destroyed their possessions early New Year’s Day in a house they were renting just blocks from the Alva campus.

Members of the NWOSU Art Society (NAS) already had booked Jan. 6 for one of its “Goodie Giveaway” fundraisers at the Ranger basketball games, which the club uses to raise funds for its annual art show in April. However, rather than benefitting themselves that night, they agreed to raise funds for fellow members of the Ranger family -- Dustin Goodno, Okmulgee senior; and brothers from Alva, Ryan Penner, a senior, and Trent Penner, a sophomore.

“It was the right thing to do – to help others,” Angelia Case, NAS sponsor, said. “We never know when it will be our time to receive help. We have to pay goodness forward, and people have been very good to our organization.”

NAS Vice President Kylea Copeland, Tyrone sophomore, echoed Case’s comments by adding, “I think assisting the guys in their time of need is the perfect example of the pride and willingness to help others that our group strives to demonstrate. It's a great feeling.”

It didn’t take long for NAS members to “rally the troops” through mentions via social media avenues, local radio and word of mouth. By the time the last “goodies” had been distributed that night, more than 70 baked items had been donated by NAS members, Northwestern employees and community members. Other individuals and organizations within the community were asking how they could help to replace items the young men had lost and have donated to them everything from clothing and mattresses to appliances and other kitchen items.

“Being able to help fellow Northwestern students, and see the amount of people willing to pitch in and donate to these young men, to me, shows how much of a family the Northwestern and Alva community can be,” said NAS President Shawna Gilbert, Enid junior. “It makes me proud to be a Ranger.”

All three received an outpouring of love from members of the campus and community and commented that the response was more than they ever could have imagined.

“I think it really shows how much people care when you need help,” Goodno said. “I don't believe if I was at another school I would have gotten this much help. The fundraiser that the Art Society put on has helped out in so many ways. Thanks to everyone who helped put it on and everyone who gave.”

-NW-