Montana Hall File

The sun sets on Montana Hall in this Chronicle file photo.

The Spirit of the West Marching Band needs a pickup truck to haul band equipment. Students Against Sexual Assault wants to offer safe motel rooms to people fleeing abusive relationships.

The Clean Snowmobile Club needs money for an exhaust gas analyzer. And architecture students want to build a prototype tiny home for the homeless.

Those are just a few of the 48 student clubs, classes and causes hoping to raise some cash Thursday and Friday when Montana State University holds its first Giving Day.

It’s a chance for alumni, parents, students, staff and members of the public to go online and contribute $10 or more to a cause or project they care about through an online fundraising event. It begins at noon on Thursday and runs for 29 hours until at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Chris Murray, MSU Alumni Foundation president and chief executive officer, said the goals are to attract 1,000 donors and raise $300,000.

The foundation is offering bonus payments of $2,000 and $1,500 to the No. 1 and 2 groups that raise the most dollars or most donors.

Once the countdown clock at the top of the webpage runs out at noon Thursday, a big button will appear there that people can click on to donate, using credit cards or PayPal, said Michael Becker, MSU spokesman. Donors can also give by mail — an address is listed under FAQ (frequently asked questions).

Many student groups have made videos to explain why they need the money.

Art students want to travel to France for a “trip of a lifetime” to see Cezanne’s paintings up close and in person, instead of in a textbook or on a website.

The Bridger Solar Team is raising money to build a solar-powered car for a 1,400-mile race competing against other universities this summer.

Montanathon Dance Marathon students want to raise money for the Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena for children with mental illness and genetic disorders, to support their dance-athon fundraiser on March 7 in the Strand Union ballrooms.

ROTC cadets want to join the Bataan Memorial Death March event, a 26-mile trek through the desert at the White Sands Missile Base in New Mexico.

Engineers Without Borders students are raising money to attend a national conference in Reno so they can learn from other chapters and learn about more resources for their long-term project — bringing clean drinking water to poor village schools in Kenya.

Gallatin College is raising scholarship funds to ease the financial burden for students seeking to improve their job and educational skills.

The Inclusive Community Camp is raising money for a July summer camp, where half the children will have Down syndrome or similar disabilities and get to make friendships and have fun with other kids their own age.

The MSU Library is looking for help to add furniture, electric outlets and artwork to make study spaces more attractive to students.

The Montana Treasure State Poll — the only university poll to accurately predict results of recent Senate and House races — is looking for help to continue its opinion polling of Montanans.

The Student Memorial Renovation is raising $40,000 toward enlarging and making more welcoming a now-hidden outdoor area dedicated to students who have died while attending MSU.

Other groups participating in Giving Day include the Bounty of the Bridgers food pantry for hungry students, the Caring for Our Own Program that trains American Indian students in nursing, Collegiate Cattle Women, Ecology Research, the Ivan Doig Festival of the West, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and Shadows of Our Past, an exhibit of photos, medal and mementoes honoring Montana military veterans.

Gail Schontzler can be reached at or 582-2633.

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