RLC fundraiser combats Malaria with ‘Nothin but Nets’

by Peter KaspariStaff Writer

A fundraiser sponsored by the Religious Life Community is using the spare change of students and faculty for a good cause. This year, RLC is sponsoring “Nothing but Nets,” a fundraiser designed to raise money to purchase malaria nets for families living in Africa.

“Every 30 seconds, a child dies of malaria,” sophomore Courtney Lezanic, RLC chaplain fellowship intern, said.

After hearing about the project, Reverend Angela Gafford-Asmus, chaplain and director of religious life community, decided to use “Nothing but Nets” as this year’s fundraising project.

“I heard about it and thought it was important to have a service project that affected us globally,” Gafford-Asumus said.

According to Lezanic, “Nothing but Nets” has sponsors from various backgrounds including The Mosquito Barcoding Initiative, the Methodist Church and Sports Illustrated.

This is not the first time RLC has sponsored a fundraiser of this nature.

“Three years ago, we raised money with Habitat for Humanity to build a house in Nepal,” Gafford Asmus said. “We’ve helped with Operation Christmas Child [and] we have an Up ’til Dawn team. ‘Nothing but Nets’ was something we wanted to do and challenge the Simpson community to join in.”

RLC is using various fundraising methods to get the nets purchased. According to Lezanic, each net costs $10. The group’s ultimate goal is to purchase 200 nets by the end of the academic year.

“First we did an offering at family weekend,” Lezanic said. “We [also] asked students to fill pop cans with cash and we raised $1,161 from those cans. The Christian Service Theme House is also sponsoring this.”

Junior Erica Shannon, chaplain outreach intern, said RLC has also rewarded people who have made outstanding donations to the cause.

“The person who raised the most got a gift certificate,” Shannon said.

Lezanic and Shannon both said that a basketball tournament is currently being planned for next semester to support the cause.

According to Gafford-Asmus, RLC tries to do fundraising projects that don’t just have a local focus.

“What we want to do is have a global focus each year,” she said. “At the end of the year, we’ll decide what we want to do for next year. But if during the year there’s a great need, we’ll add something else,” Gafford Asmus said.

The fundraiser will be continuing until the end of the year. Until then, students are welcome to continue donating to “Nothing but Nets.”

“They can bring money over to the chapel office, pick up a soda can and fill it with change and come back, [or] they can recycle cans and give us the redemption money,” Gafford Asmus said. “We’re going to raise as much as we can.”

For everybody involved, the opportunity to raise money and help get the campus involved has been unforgettable.

“We’re just impressed with the money and with all the interest,” Shannon said.

Lezanic is also proud of the accomplishments so far.

“You know it’s directly affecting someone and it’s helping save someone’s life,” Lezanic said.

For more information, Gafford Asmus said to visit the official Web site at nothingbutnets.net.