Nov 072005
Authors: Mandy Billings

Faculty, staff and students interested in participating in the Survivor Island event or learning more about supporting the CSU Habitat for Humanity chapter can e-mail Ann Szynskie at

CSU's chapter of Habitat for Humanity, along with co-sponsor GMAC Mortgage and the Fort Collins Board of Realtors, is participating in a Survivor Island fundraising event Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Moot House restaurant.

The event, in which members of the Fort Collins community call friends, family and business contacts for donations, raises money for CSU's first home building project for a needy family.

"We have 10 seats to fill for the event," said Ann Szynskie, junior construction management major and CSU Habitat for Humanity fundraising chair . "We're looking for mainly faculty and staff or administrators, somebody with a lot of contacts, to fill the seats. Students who have people they could call for donations are welcome too."

Each participant tries to raise $1,000 during the three-hour event in order to "buy" a life raft to safety, Szynskie said. Participants receive free food and drinks and will have opportunities to win prizes throughout the event. All of the money raised by CSU's 10 participants goes toward the CSU Habitat for Humanity building project.

"This is the first time we've been able to do a house," Szynskie said. "We've been focused on fundraising up to this point."

In order to sponsor a Habitat for Humanity build, a chapter must raise $50,000. Because of co-sponsorship with GMAC Mortgage, CSU's chapter will only need to raise $25,000, about half of which has already been gathered, Szynskie said. The Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity affiliate gave the CSU chapter approval for the build once half of the total funding required was collected, Szynskie said. Groundbreaking for the home is scheduled for the end of November.

Kristin Candella, resource development director for the Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity said the amount of money CSU raises depends entirely on its participants.

"If people want to come out and be a cast away, that's awesome," Candella said. "Just bring a phone and your Rolodex."

Students who want to make donations to CSU Habitat for Humanity are welcome to come by the Moot House, 2626 S. College Ave., Candella said.

"It's a big party," she said. "It's just really fun and goofy."

The other 57 expected participants will raise money for a GMAC Mortgage and Fort Collins Board of Realtors Habitat for Humanity build. Fort Collins Mayor Doug Hutchinson and several city council members are scheduled to attend, said Daniel Butterfield, senior loan officer at GMAC Mortgage.

"Our relationship with CSU is brand new," Butterfield said. "CSU was having difficulties raising the required funds, and we thought it would be a good idea to blend our efforts."

The CSU chapter of Habitat for Humanity can provide valuable experience for students, he said.

"Students get to work shoulder to shoulder with people in the industry when we're constructing a house," he said. "It's an opportunity to capture more of the reality of the business world."

Other student organizations interested in helping with the CSU build are encouraged to.

"Student organizations could help out by raising money to buy food for the pantry or supplies for the bathroom," Butterfield said. "You know money is tight with kids so maybe it's coming out to pound nails or help put up walls. It'd be hard to come up with a group who couldn't touch this in some small way."

Habitat for Humanity is about much more than just building houses, Szynskie said.

"As a volunteer you help fill the house with love so it becomes a home," she said. "It gives people a foundation to build a new life upon."


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