Student shirts benefit charity, offer discounts

Kim McMurray

The shirts seem to be everywhere.

Student patrons of local watering holes and restaurants have been spotted on and off campus dressed in white shirts with a blue logo that reads “Memories that last a nighttime” and a map of the Main Line on the back, connecting eight popular bars and restaurants.

As part of a required course for an Entrepreneurship minor, students were required to start their own business.

Six students came up with the idea to team up with local businesses and design a T-shirt to benefit charity.

The students involved in this project, led by senior Katie Surgent, knew that they wanted to do something involving advertising, and it was Surgent who came up with idea of a shirt with business logos on the back.

“Then we basically all sat around brainstorming until we came up with a slogan for the front,” said senior Jabree Brooks, CFO, who is in charge of the financing aspect of the business.

All of the profits from this project are being donated to PathWaysPA, a local branch of United Way. The charity, which began in the 1970s, is designed to help low-income single mothers and their children.

Along with many other programs, including substance abuse therapy, job training and placement, it is the only program that offers housing for homeless single mothers with multiple children.

They also offer supervised housing for teenage mothers and their babies, as well as adult basic education classes.

In designing the shirt, the students knew that they did not want more than 10 logos on the back because they “wanted to make sure that the businesses got their money’s worth,” said Brooks.

The students made appointments with owners and managers of local businesses and, in pairs, went door to door explaining the advertising opportunity they were offering.

“We walked in with contracts written up. We wanted to make sure that businesses knew that we were serious about this,” said senior Brian Beck, who handles sales and marketing for the project.

Eight local businesses that University students frequently patronize supported the project and endorsed their logo on the back of the shirt.

The group’s goal for the project is to raise as much as possible. “We wanted to create a business that provided a product that the people would want. In numbers, we want to sell 500 or more T-shirts,” said Brooks.

Besides the fliers that are hung up in dorms, the group is mainly relying on word of mouth and the web for promoting their business. They have a website which explains their product and the various discounts offered, such as free cover at Brownie’s Nightclub on Wednesday nights and free pizza at Peace of Pizza.

“We thought that it would be something different to donate the money too,” said Beck.

The group found this particular charity through Beck’s mother, who serves on the organization’s board of directors.