As Michael Dore @@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=staff&d=person&b=name&s=Michael+Dore@@poked his head through a small hole in an upright plywood board, he only took a second to brace himself for the whipped cream pie looming ominously in front of him.
A dented impression was left on the tin after the pie smashed into Dore’s face and hair and fell to the blue tarp below. Despite taking a face full of what closely resembled shaving cream from a professional salon, he smiled and exclaimed that it was all for a good cause.
“It’s a fun fundraiser,” said Dore, a University marketing professor. “It’s going to Habitat for Humanity and kids going down to Guatemala to help people build a home, so it’s a great cause.”
Yesterday, Dore — along with nearly 15 other business professors — stepped out of their offices and classrooms to participate in a “Pie Your Professor” fundraiser that will help 17 University students from the Lundquist College of Business’ honors program embark on an alternate Spring Break trip during the winter break.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity for our program to go together, because we would be able to strengthen our leadership skills and also know every single person on the trip, so it’ll be a little different environment,” said Sarah [email protected]@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Sarah+Brillhart@@, a senior accounting major.
Brillhart, who helped to set up the fundraiser, said the students will be going to the town [email protected]@http://maps.google.com/maps?pq=zacapa&hl=en&cp=8&gs_id=7&xhr=t&q=zacapa+guatemala&client=firefox-a&hs=NyE&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1404&bih=675&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x8f617f28255949e3:0xc834ac20e3b11dec,Zacapa,+Guatemala&gl=us&ei=Hq-XToLEAamOigLzi4m5DQ&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCgQ8gEwAA@@ in eastern Guatemala for 10 days to build a house in the town. In all, Brillhart estimates that it will cost nearly $2,300 for each student in the group to attend the trip, which has been partially defrayed by ASUO student funds and other fundraisers.
“What we wanted to do was target the student population and think of an event that would be interesting enough for them to pay to help us,” Brillhart said. “We thought that having a raffle combined with an event where you got to interact with your professors would entice students to participate.”
Prices at the fundraising booth ranged from $3 for one whipped cream pie and $5 for two pies. Raffle tickets cost $1 each and $5 for a pack of six. Among the many prizes from nearly 45 vendors — including Track Town Pizza, Dutch Bros. Coffee, Dickie Jo’s, and Pizza Hut — students could win a $100 gift certificate at Rennie’s Landing. By the time the event ended, Brillhart estimated they had used nearly 16 of the 20 cans of whipped cream they purchased and made nearly $550 in pies and raffle sales.
Beyond the fun associated with the fundraiser, Ron Bramhall, @@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=staff&d=person&b=name&s=Ron+Bramhall@@a University senior instructor in leadership and communication and director of the business school’s honors program, said students have already gleaned a lot of leadership skills by organizing fundraising events, talking to local businesses and consulting with numerous business professors.
“We want our students, especially our honors students, to get out of the classroom and practice their skills in the real world, so this is a great chance to do that,” Bramhall said.
For some students, the opportunity to smash their professors with pies was too good to pass up.
“It was cool to be able to pie our professors,” Joel [email protected]@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Joel+Kelly@@, a University junior business administration major, said jokingly as he purchased a pie for Joel [email protected]@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=staff&d=person&b=name&s=Joel+Sneed@@, a University accounting assistant professor. “They’re always up there talking to you and telling you all this stuff, and they’re all superior and higher up, so it was nice to be able to put them in their place.”
Dore also said the opportunity to give to charity is something that cannot be quantified or measured, just experienced.
“I think that anytime we get a chance to help others, we gain a lot,” Dore said. “We learn that the world doesn’t revolve around us, that we actually have a way in which we can help others and help ourselves at the same time.”