Groups use Unofficial as time to seek donations
CHAMPAIGN — Green Street is fertile ground for soliciting donations on Unofficial St. Patrick's Day, and the activity has almost become as much a part of the infamous holiday as the binge drinking that goes along with it.
"Every dollar counts" was the chant of a sorority looking to raise money for children's cancer research.
Danitra Pope, a UI senior, was among the most vocal people looking for donations this year. About a half-dozen members of her registered student organization, Writers Organizing Real Dialect, or WORD, set up at the intersection of Sixth and Green streets on Friday doing what they do best.
The organization is a performing arts group focusing on genres like song writing, rapping, comedy and the spoken word. They spent a good part of their day performing for passers-by — the Isley Brothers' "Shout" and Rihanna's "Diamonds" were among Friday's selections.
They were hoping some of the less-than-sober partiers might drop a few coins in their green hat.
"We wanted to take advantage of inebriated people to the best of our ability," Pope said.
As far as donations, she said the group was doing just OK. But money aside, they were having a lot of fun.
"Besides my hands losing their feeling, it's cool," Pope said.
Just across the street, members a group called Illini Student Musicals was looking to support their cause. The first-year student organization this semester is producing "Little Shop of Horrors," set to run March 28 through 30.
The money, though, was not the goal on Friday, said Neal Capapas, a member of the group and a UI junior. He said he felt that Unofficial St. Patrick's Day is a good commune of people, where everyone is looking out for each other.
"We just want the campus to know who we are," he said. "Any money we raise is secondary to that."