SOCA lights the night with fundraiser
On Nov. 14, Students of the Caribbean Alliance (SOCA) welcomed Cameron University students and their guests to dance away the night for a good cause in the organization’s first ever Glow Fete.
Surrounded by glow sticks and balloons, CU students and guests danced to the latest hits.
To gain entrance into the dance, students had to bring stationary items that SOCA would later donate to local elementary schools. The event was held from 9 p.m. to midnight in the CETES Conference Center.
SOCA’s president, Eloise Herbert, said the concept of the fete arose from the organizations recent involvement in the religious community.
“Caribbeans are from a Christian society, and we put prayer in the middle of everything, so we started looking at different churches and let them know who we are, about our mission and our goals,” she said. “A couple of parents contacted us and said ‘We have a project for you.’ They told us a lot of the Title I schools in Lawton are in desperate need of resources: pencils, papers, books and whatnot.”
Herbert said many students are unaware of the obstacles faced by teachers in the Lawton community.
“You would hear about teachers in the office photocopying and they have to be meticulous with their paper,” she said. “Compared to schools with more money, where teachers could make photocopies all day, these people literally count the sheets of paper because they don’t know when they may get more.”
According to Herbert, Caribbeans love to meet new people and thrive on socializing. After finding an avenue to impact their community, Herbert said a holding celebration was the obvious choice for getting people involved and donating.
“What is the best way to get a crowd of people together? Good music and good company,” Herbert said. “If you have this, and throw a good cause into it, your outcome can be awesome.”
While SOCA targeted CU students to attend the fete, each student was allowed to bring one guest with them. Once checked in, each attendee was given a glow stick to wear or dance with.
“We don’t discriminate,” Herbert said. “It’s for a good cause.”
Gilron Charles – SOCA’s Public Relations Officer – said the “charity party” was a test for the organization. Although the fete was a new event for SOCA, Charles said he thought the event resulted in a great turnout.
“We always have a full house at our parties,” Charles said. “I like interacting and meeting people.”
While SOCA plans on not only becoming further involved in the Lawton community, Herbert said the organization is also focused on impacting the CU community. In the next few months, SOCA will be holding a Nativity Scene – one in which members will depict the birth of Jesus Christ through song, drama and dance. The organization will also be hosting a Miss Caribbean pageant and masquerade ball. All of these activities will support a special project for the group.
“All that we are doing and all the funds that we are raising will go towards establishing a Caribbean scholarship fund on campus,” Herbert said.
“Scholarships on campus are very competitive. Many students that are coming from the Caribbean are not wealthy. We decided amongst ourselves that this year, we are going to establish these funds. We are on an aggressive move to collect funds.”