Alex Cwiok

Staff Writer

Wondering why you’ve seen a lot of purple across campus this past week? It’s all from a small group of students trying to raise awareness for domestic violence and animal abuse for a business project.

Purple for Peace, a small business designed to raise funds for the SPCA and the Peace River Center, was on campus last week selling homemade chocolates for $1. The name comes from the domestic violence awareness purple ribbon.

Erica Bitting, Darby Frankfurth, Chris- tine Kline and Conor Huey-Berns, parked themselves in Badcock Garden on week- day afternoons to spread the word through social media and poster advertisements by selling candy.

The group members proposed the philanthropic project because domestic violence is a cause that they are all passionate about.

“We originally just had the idea of Purple for Peace, being for the Peace River Center and during Valentine’s Day,” Bitting said.

They wanted to expand their opportunity and add another event to their project, leading them to raise funds for the SPCA as well.

“We are all against animal and human abuse and we highly value the success of the two organizations,” Frankfurth said. “The means of getting donations changed as we looked further into prices, products and labor.”

The philanthropy is something that all of the members are passionate about for one reason or another. Frankfurth and Kline are members of Alpha Chi Omega, whose national philanthropy is domestic violence awareness and whose local philanthropy is the SPCA.

Bitting supports Peace River Center because of what it provides for a variety of people, including victims of domestic abuse. Bitting is a member of Kappa Delta, whose national philanthropy is child abuse prevention.

The project began with selling the chocolate lollipops, and it has raised over $200 so far. Next month, the group plans to host a benefit concert with Huey-Berns and Bitting as the musical talent. They will sell wristbands to continue the fundraising. The SPCA will be at the concert with animals to show donors where their money is going.

Principles of Management professor Michael Knudstrup is impressed with the project so far.

“I thought they were a very ambitious group with a lot of ideas for running their business/project,” Knudstrup said. “I bought one of their Valentine’s Day chocolate lollipops and it was quite good.”

According to Knudstrup, this project is to help them bridge the gap between the classroom and the world of work.

“This is part of our focus on engaged learning. They get to choose their focus but all student groups must create, design and manage their own projects,” Knudstrup said.

Frankfurth said that she has “learned a lot about how running a small business works, along with how these two very important organizations run off of much needed donations.”

“Purple for Peace has every indication of being a high performing group with a project they can look back upon someday with pride,” Knudstrup said.

The benefit concert and further fundraising will take place sometime in March.