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Published May 04, 2021
A University of Wyoming College of Business student group recently awarded nearly $60,000 to four Laramie community nonprofit organizations.
Participants in UW’s Student Center for the Public Trust (SCPT) chapter (Ethics Club) were involved with the SparkTank program at various stages. Last fall, Ethics Club members selected four finalists from a pool of 20 local nonprofits to participate in the event. The organizations were chosen based on their missions, community impact and adherence to the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative principles.
The finalists were Climb Wyoming, Laramie Foster Closet, Laramie Soup Kitchen and the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Ethics Club members researched and vetted the four nonprofit organizations, and consulted with them for their SparkTank presentations.
The nonprofits were vying for a share of the $57,500 raised by Ethics Club members and UW “Sales Seminar” students. SCPT members have invested a total of $125,000 in local nonprofits since 2017.
“SparkTank is more than a one-night event; it’s a movement of hope for nonprofits in the Laramie community, to further their missions and drive impact,” says Troy Cassity, SCPT’s president, and a management and marketing senior from Riverton.
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, club members gave final authority to specify the amount assigned to each organization, Noble says. Funds were given to:
-- Laramie Foster Closet, $22,000.
-- Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, $16,000.
-- Laramie Soup Kitchen, $12,000.
-- Climb Wyoming, $7,500.
“Working on SparkTank has allowed me to bond with nonprofit organizations in the Laramie community and to learn what it means to make meaningful change,” says Kerry Adams, SCPT’s vice president and a marketing senior from Castle Pines, Colo. “SparkTank has inspired me to never let that spark die out.”
UW’s SparkTank initiative provides 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, Noble says.
“SparkTank has been worth every minute, dollar and challenge; it is one of the greatest investments that I have ever made in my life,” says Tucker Norman, SCPT’s treasurer, and a Pine Bluffs management and marketing junior.
Dan and Kathryn Blaney, the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program, the John P. Ellbogen Foundation, Tom and Dianne Honig, the Scarlett Family Foundation, the UW Center for Professional Selling, the UW Foundation and 130 individual contributors have all committed time and/or resources to make SparkTank possible, Noble says.