Saint Martin’s engineering students hold fundraiser for Haiti service trip

April 1, 2010

Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University student chapter members of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and Engineers without Borders (EWB) are organizing a trip to Haiti this summer to work on service projects to help those affected by the recent earthquake.

To finance the service trip, the students are putting together a unique fundraiser: a pie-throwing auction. For the next few weeks, they are collecting bids from students, faculty, and staff at Saint Martin’s for both pie-throwers and pie-receivers. Bids cost a penny each. A total of six pie-throwers and six pie-receivers will be chosen. The actual pie-throwing event will take place on Tuesday, April 20 as part of an engineering club fair at Saint Martin’s Lacey campus. While the standings for the top pie-receivers will be shared daily so bidders can see, the identity of the pie-throwers will be kept secret until the day of the fair.

Geoffrey Dorsey, a civil engineering student and one of the event organizers, said the idea for the pie-throwing auction came from an annual fundraiser he participated in with the Air Force where they would nominate senior leadership to receive a pie. Says Dorsey, “Every year it was a great, inexpensive way to raise funds. I began to query our engineering professors to see if they too would be willing to participate in an event like this, with the proceeds going towards Haiti Relief, and received overwhelming support.”

The entire engineering department, including the dean of engineering, Professor Anthony De Sam Lazaro, has signed on. And they are also joined by other faculty from around the University. “I am ecstatic to see how big the hearts of the faculty at Saint Martin’s University are and how they are willing to donate themselves, not just their resources for this cause,” says Dorsey.

“Members of Saint Martin University’s engineering program, students and staff, have a long history of community service,” says John Sladek, professor of engineering. Previous senior design projects have delivered clean drinking water to villages in Tanzania and volunteer groups have helped build new homes for those less fortunate through Habitat for Humanity.

The students have registered with the ASCE Disaster Assistance Volunteer Directory and are looking at aid organizations such as Habitat for Humanity to see if they can join a group of engineers with a pre-planned mission in Haiti.

“We are confident that we have the knowledge and drive to make a lasting impact on the lives we touch,” says engineering student Craig Matson. The students estimate that it will cost $2,500 per student for a four-week trip to Haiti and hope to raise a significant portion of their expenses from the three-week auction.

For more information about the fundraiser or the Haiti trip, contact Geoffrey Dorsey at or Craig Matson at

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Director of communications & marketing
Saint Martin’s University