People tour the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center at ECU on 2019. The center raised more than $15,000 for the LGBTQ Priority Fund during its annual LOVE WINS fundraiser.

The Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center at East Carolina University raised more than $15,000 for the LGBTQ Priority Fund during its annual LOVE WINS fundraiser, the university announced last week.

Seven hosts during the October effort created a variety of fundraising opportunities for participants while taking necessary precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Opportunities included food ordered in advance and delivered to a progressive event that took place at several homes throughout Greenville’s Tar River University neighborhood.

The LOVE WINS silent auction was held online for the first time, allowing people from across the region to participate. Winners were from North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

The funds raised support students through scholarships and professional development, as well as the new Safe Zone for K-12 educators offered in partnership with the College of Education and Youth Programs at Campus Recreation and Wellness.

“LOVE WINS 2020 surpassed our wildest expectations,” said Mark Rasdorf, senior associate director for the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center.

“First held in 2015, this annual event has grown in both scope and impact, and we felt it was important to continue the tradition while observing the necessary safety precautions due to the pandemic,” Rasdorf said. “Our hosts conceived new and innovative approaches to the event and in doing so we reached new people and set a record for our overall fundraising efforts.”

Since its founding in 2011, the LGBTQ Resource Office has supported more than 7,000 student visits during the academic year. Educational programming includes a speaker series, the Queer Film Series, and annual events such as National Coming Out Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance and World AIDS Day

Contact Bobby Burns at baburns@reflector.com and 329.9572.