|Coconut confection supports scholarships
by Cindy Abole
Fiscal analyst Donna Rychwa thought she could quietly sidestep the
students who stopped by her office on Dec. 17 to sell tickets for a
chance at their annual raffle and donation drive supporting
scholarships in the College of Graduate Studies (CGS).
Payroll’s Kathleen Williams, from left, Denise Reddrick and John True
eye Linda Mitchell’s coconut cake slice, as winner Donna Rychwa looks
Instead, she found herself sans $5 and six raffle tickets richer for a
chance win. The next day, Rychwa got a phone call informing her that
she had won the prized coconut cake donated and prepared by Peninsula
Grill chef Robert Carter.
“I’m usually the person that never wins anything,” said Rychwa, who has
worked in the University Payroll Office in Harborview Tower for the
past one-and-a-half years. “I chalked it up as a loss when I didn’t
hear anything after the drawing deadline and later, learned that I did
win. It was a nice surprise.”
The fundraiser netted more than $1,300 in donations, the most ever in
its six-year history with the college. According to CGS
business manager Karla Locklear, proceeds from previous coconut cake
fundraisers provided for two $2,000 scholarships for first-year CGS
doctoral recruits this past fall. The college awarded these
scholarships to Kristin Anne Smith and Michael Stefanik. December's
proceeds will be used to fund a recruitment scholarship to a future
student who will begin classes this fall.
“Every year that we’ve had the raffle, we’ve found that people are
eager to buy tickets for the drawing because they know how good the
cake tastes. Chef Carter has been very generous in his support of the
drawing and we want to thank him for making this scholarship fund
raiser a success,” said Perry V. Halushka, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the
College of Graduate Studies.
On Dec. 22, Rychwa picked up her 14-pound confectionary masterpiece
(valued at $100) and shared it with co-workers as well as neighboring
employees from University Finance, Human Resources and other
departments. According to Rychwa, every morsel was gobbled up within
hours. Plus, she was able to save a slice for her husband, John.
glad the program supports bright minds and talented students and would
gladly do it again,” Rychwa said, playfully. “I only wished I loved
coconut cake as much as everyone else does.”
Friday, Jan. 15, 2010