By HOPE RACINE
On Saturday, Feb. 23, senior Becca Poole sponsored a “Harry Potter”-themed event for the Relay for Life.
Modeled after the Yule Ball dance in the “Harry Potter” books, the event served as a fundraiser for Poole’s Relay for Life team.
“The team is called Avada Kedavra Cancer,” said Poole. “Since the name is a “Harry Potter” reference, we thought it would be cool to have “Harry Potter” themed fundraisers for it.”
Poole, a double major in political science and international relations, decided to create the team after learning that her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. Her idea was met with support from her friends and roommates, as well as her siblings, freshmen twins Sarah and Daniel.
“My sister came up with the idea and we’re just helping her get support,” said Sarah Poole, an intended sociology major.
On Tuesday night, Sarah, Daniel and other volunteers went door to door in various dorms handing out flyers and reminding students about the upcoming ball.
“Dormstorming seems to be a pretty effective method of generating interest,” Becca Poole said. “We also made a youtube video advertising for the event.”
In addition to getting donations at the ball, the team set up a fundraising event at Sweet Frog on Wednesday night. Sweet Frog donated a part of each purchase of those who specified that they wanted to support the Relay Team.
“After the ball and the Sweet Frog event, we’re hoping to reach our goal of $300,” Poole said.
“I think having it Harry Potter themed is a good way to gain interest in the Relay events,” Poole said. “I’m a huge fan- and also, I just really wanted a Yule Ball at UMW.”
Students were asked to donate $3 at the door and could choose which of the four “houses” would receive the donations. At the end of the night, the house with the most money donated would be announced the winner.
Attendees had the option to dress up as a character from the books if they wanted, or to dress up and look nice. While most students wore dresses or suits, some students did opt to dress as their favorite character. Some students wore outfits in the colors of their favorite Hogwarts house, while some even wore robes.
“I’m not expecting a huge turnout, honestly,” Poole said before the event. “I guess I’m a pessimist. I’m hoping for maybe 50 students and $100? It’s been hard to get the word out there, and Facebook can be limiting.”
Poole’s fears seemed unfounded, however, as most of the attendees had found out about the event through its Facebook page.
“I found out about it on Facebook, and since I like “Harry Potter” and I support the Relay, it seemed like a fun time,” said freshman Kelly Hendricks, an intended business major.
Hendricks attended the event with her friends and fellow freshmen Ruth Catlett and Rita Bailey. While they went to support Poole’s Relay team, the three friends intend to create their own team.
The event went from 8-12 pm and raised $241.79, almost $150 over Poole’s initial goal. for Poole’s team, with Hufflepuff house bringing in the most donations.