‘2 Weeks of Pullman’ aids Cougar Health Fund

Businesses to give profits to support mental health, sexual violence prevention



CJ Robert, owner of Pups & Cups Cafe, says she enjoys seeing local businesses and WSU work together to support a cause like the Cougar Health Fund.

CHERYL AARNIO, Evergreen reporter

“2 Weeks of Pullman” is a fundraiser designed by ASWSU and Pullman Chamber of Commerce to aid the Cougar Health Fund which promotes mental health awareness and sexual violence prevention at WSU. The event started last Monday and will end Friday.

When customers buy goods or services at specific businesses in Pullman, those companies will be donating 3 to 7 percent of the profits to the Cougar Health Fund.

Twelve businesses are participating in the fundraiser, including Rico’s Pub, Evergreen Tire & Auto Repair, College Hill Coug Store and Pups & Cups Cafe.

“I’m really excited to give a percentage of our sales over these two weeks to the Cougar Health Fund and just see more students come [downtown],” said Destiny Sternod, owner of Main Street Squeeze Juice & Smoothie, one of the participating businesses.

“2 Weeks of Pullman” organizers made a point to partner with a wide variety of businesses, said Keegan Otter, ASWSU executive director of community affairs.

“I did try to get a good mix. I got some juice places, some froyo places, coffee. And then I even got some bars and restaurants,” he said. “I really tried to attract different audiences.”

ASWSU collaborated with the Pullman Chamber of Commerce and the city council to advertise, Otter said.

“We pretty much are trying to drive the students from up here on college campus hill to go down and explore Pullman and see what the city has to offer,” he said. “It’s for people to just find their sense of home.”

Any purchases during the two-week period at the participating businesses will contribute to the fund. It is not just for students, it is for everyone in Pullman, Otter said.

After the fundraiser is over, there will be a release to state how much money was raised.

“This is the first time I’ve really seen this kind of push for other local businesses to really be more involved with WSU,” said CJ Robert, owner of Pups & Cups Cafe. “[Students] usually look at WSU and Pullman as two completely separate entities, and so it’s really nice to see this kind of collaboration going on.”

Not all the businesses have experienced a noticeable increase in sales, but owners said they’re happy to contribute any way they can. Some of that might be due to a lack of awareness from the community, said Tawny Szumlas, owner of Rico’s Pub.

“We certainly didn’t see a huge bump in business of any sort, but it is a good cause,” she said. “It is something that we always want to be involved in.”