Blue Out Movement Comes to $25,000 Fruition
It all started with two people and one idea on a Sunday night.
It was an idea from two graduate students, Laura March and Stuart Shapiro, from which the Blue Out Movement was born, that would later spread like wildfire throughout the State College and Penn State communities.
After all of the news broke about the Sandusky scandal, March and Shapiro were sitting on their sofa reading more and more about the case, since it was all relatively new to them. Shapiro said he was disgusted with everything that came out. He and Laura were trying to figure out ways to cope with the shock of the scandal, which caused Laura to look up the ribbon color for child abuse prevention, and coincidentally, it was Penn State blue. This was what led them to start the push for a “Blue Out” at the Nebraska game, because they were not fond of what white represented as a color.
Laura contacted the athletic department the Monday after the story broke, and apologized for wanting to start a Blue Out, in place of the planned White Out, all to avoid conflict between people wearing white or blue at the game. After a few days, the event started spreading rapidly, growing to about “three people a second.” This led the athletic department to declare an official Blue Out, rather than a White Out.
This in turn sparked an idea to create an official T-shirt for the event. March contacted McLanahan’s, who were more than happy to sell a shirt, which was produced quickly for the event. 100% of the proceeds sold from each shirt went to their charity of choice, Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania. This shirt then became a “walking billboard” for their campaign. In the first four days that McLanahan’s offered the shirt, over 8,000 were sold.
These two students took the initiative that the University didn’t take, and got motivated to really start a huge movement across the campus, in an attempt to help others heal.
Today, all of their hard work and effort put into the movement will be rewarded when McLanahan’s presents them with a giant check at 3 p.m. at their 414 E. College Ave. location. The duo will then present the check to PCAP.
When asked about how much money was raised, Shapiro said, “It’s a humbling amount of money to see what the Penn State and State College community has been able to come and do with us. It’s been really humbling.” March then added, “We’re not philanthropists…it was just sitting on the couch and clicking with an idea and it took off because it was at the right time and the right place. I think that Penn State students need to know that we can all do something wonderful if we just take the time to make something great.”
The donation ceremony is open to the public, where the official total raised will be revealed.
Update, 6:35 p.m. The total amount from the Blue Out shirts that will be donated the Prevent Child Abuse PA to help child sexual abuse victims is a tall, cool $25,000! A total of $47,000 was raised for child abuse prevention charities, including the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR).