Group fundraising to turn Manhattan Hill letters purple


It came to him in a dream. Winston Wolf, junior in architecture and vice president of the Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Club, used his slumber to find inspiration for the club’s fundraiser: Project Purple.

“I just woke up and thought we should turn Manhattan Hill purple,” he said.

Wolf said the idea came to him after talking about ideas for a cystic fibrosis fundraiser with club members Sierra Cuda and Felicia Balestrere, both juniors in interior architecture and product design.

“He’s absolutely crazy, he has a mind of his own, but we thank him for it because sometimes his ideas are way out of the ordinary and they were reachable, but this one we really liked,” Cuda said. “It was interesting, really different and it was actually attainable, so we tried our best to make it happen.”

Balestrere, the club’s president, said Project Purple is a new fundraiser that will turn the letters of Manhattan Hill the color purple, $1,000 per letter on the landmark.

The group will cover each letter in purple fabric as the funds are raised.

“It’s a little less permanent and easier to get approval for so it came pretty quick,” he said.

Balestere said there are multiple ways to contribute to Project Pruple.

“First of all, if you hear about it, tell everyone that you know,” she said. “We want to get the whole community involved and everyone to know what Project Purple is and what it’s all about. Secondly, any type of monetary donation that can be made, so watch out for us at Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart, and definitely be sure to buy a T-shirt at the Union.”

Balestrere said the group plans to collect donations from Manhattan residents and K-State students and also plans to sell T-shirts, which will be available Sept. 22. She said the collections around the city start soon. The last collection, Oct. 29, is the day before the All-University Homecoming football game.

Cuda, the club’s treasurer, said she got involved because she has always wanted to start a fundraiser.

“Felicia and I have always talked about it because we spend literally every day together in studio,” Cuda said. “We kind of wanted to start one with the College of Architecture, but it wasn’t working well, so we didn’t give up.”

Balestrere said fundraising for the disease was important to her and Cuda because they have a friend who has cystic fibrosis.

“It’s not a well-known disease. It really affects your life when you have it and the lives of those around you, and it’s not supported at K-State yet so we thought it would be a good idea to get the whole community involved and raise awareness and funding for the CF Foundation all at the same time,” Balestrere said.

Cuda said the group has partnered with the Public Relations Student Society of America to help promote the cause.

“PRSSA is helping out with Project Purple just trying to give them the support they need to back their project,” said Rachel Cunningham, senior in public relations and marketing and PRSSA co-public relations director for Project Purple. “We are trying to work on some press releases and giving both experience for our members, as well as helping out with the man power for Project Purple.”

Cunningham also said this will be the campaign PRSSA assists with for the semester.

Balestrere said the final goal is to have all the letters on Manhattan Hill covered by the homecoming game after raising at least $9,000, but the group is hoping for more.

“If it goes over that we can always think of something else … color the trees?” Wolf said.