Students spend football season raising $10K for Tyler Trent cancer research endowment

It was a tough loss for the boilermakers last home football game of the season, but this story will make things easier.

Posted: Dec 2, 2019 8:56 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — While fans were busy cheering on the Boilermakers, a group of students was hard at work behind the concessions counter.

Purdue University's Hospitality and Tourism Management 212 class operated concessions at every home football game for the 2019 season. The class partnered with Boilermaker Hospitality to make it happen. 

It was a project put on by the class for students to have experience running a business, and seeing the results. 

Keith Molter, Continuing Lecturer for Purdue Hospitality and Tourism Management, teaches the class. He said the project had a two-pronged approach.

He wanted the students to learn actual business principles and do something for the community.

"We got to run our own stand, have our own line [profit and loss] and we could actually see our figures," Molter explained. "Learn theoretical costs, handle money, see what the division labor is like, talk about customer satisfaction."

However, the plan all along was to donate the money the class made from the concessions. Where the money would be donated was up to the students to decide.

The class presented several organizations as options, but one student's nomination trumped all the other choices.

Christopher Gatton, a student in HTM 212, suggested the Tyler Trent Endowment at the Purdue Center for Cancer Research.

The endowment was created in October of 2018 when Purdue superfan Tyler Trent passed away from a rare form of bone cancer.

Trent's endowment goes toward finding the cause and cure for cancer.

Gatton said it wasn't a difficult decision for him or his classmates.

"I suggested the Tyler Trent [endowment] because we're right next to the gate. Plus like I said, he's the epitome of a Boilermaker," Gatton said. "The entire class voted on it and it won overwhelmingly."

Throughout the seven home games, $5,000 was raised. Even better news, those funds will be matched 100 percent from the Walther Cancer Foundation, which means $10,000 will go to Trent's endowment. 

The HTM class will present the check to the Purdue Center for Cancer Research at the Tyler Trent T2 Student Gate at Ross Ade Stadium on Wednesday.

To donate to the Tyler Trent Endowment at the Purdue Center for Cancer Research, click here. 

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