College of William & Mary Professor George Greenia hosted a fundraiser for Global Playground on Nov. 17. A variety of members of the William & Mary community including professors, administrators, law students and undergraduates were in attendance.
“The event was clearly a success – not just in financial terms. It’s always great to see such a cross-section of the College community come together to support Global Playground,” Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors Doug Bunch said. “William and Mary engenders an obligation to give back to others who are less fortunate. Everyone’s presence there on Thursday confirmed that sense of obligation, and it was inspiring and refreshing to see.”
Global Playground has maintained close ties with the College of William & Mary since its inception. Both founders Bunch and Edward Branagan are alumni of the College, and the community has demonstrated overwhelming support during the organization’s growth. This event only reaffirmed the expanding supportive community of Global Playground in Williamsburg.
“This year’s house party was excellent… reaffirming the solidarity of a widening circle of local supporters. That sort of faithful cultivation of donors and believers is the lifeblood of any organization that hopes to outlast its founders,” Greenia said.
In addition to events like this one, organizations including Greek and service fraternities as well as the on-campus Office of Community Engagement have previously contributed to Global Playground through various fundraisers or activities. According to Greenia, this continued connection between the College and Global Playground has grown into more than just a connection with the alma mater of the founders.
“Our Tribe achieves a global reach through Global Playground and the more we expose the campus community to its successes, the more we can take pride in our shared stewardship. From President Reveley, through the faculty and staff and deep into the student body, this project merges us with the community of all humankind,” Greenia said.
Senior Maddy Smith attended November’s fundraiser as a gesture of her continued support for the organization. She first learned about Global Playground during her freshman seminar course entitled “Paths in Civic Engagement” when Bunch came to speak to her class about Global Playground.
“I was immediately captivated by the idea of cross-cultural understanding in schools around the world. His talk struck a chord with me because he was so passionate about his work that I wanted to be a part of the organization and its progress,” Smith said. “I commend the organization for taking on such an ambitious project.”
For Smith, the presence of undergraduates at the fundraiser is a part of the reason she supports Global Playground and its methods so wholeheartedly.
“I think that Global Playground has done a beautiful job of reaching out to undergraduates at William & Mary to encourage their support and brainstorm ways for students to become a part of the organization,” Smith said. “I admire the fact that Global Playground values the opinions of the students and takes into consideration their thoughts, comments and concerns and incorporates those ideas into the way they work.”
College and Williamsburg community members gathered together for a cocktail party hosted by Greenia in honor of Global Playground’s continued efforts to foster cross-cultural learning and understanding through educational infrastructure and resources. In total, the fundraiser nearly $1,000 for the organization.
“It’s not just cocktails and food: it’s a common table and a common cause, a commitment to each other – and more importantly to the children of the world that Global Playground serves,” Greenia said.