Service Issue: Project makes lasting impact

Students have raised more than $160,000 for various charities as part of their entrepreneurial marketing class.

Assistant professor Jean Wilcox’s “10-10-10” project was first introduced in Spring 2010 to her entrepreneurial marketing students. The project was comprised of 10 teams that all received $10 and were instructed to increase that sum by a factor of 10. The goal was to raise money by using social media, among other outlets.

Since then, her students have raised more than $160,000 for their respective charities, including Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Live Aid and Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.

“At the beginning of the semester, [Wilcox] provided us with a laundry list of all the charities that we could work with,” said Frank Fusaro, a senior entrepreneurship major who set his sights on helping the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association.

Fusaro’s group, Temple University for ALS, helps maintain a webpage for direct donations and is currently gearing up for the Walk to Defeat ALS on Nov. 3. TU for ALS is also involved with a charity concert event on Dec. 1 that will raise money with a $15 admission fee, donations, raffles and a silent auction.

“My grandmother died from ALS,” Fusaro said. “I thank [Wilcox] for giving me the opportunity to work on a project that has had such an impact on the people that are suffering and who have suffered through ALS. I am using ‘10-10-10’ as the first step to honor my grandmother.”

“Connectivity is key,” said Colleen Hoffman, a senior marketing major. Her team, Owls for Alex, works to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which hits home for Hoffman.

“I have always had a connection to children,” Hoffman said. “The story of the young girl Alex Scott who fought neuroblastoma is touching and remarkable. My mother is the secretary of the elementary school I attended growing up where a student is currently fighting neuroblastoma. This made the cause much more close to my heart. People are often apt to help fight a cause to a charity they have some connection to.”

Hoffman’s team members reached out to friends, family and radio stations to find items to raffle off including Eastern State Penitentiary tickets, Preston & Steve sit-in tickets and a basketball signed by Fran Dunphy. They also hosted an event at the Draught Horse to sell more raffle tickets and a late-night grilled cheese sale for donations.

“When my teammate and I were preparing for our grilled cheese sale, we laughed, saying, ‘We are doing homework right now,’” Hoffman said. “In other classes you are forced to complete assignments that feel irrelevant, whereas the ‘10-10-10’ program allows students to create their own success for a charitable organization of their choosing.”

Senior entrepreneurship major Tom Readinger said he couldn’t be more excited about his group TempleU4CHOP that raises money for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition to cash donations and promotional gifts from local businesses, TempleU4CHOP has gotten involved in a different form of fundraising.

“We’ll be sponsoring the first annual Diaper Dash on Nov. 16 at noon,” Readinger said. “The cost of the event is $10, which allows participants to strut their stuff diaper-style on Main Campus. All proceeds will benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the ‘10-10-10’ project. Our group’s goal is to raise $5,000. If our goal is met, [Wilcox] has agreed to be the first honorary ‘doctor’ of the Diaper Dash.”

Kristina Stube and Molly Levine, both senior marketing majors, started UnLitter Temple, a program to clean Main Campus. So far, they have reached out to Philadelphia’s cleanup program UnLitter Us and Temple’s Office of Sustainability for support.

So far, UnLitter Temple has held an open mic night at Saxbys to fundraise. Stube said the program is completely non-profit.

“Any money that is not used goes back into UnLitter Temple [for the next event],” Stube said.

Its next fundraising endeavor, Stube said, will be held on Oct. 31 in Alter Hall, where UnLitter Temple members will be selling dirt pudding. The time is still being determined, but the group has pointed interested parties to its Facebook page for more information.

On Oct. 4, the team went throughout campus and picked up trash and disposed of it in an environmentally-friendly way.

“We had 23 students show up, and four local residents saw what we were doing and came out to help, too,” Levine said.

Their next cleanup day is scheduled for Nov. 4 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. They meet at the outdoor track located at 15th and Montgomery streets. Volunteers will be supplied with gloves and trash bags. Also, students can post on UnLitter Temple’s Facebook page or tweet any streets they would like to see cleaned for UnLitter Temple’s consideration.

Stube said she hopes younger students “help and continue [UnLitter Temple] in the future.”

Senior entrepreneurship major Dan Falco chose a unique charity as part of his project.

“My group is working for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International,” Falco said. “We knew that by choosing to work with DFGFI we would be able to tug at the heart strings of others in a way that would not make them feel uncomfortable or depressed, but rather excited and inspired to help the declining gorilla population. I mean, how can you not have fun promoting gorillas? Slap on a gorilla suit and everybody’s having fun.”

DFGFI also plans to receive support from Lehigh Valley grocery stores and upcoming Eagles’ tailgates for donations.

“So far, ‘10-10-10’ has been a great experience,” Falco said. “I’m having a lot of fun with it and I’m realizing how relentless you have to be in order to get what you want from people. My group is awesome, my charity is stellar and on top of it all we’re supporting a great cause.”

Despite vastly different interests and charities, all the students involved share an equal amount of gratitude toward [Wilcox] for her dedication to the “10-10-10” project. By holding weekly group sessions and continuing to monitor the progress of each group, Wilcox has set a new standard for community service at Temple and ensured that the “10-10-10” project will continue to thrive.

“This is the first project throughout my educational career where I am empowered and motivated,” Readinger said. “[Wilcox] has made me feel that the ‘10-10-10’ project could be my legacy and my lasting impact on the Temple community.”

Jessica Smith and Melissa Pascale can be reached at

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