Outing club kicks off semester with Panera Bread fundraiser

The University of Rhode Island Outing Club hosted their first fundraiser of the spring semester on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Panera Bread in Wakefield.

C lub members headed to Panera for a bite to eat following a muddy three-mile hike at the King Benson Preserve, according to Club President Ellie Madigan

T he Benson Preserve in Saunderstown , Rhode Island runs along the Pettaquamscutt River, five miles from the shore. It was here where Madigan drew other club members’ attention to a rare ‘woodcock’ bird standing on the trail floor.

The Benson Preserve helps protect the Narrow River estuary, and is managed in partnership with the Narrow River Land Trust. This allows a safe environment for a plethora of wildlife such as the woodcock bird.

After the club’s hike at the preserve, members found a large crowd of non-club members joining in to support the Panera fundraiser.

“We ended up having 36 people come on a pretty wet and muddy hike.” Madigan said, “In total I believe we had around 50 people attend our fundraiser.”

Outing Club members have a somewhat accurate scope regarding the turnout. While aware of the amount of people who showed up, Panera has yet to inform them of exactly how much money was raised at the event.

The final profit, which will directly go to support the club’s most important features, will consist of 25% of the money from each of the Panera orders, according to Madigan.

The fundraiser profit will specifically help to fund financial aid programs and new gear for members. It will also help pay for the club’s upcoming overnight trips.

This semester, the URI Outing Club has a variety of day trips and overnight trips planned all across New England. Some of the club’s upcoming outings include, skiing day-trips along with other hiking outings similar to the Benson Preserve hike.

The club is also offering overnight trips, including but not limited to: a cozy winter cabin weekend in New Hampshire, an overnight ski trip at Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont and two backpacking trips .

The Outing Club will be hosting another fundraiser on Sunday at the East Greenwich Chipotle location from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.. For more information see the URI Outing Club website: https://sites.google.com/rhodysenate.org/urioutingclub/home