Through painted pumpkins, leaf centerpieces, chai lattes and a charcuterie board, the All in for Anabel’s fundraiser brought an autumn ambiance to The Terrace Restaurant — all while raising well over $5,000 to aid food justice efforts.
All in for Anabel’s was a collaboration between Hotel Administration 4315: Nonprofit Social Enterprise and Food Justice, Hotel Administration 4340: Catering and Special Events Management and Applied Economics and Management 3385: Social Entrepreneurship Practicum: Anabel’s Grocery. The Nov. 5 event at the Terrace Restaurant in Statler Hall, featured fall-inspired hors d’oeuvres and beverages, food-justice tri-fold presentations and an acapella performance from the Touchtones.
In the event’s silent auction, guests bid on high-value items, including a night at the Statler Hotel, art pieces or tickets to Cornell hockey games. People could also participate in raffles to win prizes like Cornell merchandise or a winter survival kit.
Proceeds went to Anabel’s Grocery, a student-founded and student-run, non-profit grocery store that brings fresh, healthy and inexpensive food to Cornell students. The store is the only place on campus that accepts SNAP/EBT benefits.
“We know that barriers such as transportation, cost and time limit students’ access to food, and this limited access disproportionately impacts low-income [students] and students of color,” said Jacob Blizard ’25, Anabel’s operations coordinator. “At Anabel’s, we provide affordable food to promote wellness, community and a form of student power on campus.”
Visiting Lecturer Anke Wessels, management and organizations, emphasized that All in for Anabel’s will support the affordability of food items.
“Anabel’s is able to keep the prices of its products low, sometimes below cost, thanks to a subsidy fund,” Wessels said. “Fundraisers like [All in for Anabel’s] help us replenish the subsidy fund so we can continue to keep prices of quality, nutritious food low for all student shoppers.”
The fundraiser was also supported by organizations including Trader Joe’s, Cornell Hillel, Jason’s Deli, The Cornell Store, the Center for Transformative Action and Nayak Farms.
“My favorite part of the process was reaching out to individuals and organizations connected to Cornell – it was heartwarming seeing how willing the donors were to support Anabel’s cause,” said Deshelley Teo ’22, All in for Anabel’s donor relations team lead.
All in for Anabel’s success can be attributed to the collaboration between the three classes, with each having separate responsibilities. Hotel Administration 4315 students focused on organization and outreach efforts while Hotel Administration 4340 was tasked with designing and servicing the hospitality elements of the event. Applied Economics and Management 3385 students helped fundraise and market All in for Anabel’s while obtaining many student volunteers for the event.
The fundraiser served as a great learning experience for all students involved. Visiting Lecturer Heather Kolakowski, operations, technology and information management, explained how students grew in their ability to collaborate and in their knowledge of fundraising.
“Within their teams, the students have learned to work with each other and explore different skill sets — such as external outreach to possible donors and vendors, marketing techniques to spread the word about the event and [how to] follow through with all the little details of bringing the event together,” Kolakowski said.
Coordinating among the classes found some difficulty, as the classes met at different times and worked at varying speeds. The team had only two months to organize the event, while ordinarily, the planning process would generally take at least six to eight months.
Despite the difficulties, students persisted due to their passion for Anabel’s.
“For me, I just wanted to help combat food justice in any way possible,” said Allison Eng ’22, general manager of Hotel Administration 4315. “I really enjoy being a customer at Anabel’s and also appreciate all they do for students. Furthermore, I wanted to exercise my time management and coordination skills to create a successful event.”
According to Kolakowski, she overall found it a rewarding educational journey.
“It has been a great experience getting to know other students in the different courses and to see how the operations of Anabel’s work,” said Kolakowski. “[It was] a huge learning experience that we hope to continue next fall!”