The class of 2004 has another way of beating the Cougars, and this time it's for a good cause as well.

The UW's class of 2004 is in a competition to raise more money for its senior class gift than WSU. The campaign kicked off yesterday with an event on the HUB lawn.

"The WSU Cougars have a senior class gift too, and so they've challenged us to raise more money than them," said Sherry Gardella, the marketing chair for the Senior Class Gift Council. "So we're trying to raise enough money to beat the Cougs."

The class gift this year is a scholarship fund, and the council hopes to raise significantly more than the class of 2003 did.

"Last year's gift was $29,000, and we were hoping to blow that out of the water this year," said Betsy Troutman, the council's coordinator.

The goal is to raise $50,000 in order to start a Class of 2004 endowment instead of a single-year gift.

"They've got some really lofty goals," said Troutman. "Once the endowment is formed, scholarships will be given out year after year. It's not something where the money just goes away."

The council is trying several different methods of fund-raising to reach its goal. It is using direct mailing, a phone campaign and tables on the HUB lawn.

The council's rally yesterday afternoon included free food and prizes, as well as a live performance by the local band Peepshow in an effort to draw attention to the campaign.

The council is not only relying on donations to reach its goal.

"We have the Senior Class Gift [Council] working at Safeco Field as volunteers in the concessions stands," said Gardella. "We're hoping to raise $25,000 of it through that and the other $25,000 will be from student gifts."

Edgar Gonzalez, a co-chair for the council, pointed out the opportunity it provides the class of 2004.

"I think it's really important to get people in a habit of philanthropy," said Gonzalez. "The University has given us such great things -- education, memories and life lessons -- and I think it's important to give back."

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