The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday August 12th

Franklin Street restaurants help art groups raise money

Chapel Hill businesses regularly partner up with student organizations, donating a portion of sales from the night to the group. Greek organizations and philanthropic clubs host these events often, but recently arts organizations have been turning to this method of fundraising, too.

Prior to this semester, the coed arts and literary fraternity St. Anthony Hall did not host benefit nights, president Emily Monnett, a junior, said. Without a national charity, they didn’t have much to raise money for. But in need of funding for their annual alumni weekend — which will run April 10 to April 12 — they hosted two benefit nights this semester.

“Beer Study went really well. They chipped in some of their money to help our cause,” Monnett said. “TRU (Deli + Wine) was packed that night too, so I think we made some good money.”

On Saturday, TRU Deli + Wine hosted the fourth annual Mixed Concrete art show benefitting the UNC chapter of Habitat for Humanity, featuring artwork donated by students, alumni and community members.

Mixed Concrete team member and senior Kaitlyn Goforth said that in the past, a big chunk of Habitat’s yearly goal — $40,000 — came from Mixed Concrete. As of Sunday night, they raised $6,500.

TRU events manager Tanner King said the number of requests he gets for benefit nights has gone up over the last year.

“It used to be one to two a year, and as of late we’re doing two to three a week,” he said.

King said Mixed Concrete is consistently TRU’s most attended benefit night every year.

Music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota is looking into hosting benefit nights, too, after many years of avoiding such fundraisers.

“Past fundraising chairs have cautioned us against doing them because they’ve had problems with the restaurant not being particularly easy to work with or it just not being a huge moneymaker,” fundraising co-chairwoman and junior Caroline Sprecher said.

“I see a lot of other organizations do benefit nights all the time though, and I feel like if that many people are doing them, there has to be some way to be successful.”

Music fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi tries to host one benefit night a semester at restaurants such as the recently closed Top This! and McAlister’s Deli.

“It’s a bit tricky when your main audience is broke college students,” treasurer and sophomore Ben Clements said. “We sell food because that’s what college kids want.”

For restaurants and bars, it is an opportunity to bring in business on nights that might not otherwise be crowded while supporting good causes. JD Schlick, co-owner of Beer Study, said he tries to do at least one benefit a month.

The events are good publicity, Sup Dogs general manager Lindsey Ewing said, and offer a chance for the business to give back to their target customers — college students — and become a bigger part of the community.


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