UMES Students Rally to Raise Funds, Aid Children in Africa

  • Thursday, October 16, 2008

    HRM CheckPRINCESS ANNE, MD The University of Maryland Eastern Shore Rural Development Center has provided a $3,000 strengthening and capacity building grant to fund a unique project created by UMES students. Known for fine cuisine and top of the line wait service, UMES Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) students are cooking up another fine creation; not in the kitchen, but in the classroom.

    The Hawk Children's Fund of the Maryland Hawk Corporation was conceptualized by HRM students under the watchful eye of Professor Richard Gormley in the School of Business and Technology during a senior level research project which began January 2008.   Original seed funding was received and the HRM students engaged the local Eastern Shore community and a team of "founders" to match the original grant.  According to their vision statement, the group is working to have the fund regionally recognized as an organization geared toward developing proactive partnerships among students, community and other concerned organizations to help children in Africa. 

    "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Gormley, "combining innovative classroom techniques with helping at risk children in Africa while meeting UMES vision of graduating globally competent citizens."

    Fundraising opportunities grew out of the already successful HRM spring luncheon series, which bolstered the creation of the student s unique signature spring semester event.  The effort garnered over $2,500 for the fund.

    The students' spring project concluded with reports from the website concept team, strategic planning team and the Africa children s funding team, which narrowed the focus of the fund to issues related to poverty, health care and education.

    The fall 2008 students have identified the first project to be funded in partnership with two other 501(c)(3)s, "One School at a Time" and the "Partnership for Africa's Future."   The 2009 project will build a four-room schoolhouse for children in the Kyamulinga Village in rural Uganda, Africa.

    The HRM students budget of approximately $10,000 represents their share of the cost of the schoolhouse construction project.  The current $3,000 strengthening and capacity building grant is the centerpiece of the $10,000 fundraising effort.  To raise the final $3,000 to complete their $10,000 target budget, the students have developed "A Special Gourmet Dinner," slated for Friday, November 14.  The dinner starts promptly at 7 p.m. in the Richard A. Henson Center on the UMES campus.  All tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis.  

    For more information about the Hawk Children's Fund, to purchase tickets for "A Special Gourmet Dinner" or to make a tax deductible contribution, contact Gormley at 410-651-6562 or by email at rpgormley@umes.edu. 

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    Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, sstreet@umes.edu.