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Published May 06, 2020
A University of Wyoming College of Business student group doled out $45,000 to four Laramie community nonprofit organizations.
About 30 students in UW’s Student Center for the Public Trust (SCPT) chapter (Ethics Club) were involved with the Spark Tank program at various stages. The chapter recently held a virtual program to hear proposals from applicants.
Chapter members and guests viewed 15-minute prerecorded presentations from Big Brothers Big Sisters, Downtown Clinic, Feeding Laramie Valley and Laramie SAFE Project. All four organizations were researched and vetted by Ethics Club members. Students also consulted with the organizations to help prepare them for their Spark Tank presentations. The nonprofits were vying for a share of the $45,000 raised by the Ethics Club.
Following the presentations, SCPT chapter members deliberated, ranked the organizations and allocated funding.
“As you would expect from our students, their discussions were intelligent, insightful and considerate,” says Kent Noble, the Bill Daniels Chair of Business Ethics in the UW College of Business.
After chapter members expressed their opinions and voted, the club’s officer team was given final authority to specify the amount assigned to each organization, Noble says. Funds were given to:
-- Downtown Clinic, $15,000.
-- Laramie SAFE Project, $15,000.
-- Feeding Laramie Valley, $10,000.
-- Big Brothers Big Sisters, $5,000.
“The students involved with this project feel really good about their efforts, especially given the current enhanced needs of our community due to the COVID-19 situation,” Noble says.
This was the SCPT’s third Spark Tank event. Over the last three years, the club has distributed $67,500 to local nonprofits.
“UW’s Spark Tank initiative has two primary purposes: to provide a ‘spark’ that helps local nonprofits fulfill their missions, and to ‘spark’ a sense of community service within Wyoming’s next generation of business and community leaders,” says Dave Sprott, UW College of Business dean.
The John P. Ellbogen Foundation, Tom and Diane Honig, Dan and Kathryn Blaney, the Scarlett Family Foundation, the UW Foundation and dozens of individual contributors have helped fund the program, Noble says.
SCPT officers, listed by hometowns and majors, are:
-- President Kenna Noble, LaGrange, senior, business management, with a concentration in human resources.
-- Vice President Branton Samson, Torrington, senior, human resources and pre-dental.
-- Secretary and President-elect Troy Cassity, Riverton, senior, management.
-- Community service Chair Izzy Noonan, Eaton, Colo., junior, business management, with a human resources concentration.
-- Treasurer Alex Geiseman, Freeport, Ill., junior, finance.
-- Public relations and recruitment Chair Dana Miller, Reno, Nev., senior, business marketing and business management, with a marketing communications minor.
Kenna Noble says Spark Tank has been a “tremendous opportunity” for the chapter to help as many people as possible in the community, and she is grateful for those who have contributed to the program.
“I also am grateful for the tremendous opportunity to have been a part of such an amazing event. I believe that those who are the happiest do the most for others,” she says. “I am forever grateful to have been a part of something much larger than myself and to have had the opportunity to bolster community outreach in Laramie.”
Cassity adds that the Laramie community consistently supports UW students and their endeavors, and Spark Tank is a way of giving back.
“Thank you to everyone who helped out this year by participating, donating or simply advocating our goals. We really appreciate the support,” he says. “Thank you to any and all nonprofit organizations in Laramie and across the world that never cease to find ways to help out and give back -- even when times are tough.”