Event Management has many hands helping many community causes

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NC Event Management students get real-world event planning and execution experience while contributing to a brighter tomorrow for the region's residents.

For more than 20 years, it’s been an all-hands-on-deck effort from Event Management students and staff.

Once again, students are planning a signature event in support of a local non-profit organization as part of the College’s Many Hands Project along with several fundraisers to help the College’s student body.

Now in its 21st year, the Many Hands Project is helping Community Care St. Catharines and Thorold through a fundraiser that, in turn, provides the resources needed for programming to support Niagara’s vulnerable citizens.

The signature event this year is Soups, Stews and Brews, taking place on March 23 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Market Square in St. Catharines. The fundraiser will feature local fare and craft beer.

Student representatives Leah La Sorda and Kelly Burke said they are pleased to be working with an integral community non-profit.

“Having visited Community Care as a team, it really opened our eyes as to how much they do, and how many people out there really rely on their programs and support,” said La Sorda. “This has made us want to work even harder to raise money and awareness for Community Care.”

Christine Blane, coordinator of the Event Management program, says the project is the cornerstone of the program and provides students the tools they need to prepare them for work in the field.

“The Many Hands Project has been an incredible demonstration of community engagement that, when combined with education, has provided students with the tools required for a successful career,” Blane said. “Fundraising, volunteer management, technical operations, hospitality and public relations are the responsibility of individual committees comprised of students – we teach them concepts one week and the next week, sometimes even that same day, they are applying those skills.”

During the past five years, NC students have raised $150,000 for local non-profit agencies and have given 42,000 hours of volunteer placement work to the community through the program.

In addition, two more events will support NCSAC’s Nourishing Minds, an upgraded food bank program which was announced in November 2017. They are:

Sip and Stretch
Rockway Vineyards, St. Catharines
April 4, 6 – 9 p.m.

 

Spring to the Market
Club Italia, Niagara Falls
April 8, 1 – 4 p.m.

Starting with a zero base budget, students had to build their campaign from the ground up. Creating marketing materials from print to social media, the students pitched to the corporate community to gain event sponsorship and donations. Every aspect of the planning and was done by the students whose class concepts provided them a solid footing to progress through tasks.

“Not only are we able to help others, but we also have the opportunity to develop our event management skills out in the real world, not just in the classroom,” La Sorda added. “This is a truly rewarding experience for all of us in the program, and we learn so much each week.”

Burke and La Sorda, who are working on Spring to the Market, said that while there are many tasks to balance their professors are readily available to give guidance. Students gain experience to help them enter the event management industry – which is fast-paced and built on multitasking, collaboration and problem solving.

“What we’re doing now is exactly what we could be doing when we find work,” Burke said.

For event and ticket information visit the Many Hands Project website.

Launched in 1998, the Many Hands Project is a student-driven initiative by Niagara College’s Event Management program that has assisted Niagara’s non-profits through the planning and execution of volunteer and fundraising events. For more information and past recipients, visit the Many Hands Project at www.niagaracollege.ca/manyhands.

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