This year’s installment of the beloved University of Dallas tradition is back with a new flavor. Luke Enriquez and Alexa Mascola, both junior politics majors, are co-chairs of the upcoming 2023 Charity Week, which will be held from Oct. 15 to Oct. 21. Charity Week is a yearly event run by the junior class to raise money for charity.
This year’s Charity Week is themed “Ye Olde Charity Week” – an ancient UD tradition thrown with a medieval twist. Other themes considered by Enriquez and Mascola included space, ancient Greece and Rome, pirates and movies; however, the medieval theme stood out as the clear choice.
“We wanted something that was very broad, something that wouldn’t be too restricted to a certain movie or anything like that. We thought that medieval-themed was the most broad, most creative theme there is because it spans a thousand years or so,” said Enriquez. “Also, who doesn’t like wearing their burlap sacks? We’re going to have monks, wizards, knights and that sort of thing walking around. We also encourage anyone else that has their kilt or tights on standby to wear them as much as possible.”
“It’s a broad umbrella of the medieval we’re welcome to accepting. King Arthur, Monty Python, Princess Bride – anything that’s remotely medieval we’re willing to take,” said Mascola.
“This has been a theme that’s been tossed around a lot in the past and people have always shied away from it, because I think that that theme, to be done well, takes a lot of work,” said Moey Brown, director of student activities. “Some of the other junior teams have shied away from taking on that kind of mantle, but Alexa and Luke were so excited about it, and they have so many ideas. I think they’re going to do a phenomenal job.”
Enriquez and Mascola, both decked out in crowns and royal robes, announced their theme from the Haggar balcony overlooking the Mall at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15. Mascola drew the crowd to attention with the sound of her trumpet.
“By the divine authority bestowed upon us by ‘democracy,’ we have asserted our tyrannical rule,” said Enriquez.
“You may now applaud,” said Mascola. The crowd applauded.
The duo ended their announcement by tossing chocolate coins down into the crowd, undoubtedly symbolizing the copious funds to be raised during Charity Week.
Four charities were voted on to be the recipients of the Charity Week proceeds. These were: St. Francis Montessori School, a local elementary school in Irving that provides affordable education to large Catholic families, In My Shoes, a faith-based nonprofit that provides a safe, welcoming community for pregnant and parenting women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, A Woman’s Haven Pregnancy Center, a prolife pregnancy center located in San Antonio for families navigating emergency pregnancies and Me Squared Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps adults with newly diagnosed cancer in the DFW area by providing cancer-related educational and financial assistance to ease their journey and give them hope.
“They’re all great charities. So any two that get picked are going to be great,” said Mascola.
Enriquez and Mascola’s high aspirations for Charity Week are constrained by a relatively slim budget of $4,200 for the whole week. However, the spirit of the UD community helps make the most of every dollar.
“We have vendors that are alumni-owned, that know what Charity Week is, so they give us really large discounts on merchandise. Aramark donates a certain level of catering for the week on the campus. The activities board also chips in with powderpuff, quiz bowl and TGIT. Everyone comes together to give money because there’s very little money in the Charity Week fund,” said Brown.
While their budget might be limited, there is no such limit on how much money Enriquez and Mascola’s Charity Week can raise.
“We want to beat the record. The record was $32,000. We’re aiming for anything above that,” said Mascola.
The co-chairs want this Charity Week to be special for freshmen and transfer students who have never experienced a Charity Week before.
“We want to encourage people to really get into the spirit of it and to dress up. This is your week – have fun with it,” said Mascola.
“For people that aren’t familiar with Charity Week, we’re hoping that this year is going to probably be the loudest and grandest Charity Week that we’ve had,” said Enriquez.