The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Scholars hosted a “Freshman Fundraiser Casino Night” Thursday to raise money for Rise, an organization offering comprehensive domestic violence resources and services.

An honors program for business students who can enter as either freshmen or sophomores, the PwC Scholars program focuses on four pillars, including academic excellence, professionalism, networking and community service. Involved students develop ideas for fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for their annual spring community service project. The event was held in the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (C4) Multipurpose room from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and included casino games like roulette, blackjack, poker and more.

Rise says that its mission is to “assist families who experience or are threatened with domestic violence and to increase the community’s awareness of this pervasive problem.”

Natalie Zera, the PwC Scholars’ vice president of marketing and a junior majoring in business administration, shared the event’s impact.

“This event will positively impact the community by bringing [Binghamton University] students together for fun games, while raising money to improve the local community,” Zera wrote in an email.

To remain in the PwC Scholars program, students must maintain at least a 3.6 cumulative GPA, enroll in honors seminars each semester, take specific courses, attend several mandatory events and complete two School of Management (SOM) concentrations, a non-SOM minor or complete a double-major with a school outside SOM.

Nick Martin, the vice president of fundraising for the PwC Scholars and a junior majoring in business administration, described how the organization plans fundraising events, expanding on its spring service project.

“Every spring semester, we embark on a large-scale community service project with a local nonprofit or charity.” Martin said. “And all of the projects that we embark on over the spring are completely funded through student fundraising throughout the year, and all the funds that we raise throughout the year with these different fundraisers are used to fund that project. No other outside funding is given.”

The PwC Scholars program gives students networking opportunities and direct access to “one of the most renowned professional services firms in the world.” A leader in the industry, PwC serves both public and private clients with assurance, tax, human resources, transactions, performance improvement and crisis management.

Addy Buechi, one of the primary organizers for the Casino Night fundraiser and a freshman majoring in accounting, described how she and her fellow scholars organized the event.

“We started planning in early October and reached out to a myriad of local businesses to source prizes,” Beuchi wrote in an email. “We also worked to create advertising materials to spread the word about the event.”

Rachel Lerma, a freshman majoring in business administration, expressed how the event brought people together.

“I just think at the end of the day any group of college students coming together to raise money for such an important cause is a really great thing,” Lerma said. “Especially helping organize an event like this is not only rewarding for myself, but of course as helping other people.”