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Nanook cadets raise money for hurricane victims

Submitted by Nathan Burnham
Phone: (907) 474-6852

09/16/05

Cadets display their collection of school supplies for Katrina victims. Cadets from the UAF "Nanooks" Army ROTC battalion raised over $560 in donations for Hurricane Katrina victims by hosting a Halo videogame tournament in the Wood Center last week. The money was used to purchase school supplies for elementary school students displaced by the storm.

"I pulled the Cadet Battalion Cmdr. aside and put the idea in his head to do something to help," said Maj. Nathan Burnham, enrollment services officer for the Army ROTC unit at UAF. "I pictured cadets at a table in the Wood Center asking for donations, but they took the idea and ran. When I went up to check on them they had set up this elaborate, and profitable, video game tournament. They far exceeded my expectations."

"Cadet Joshua Hull came up with the basic idea", said Cadet Battalion Cmdr. Kevin Wehner, "then we all started building on it. It was a good activity for us; we had to plan, coordinate and execute the tournament, secure the location, make the technology work and interact with people. It's exactly the sort of thing we are training to do as Army officers"and it served a good cause too."

The cadets purchased the school supplies from local stores, being careful to get the most "bang for their buck," and shipped them out Friday, Sept. 15. The supplies have been shipped directly to a school in San Antonio that has received many displaced elementary school students. The cadets included personal notes of support for the students in the boxes of school supplies.

"I was impressed with the cadets' initiative," said Lt. Col. Carlson, professor of military science at UAF. "They just took the ball and ran with it and needed no one looking over their shoulders to make it happen. It was an excellent example for other student groups on campus to follow."

The cadets didn't end their fund raising efforts with the Halo tournament. Cadets Andrew Dallemole and Anthony Stong are in UAF student government and introduced a bill for Student Government to match the funds raised at the Halo tournament. This bill is currently under consideration and, if passed, will increase the amount raised by the cadets to more than $1,200.