Beginning April 13, the Habitat for Humanity Virginia Tech chapter will host its largest fundraising event of the year. Organizers say they hope Shack-A-Thon will become an annual event focused on healthy competition in the name of philanthropy.

Over a five-day period, six qualified charity organizations will build and man a shack and actively raise funds on the plaza outside of Squires Student Center. Each team is responsible for providing materials and participants for their organization, engaging in a competitive bid to claim a patch of land for their shack, and building a shack that meets the competition’s safety standards.

At the end of the event, shacks will be judged on an official point system where teams earn or lose points toward a final score. Points will be given or lost based on several categories, including fundraising and sponsorship, design and engineering, awareness and outreach, and sustainability and safety.

Andrew Minafo of Bayville, N.Y., a senior majoring in construction engineering and management in the College of Engineering, is the current president of Habitat for Humanity at Virginia Tech. He said the idea came about from a similar event sponsored by the N.C. State chapter of Habitat. 

"Shack-A-Thon had become not only the N.C. State chapter’s largest fundraiser, but also a part of their school's culture and experience. We are hoping to bring this feeling about the event to Virginia Tech," said Minafo. 

Each group will be given an opportunity to submit their fundraising ideas prior to the event. Events might include bake-sales, pet-a-puppy, or kissing booths, but the decisions are ultimately up to the teams themselves. 

So far, the Rugby Team, Young Libertarians, Forestry Products Club, and S.E.R.V.E. are all signed up to compete.

Those interested in participating, but unable to join a team will be able to offer services in helping with the setup and breakdown of the event, scoring, and conducting safety and building checks. Habitat for Humanity will also be creating a separate area, dubbed Hokieville, where food and entertainment will be offered to attendees and competitors.

Those interested in joining Habitat for Humanity can find more information online.



Written by Drew Knapp.
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