Students raise over $4k in Red Paperclip Challenge to fight childhood hunger

Dickinson State business ethics class raises record-breaking funds for Dickinson BackPack Food Program with online auction of 38 items after participating in the 8th annual Red Paperclip Challenge.

Mayor Scott Decker, Professor Debora Dragseth, and participants pose with the red paperclips that inspired the record-breaking Red Paperclip Challenge.
Photo courtesy of Dickinson State University

DICKINSON — Students at Dickinson State University's School of Business and Entrepreneurship have raised more than $4,000 to help fight childhood hunger in the local community through their eighth-annual Red Paperclip Challenge.

The challenge, which is based on a childhood barter game called “Bigger and Better,” sees students making a series of trades throughout the semester, with the final trade items going up for auction to benefit a charity of their choice. This year, the class selected the Dickinson BackPack Food Program.

The challenge has been a favorite project for many students, as it shows "that people are willing to give to a good cause," according to Bridger Grovom, one of the participants.

"The best part of this is where the money is going and how it benefits the children in our community,” Grovom said. “The fact that our class has worked hard over the semester to help benefit a local charity that fights childhood hunger is awesome. It was a rewarding experience."

After countless trades, the class made their final trade resulting in an online auction, as well as an in-person event held at the Dickinson State University Heritage Foundation House on April 18.


The online auction featured 38 items, including unique finds like this handmade sausage maker.
Photo courtesy of Dickinson State University

The total amount raised exceeded $4,000, which more than doubled last year's amount, and sets a new Red Paperclip record. The funds raised will go directly to the BackPack Food Program, which provides food for children who might not have a meal every night. In relation to how it helps children in the Dickinson community, $5 feeds a child for the weekend and $200 feeds a child every weekend during the school year.

"The class wants to thank the DSU Heritage Foundation, University Relations, all of the donors, and DSU faculty members, Holly Gruhlke, Lori Hauf and Tim Kessel, who pitched in with their talents by making one-of-a-kind auction items," Debora Dragseth, DSU professor, said. "My goal in all my classes is for our students to do and learn something meaningful, like successful bartering. The Red Paperclip Challenge also allowed them to make a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of children. I am so proud of the way that our students stepped up to the challenge. This year was definitely something special."

DSU students put together a unique selection of items for the auction, like this guitar and car jack that helped raise over $4k for local childhood hunger programs.
Photo courtesy of Dickinson State University

The challenge has helped to raise awareness of childhood hunger and has provided students with the opportunity to make a difference in their community, and Dragseth thanked all students involved.

Members of the business ethics class include: Kon Speelmon, Jaden Heartwell, Samuel Adams, Tel Lunde, Alex Praus, Galen Brantley, Nelson Crisafulli, Bridger Grovom, Jackson Willems, Hanna Kisse, Derika Praus, Jett Ogren, Emily Beck, Hannah Lucas, Jersey Filkowski, McKell Meidinger, Amaya Willer, Rohnnie Nacota, Maddie Olsen, Kael Richards, Asia Willer, Max Anderson, Hailey Enny, Haylie Oberlander, Britt Oliver and Isabel Lopez.

James B. Miller, Jr. is the Editor of The Dickinson Press in Dickinson, North Dakota. He strives to bring community-driven, professional and hyper-local focused news coverage of southwest North Dakota.
What To Read Next
Get Local