Donors to match students bucks

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    By Angela Twining

    The “Choose to Give” campaign for BYU”s Annual Fund kicks off today, and the week promises fun and excitement in the form of the Men”s Chorus, the Cougarettes and BYUSA clubs.

    David Johnson, 23, a junior from Mesa, Ariz., majoring in political science and communications, is a co-chair for the campaign and is thrilled to inform students about what he believes is a great cause.

    “The Annual Fund is broad. It gives latitude to the leaders of the school to put priority where it needs to be,” he said.

    But, the main motivation for students to give, Johnson said, is that BYU benefactors have promised to match any student donation five to one.

    The campaign slogan reads, “$1=$6? Do the math!”

    Spencer Wheelright, 22, a junior from Belmont, Mass., majoring in mechanical engineering, is involved in “Choose to Give” as a “roaming rep.” These volunteers wear bright yellow buttons, give out stickers and answer questions all week about the campaign.

    “I was a little skeptical at first,” he said. “But there”s no reason to be. The purpose of this is to accomplish a great thing for the school, and I love the school.”

    Wheelright said a little sacrifice now is well worth it – each donation has a 500% return thanks to the generous benefactors.

    Wheelright is also in the Men”s Chorus, and students should keep their eyes and ears open during the class change before noon today.

    Other events this week include shows at noon in Brigham Square from the Cougarettes, Capoeira Club, Y Juggle and a mock bill-signing from the College Democrats and Republicans Wednesday at one.

    The Men”s Chorus is one of several organizations on campus that have already pledged 100 percent member participation.

    Johnson said the Annual Fund includes three areas. The first is a general university fund, where money is used as President Bateman sees fit, such as for renovations or Internet support.

    The second part is a departmental fund, which is the same as the university fund, except on the dean”s level.

    Lastly, the General Scholarship Fund is where students donate to others who need financial assistance to get through school.

    This general fund is part of the Students Helping Students program, where students get together and find support for those who need help.

    “The main point is to create the habit of giving,” Johnson said. He said a BYU faculty member once told him that giving is a mark of professionalism.

    “The best way to learn to be good alumni is to practice now,” he said.

    Johnson said the alumni giving rate for most universities is much higher than BYU”s 21 percent.

    Sarah Sandberg, 23, a senior from Provo, majoring in elementary education, is BYUSA vice president and a co-chair with Johnson for the campaign.

    She said the response so far has been phenomenal and it is great to give back to an institution that has given its students so much.

    “The five to one match is an incredible opportunity. If students are to give, now is the time. It”s a vote for the university,” she said.

    Students donating this week will be matched five to one, recent alumni from the past five years will be matched two to one, and anyone else donating will be matched one to one.

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