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Emerson students' 'Boston Strong' t-shirt fundraiser breaks the $800,000 mark

Posted by Your Town  May 20, 2013 05:23 PM

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The two Emerson students who launched a massive fundraising initiative for the marathon bombing victims by selling "Boston Strong" t-shirts have raised more than $800,000 to date, according to Emerson College officials.

The college said in a statement that Nicholas Reynolds, a Visual and Media Arts major, and Chris Dobens, a marketing communication major, initially hoped to earn $2,000, but by the one-month anniversary of the bombings they had raised $837,000.

“It’s really unbelievable,” Dobens said in the statement. “I’ve never felt so good to be able to help people.”

Dobens, a Lowell native, said the two estimated that the average student would want to donate $20.

“For a student struggling with money, we figured the average amount they’d want to give is $20,” he said. “And we wanted them to have something to remember the fact that they helped out.”

In the statement Reynolds said they looked to "short and simple" catchphrases for inspiration, such as "Livestrong" and "Army Strong."

“Boston Strong really emerged as a simple, effective way of what we wanted to say without being too specific,” said Reynolds, who is from Gorham, Maine. “We wanted something everyone could rally behind.”

Reynolds also said in the statement that this endeavor has prompted him to reevaluate his career plans, while Dobens said the experience has reaffirmed his decision to study marketing.

“Now I really want to go into marketing for nonprofit organizations,” Dobens said. “I’ve never been this happy in my life. I’m helping people who really need it and meeting people who want to help. That’s what I want to do for the rest of my life—help people.”

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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