Two academic institutions in Westchester County, Iona College and Pace University, have partnered with a nonprofit mobile marketing company in Fairfield County to raise awareness and funds for scholarships, programs and services for military veterans by wrapping university vans in large decals promoting their cause.
On the Iona campus in New Rochelle, Laura Saggese, a senior vice president for client services at the Stamford marketing agency Creative Partners who co-founded the nonprofit Wrap for A Cause, this month rolled out the startup’s Operation Valiant Veterans to raise scholarship, educational and health resources for veterans in metro-area colleges and universities.
The mobile fundraising mission at Iona will also benefit VETSports, a 5-year-old national nonprofit organization that aims to improve veterans’ physical, mental and emotional health through sports, physical activity and community involvement.
Ten percent of Wrap for a Cause net proceeds from the Iona partnership will be directed to VETSports, according to a Wrap for a Cause publicist, while the remainder will go to Operation Valiant Veterans.
Country Bank, the first corporate sponsor to support Wrap for a Cause in the nonprofit’s inaugural fundraising effort this year for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, will underwrite operating costs of the Iona van used in the campaign.
Pace University was the second institution this month to partner with Saggese – a Pace alumna – by wrapping a van in the university’s fleet with a message promoting Pace scholarships and support services for veterans.
Kim Turner, a development and alumni relations officer at Pace, said funds raised by the partnership will be used to provide eligible veteran students pursuing undergraduate degrees with scholarship awards or other education-related financial relief.
“University veteran programs and scholarships like the ones offered at Pace help ease the transition from military to civilian life” and give veterans “a sense of community support while pursuing educational goals,” Saggese said.
Underwriting the mobile campaign at Pace is the Vera and Walter Scherr and Family Foundation, a 10-year-old philanthropy whose founder, businessman Walter Scherr, authored the memoir “Walter’s Way” and is a Pace alumnus.
Saggese said the mobile campaigns are expected to run through the holidays until the end of this year.