BY ANDREAS BUTLER
A new organization called Community Sponsors has announced a fundraiser to help Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) with scholarships for students.
“We are kicking off our efforts and looking for the community support, especially focusing on our youth and young adults’’ said Fred Beneby, co-chair of Community Sponsors.
It’s one of the fundraising campaigns underway to support the university.
“This movement is going on with several other fundraising efforts for B-CU. We don’t want to step on the university’s other fundraising efforts but support them.”
Nov. 24 fundraiser
Beneby is a longtime volunteer with Bethune-Cookman in fundraising and recruitment.
Community Sponsors is teaming up with Mount Zion African American Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church located at 449 S. Martin Luther King Blvd. for a special service on Sunday, Nov. 24 to raise scholarship funds.
The service begins at 10 a.m. “We want to change the lives of students at B-CU. That is our goal. It’s about helping the students,” said the Rev. Wendell C. Webster, Mt. Zion’s pastor.
A similar event was held at the church in August through its Legacy Committee. That day a student received a $1,000 scholarship and 20 other students got $250 in book vouchers.
“We’re basically the same group that did that event. We were out as the Legacy Committee but another group on campus already has that name. We did 10 book vouchers and the school matched funds for 10 more,” explained Beneby.
The goal is to get more churches involved in the future.
“We hope that this initiative grows and other churches get involved. We hope to build a coalition of churches,” noted Webster.
Beneby added, “We have had discussions with other churches but nothing has come to fruition yet.”
This campaign also focuses on the youth. Donations in any amount will be accepted beginning with $1.50 from children and students in recognition of the biblical teaching of Isaiah 11:6 – “And a little child will lead them.”
Other symbolic donations are $150.00 from those 25 and older and $1,150.00 from businesses and organizations.
Lesson in giving
Symbolic donations will be requested to help sustain the historic institution, which is now threatened by financial problems, and to teach both youths and adults the importance of such protection.
“We are asking for the youth to get involve and help the university to also build a future for themselves by sustaining the university and having a higher education platform, which can help their futures,” Webster related.
Beneby echoed, “We are focusing on the younger people ages 6 to 25. We want our young to know that they can help by giving so little; they can help the university overcome its financial troubles. Many youngsters want to help, especially at this church. We don’t expect to raise a lot of money but we can do something.”
How to help
In a previous interview, Dr. Clifford Porter, B-CU’s vice president for Institutional Investment said, “Community partnerships have long been a part of the legacy of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. Her Sunday afternoon meetings would bring individuals from across Daytona Beach to address the most pressing needs of the day.’’
Donations are tax deductible and can be made payable to B-CU Institutional Advancement for Community Sponsors and mailed to 640 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114-9986.