Doris Kim

Last Saturday’s Shack-a-Thon came very close to the goal of helping sponsor a Habitat for Humanity home in the Fox Cities area.
Shack-a-Thon, in its fifth year, is one of Lawrence’s annual fundraisers organized by the Volunteer and Community Service Center.
In past years, Shack-a-Thon has collectively raised about $18,000 and brought in an additional $4,000 this year for the cause, but the VCSC is still short of the $25,000 necessary to partner with other area organizations to sponsor a Habitat for Humanity home.
The fundraising event, however, did succeed in the secondary goal of raising awareness of homelessness and housing issues.
“Shack-a-Thon is an important event for Lawrence since it’s so easy to get stuck in the ‘Lawrence bubble,'” sophomore Liz Corey said. “It’s a good opportunity for people to take the time then, and hopefully more time more often, to develop understanding and compassion for those without a home or those living under the poverty line.”
Student groups like Greek organizations, service groups and dorm halls creatively combined scrap material into unique shacks to sleep in overnight.
Shacks this year included materials like duct tape and car parts, and some managed to fit in a futon mattress or build a second story.
The award for most creative shack went to the LARY/VITAL shack, with Plantz in second. The award for the most structurally sound shack went to Greenfire/SLA/Co-op/Amnesty International.
Shack-a-Thon took on a “Shackopoly” twist this year, complete with a jail and Chance and Community Chest cards. Students could even go to “Go” to learn more information about homelessness and difficulties with affordable housing.
Shack-a-Thon included appearances by Appleton mayor Tim Hanna and Appleton physician Dr. John Mielke as guest judges for the “Best Shack” award, along with guest speakers Pat Day and Yellena Kravic.
Day, a class of 1960 Lawrence graduate, is one of the founding volunteers with the Fox Cities chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Kravic is a local 17-year-old student who moved into the first women-built Habitat home in the Fox Cities with her family in 2000.
Both speakers gave their perspectives on affordable housing and the importance of organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.
After spending the day building a shack, students were able to enjoy a music performance on Main Hall Green from Storyhill, an acoustic guitar duo. Proceeds collected at the concert were also donated to Habitat for Humanity.
“It was such a great day to spend outside. I was glad to see so many people on Main Hall Green having fun and taking part in a community effort of something so important,” said Susan Klumpner.
“It was obvious many people put a lot of work into the project and sincerely cared about the cause of the fundraiser. I was really glad to participate!