VU Foundation Introduces BLAZERS GIVE Fundraiser 


submitted photo take by Marcia Martinez

Students stopped by a tent set up for Blazers Give day.

Josie Kidder, Staff Writer

Thursday, April 8 was the first BLAZERS GIVE fundraiser event hosted by the Vincennes University Foundation. The fundraiser allowed students, staff, and any supporter of VU to show thanks to the community for helping the school reach its goal to help provide students with an excellent education and many life-changing opportunities. With the donations the fundraiser received, VU can help the community prosper and help students reach their full potential.

Executive Director of VU Foundation and Senior Director of Institutional Advancement  Kristi Deetz said, “We decided it was time to hold a giving day to support Vincennes, and we really wanted to make this first year a celebration about everything Vincennes University to share alumni stories, to share success about the VU community, so we wanted to bring all parts of the Vincennes community together which is really an international community.”

BLAZERS GIVE not only raised money for VU to provide students with an excellent education, but also showed how important it is to express our appreciation to the community and VU donors who make it possible for a brighter future.

“The  goal of the BLAZERS GIVE was to concentrate more on engaging with the community and making connections, and while we don’t have the final figures yet, I am happy to announce that we did receive the full 100% of our matching gift and we will have additional funds beyond that,” Deetz said.

The event reached out to people online and in person. Many Vincennes alumni, staff, and friends shared their VU stories and Trailblazer pride through social media, while students,staff, and friends in the area stopped by the BLAZERS GIVE tent to say thanks. The tent offered food, drinks, and “swag” that included hand sanitizer, a pen, a laptop sticker, and a BLAZERS GIVE Tshirt. Some students who earned scholarships through VU also wrote thank-you notes to donors and had their pictures taken.

The BLAZERS GIVE fundraiser was a day of giving and sharing that had many enjoyable moments for everyone who attended.

“My favorite part of BLAZERS GIVE was connecting with alumni that we haven’t heard from in a while and also meeting a lot of our students. A lot of those students were scholarship recipients and to hear them express what the scholarship meant to them and to their degree made the day really worth it, ” Deetz said.

Director of Development Leslie Kidwell said, “My favorite part of Blazers Give was seeing the collaboration of our programs, campus locations, and partners all coming together.  I also really enjoyed hearing and sharing all the stories of scholarship recipients as well as stories of donors as to why they support VU.”

The BLAZERS GIVE fund is all about a day of giving and expressing thanks to Vincennes, the staff, students, and donors. This new found tradition helps build up Trailblazer spirit and allows VU to give back in return for the amazing things the staff and community has done for the university.

Kidwell said, “The event was very successful as it brought the VU community together in a way it has never come together before.  It engaged alumni, friends of the university, and donors while inspiring new gifts and connections.” 

She also mentioned that she hopes there will be more stories, more celebratory events, and new ways to give back to the VU community while keeping the Trailblazer spirit the community had this BLAZERS GIVE.

“With our first year we started smaller because we had to plan under the safety guidelines and hopefully next year we will have more flexibility to expand to more of the VU locations  and to have more interactive activities that will extend from midnight to midnight. We are going to be looking for more wonderful VU stories for BLAZERS GIVE and we hope everyone follows our different social media pages and VU’s social media channels so everyone has a chance to share their stories because your story is the best story to share. We are a part of each other’s story and a part of each other’s success and it’s the people that make the difference,” Deetz said.

The next BLAZERS GIVE day is set for April 7, 2022.