PR students support Red Cross with fundraiser

Katherine Martin

Dollars for Disaster, a student-led fundraiser benefiting the West Alabama chapter of the American Red Cross, will begin at 7 p.m. and last until midnight at various venues around town, according to a UA news release.

The Bear Trap, Innisfree, The Red Shed, The Booth, 4th&23rd and The Alcove will offer drink specials, cover charges and donation boxes to support the event, said Jennifer Neill, account executive for the project.

“We wanted to appeal to everyone on campus,” Neill said. “We thought that a dollar was easy and doable for almost everyone on campus. Every single dime will go to the West Alabama chapter of the American Red Cross.”

Bev Leigh, III, development director for the West Alabama chapter of the American Red Cross, said a group of public relations students has helped immensely by putting out public service announcements and commercials that educate the community about prevention and response to disasters as they occur.

“It means the world to the chapter,” Leigh said. “The American Red Cross does not enjoy any federal funding. We rely on funding from our neighbors.”

Leigh said the group of students from Suzanne Horsley’s public relations campaign class has been going door to door asking people to come out and enjoy the night and maybe make a monetary contribution.

Neill said the senior public relations class was tasked with creating a project that would benefit the American Red Cross, and her group came up with Dollars for Disaster hoping to appeal to college students.

“The West Alabama chapter of the Red Cross helps Tuscaloosa and six surrounding counties with everything from fires and floods to family emergencies,” Neill said. “Just coming out will support everything the Red Cross does.”