Three students won a $500 Community Impact Challenge grant yesterday to put together their “Bag-a-Birthday” project which will provide supplies for underprivileged families to have birthday parties for their children. 

“One of the biggest reasons why our champion is the champion is the potential for the greatest impact on the local community,” said Blythe Eddy, director of student activities and community service. “I think that that is really our biggest mission with this community impact challenge, which is to make sure that our local community is impacted.”

There were two finalist groups that presented and the group that won was made up of Genevieve Lowry, Delaney Dold and Rachel Castro, all sophomore communication majors. 

“We believe that...we created a program that will have a lasting impact on the Emporia community,” said Castro. “Bag-a-Birthday...will aim to collect items such as cake mix, frosting, candles, balloons and more.”

Bag-a-Birthday will host drives on and off campus to collect these items, as well as advertise on Hornet Announcements and Facebook, according to Castro. 

Bag-a-Birthday has also partnered with Lambda Phi Eta, the communication honor society on campus, and Abundant Harvest, 1028 Whittier St., the Emporia food drive, according to Dold. 

This was the first year the challenge was put on, according to Jasmine Linabary, assistant professor of communication. It was funded by ESU’s Community Hornets and the Communication and Theatre Department. 

The other finalist group was composed of Keelie Johnson, Monica Schmidt and Amber Krehbiel, all junior athletic trainer majors. 

Their plan was to put on a camp that targets high school students to teach them about athletic training to introduce them to the ESU campus, inspire them to come to ESU and get them to stay in Emporia as medical professionals. 

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