Science Formal raises funds for United Way KFL&A

Donations to exist as a pot to support many initiatives 

Sci Formal had students attend in Grant Hall March 11.

Queen’s Science (Sci) Formal—run by the Engineering Society (EngSoc)—was back in-person at Grant Hall on March 11 in support of United Way Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington (KFL&A) to provide monetary support to the Kingston community.

While the event has been running since the early 1900s, COVID-19 meant the event hasn’t been held in-person since 2019. Zoe Prystawski, Sci Formal convenor, said the goal was to create a baseline for next year’s team to make improvements based on this year’s event. 

“[Grant Hall] has been a crucial part of the tradition of starting your Engineering degree during Orientation week in Grant Hall and ending your degree celebrating with your year in the same location,” Prystawski said in a statement to The Journal

A total of 425 tickets were sold to fourth-and fifth-year students, along with approximately 20 guest tickets sold. 

United Way KFL&A has a long-standing relationship with Sci Formal, according to Prystawski. The event included an open house of Grant Hall for the general public to raise funds for the organization.    

In Kingston, United Way works to support women leaving domestic violence situations, families facing food insecurity, and people who require access to specific necessities such as winter boots or menstrual hygiene products. 

“All the money we raise goes into a pot, then our volunteers help us select the areas of greatest needs. Right now, our priorities are mental health addictions, homelessness, [and] food security, so they're really critical issues,” Bhavana Varma, CEO of United Way KFL&A, said in an interview with The Journal

The pandemic was a challenge in receiving donation funds and accessing resources, according to Varma. She said rebuilding the student volunteer network at Queen’s is something the organization is excited for. 

“I think we need to also celebrate the great work that students do. There are so many agencies, including the United Way, where I don't know what we would do if we didn't have students as volunteers, and then the goodwill and the work they do to support the community, like even the Science Formal,” she said. 

With files from Aimée Look

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