Steven Zang and Jenna Stuiso, both sophomores, have created an organization called “731 and Co.” The organization raises money for different charities by creating entertaining events for their friends.
“It gives us an excuse to see our friends, but at the same time do something good with that,” Stuiso said.
Each event they hold is based on a theme that incorporates bands of the early 2000s that the couple grew up listening to. Last November, the two held a “Bowling for Soup” event, where they went bowling with their friends while raising money for their local soup kitchen. On Friday, April 7, they held their second event called “Cash Mouth,” a pun on the name of another early 2000s band, “Smashmouth.”
Held in the Rathskeller, the event consisted of multiple lip sync battles along with different interactive games mixed in. The money raised from that event was given to a charity called “Hope with Heart.” The charity helps children with congenital heart disease or heart transplants feel a sense of normalcy for a week at a summer camp in Warwick, New Jersey for absolutely no cost. Stuiso volunteered at the camp last summer and created the event this year in order to raise money for the camp.
“It was a life changing experience,” Stuiso said. “The kids go through more than anyone ever should in their lives, and they’re from 7 to 17. It puts things into perspective.”
Altogether, the duo raised $160.14 for the camp at last week’s event.
The organization name, 731 and Co., comes from a creative concept. “731” incorporates Zang and Stuiso because it is the couple’s anniversary. The “Co.” is the incorporation of everyone else including their friends, anyone involved and the community.
Their next event is in the works, and the idea is to have an ice cream social to raise money for global warming and call it “Jimmies Eat World” after the band, “Jimmy Eat World.” Zang and Stuiso are very excited about their ideas and cannot wait to see what the future holds for them and their organization.
“There are so many bad things going on in the world right now, and I feel like [because of] the fact that we’re always consumed in our own things, we can take a step back one night a semester to think about the perspective of other people, but still with our friends that we hang out with,” Zang said. “I don’t see it ending anytime soon. We don’t plan on stopping anytime soon — as long as we keep coming up with band names from the early 2000s.”