Big Screw Money Goes to Make-A-Wish

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Maureen R. Lynch, Design and Manufacturing I (2.007) course administrator, knocks on the doors of mechanical engineering graduate students after being awarded the Big Screw by Alpha Phi Omega. Upon winning the award, Lynch led a victory parade through Building 3.
Shreyes Seshasai—The Tech

This year's Big Screw candidate Maureen R. Lynch, Design and Manufacturing I (2.007) course administrator, amassed over $1,500 in the final day of the competition to claim the 2007 title. During the week-long contest, national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega collected $2,919.09, including $1,920.67 submitted on behalf Lynch.

This is the largest amount of money raised in recent memory through the Big Screw contest, said Sarah C. Hopp '08, the service vice president of APO. All money collected during the event will be donated to Lynch's charity of choice, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Lynch was surprised with the trophy, a four foot left-handed aluminum screw, during the 2.007 laboratory period yesterday afternoon.

"I'm relieved that the winner has been announced," said Lynch, admiring her award.

"Up until the last day, [Laboratory in Software Engineering (6.170) professor Michael D.] Ernst was slightly ahead of Lynch," said Laurel H. Bobrow '07. Many $100 bills, wrapped in $1 bills, were submitted for Lynch on the final day, along with a huge number of $20 bills from the 2.007 support staff. Ernst only raised around $80 in the final day of the competition for a final total of $529.71, according to Bobrow. Richard D. Berlin III, director of Campus Dining, came in third place with $205.82.

"The [Course II] Department and the MIT community really came together to push me over the edge," said Lynch, who jumped up and down exuberantly after being presented with the screw. The money should be enough for one-third of a wish for a child, Lynch added.

In order to motivate students to donate to the contest before it closed, Lynch "came into the lab and threatened another final" if she didn't win, said Shannon C. Roberts '09. Collection buckets were also passed around the 2.007 lab to encourage students to donate, Roberts added.

According to Sharon Trohon, administrative officer of mechanical engineering, money was also collected at a faculty meeting in support of Lynch. The win "has a lot to do with the course 2.007 in the year 2007 … [Lynch] does so much for the students," Trohon said.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering John G. Brisson II was last year's Big Screw winner. Lynch said she plans to display the Big Screw trophy at the 2.007 final contest on May 15.