The final projects of students in St. Clair’s Event Management program are helping local charities.
These projects aid a wide variety of organizations throughout Windsor and Essex County, including the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Cystic Fibrosis Canada and the Windsor Essex Youth/Child Advocacy Centre.
One such project is the Jack Miner Game Dinner, where attendees will receive a takeout meal consisting of food such as water buffalo meatballs and pheasant stir-fry.
Project leader Amanda Hutchinson said using the knowledge learned in the Event Management program made setting it up much easier.
“The organization was definitely challenging at the beginning because there is so much to do. This is our first event as students so it seemed a little overwhelming at first. With detailed planning and great teamwork, we’ve been able to stay on track,” said Hutchinson.
The funds raised from this event will help the Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary continue to provide a safe home for migrating birds.
The one-year graduate certificate students receive after successfully completing the Event Management program will provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to plan, organize, coordinate, implement and promote special events for the public, corporate and non-profit sectors.
Another project is an online charity auction led by Louanne Sylvestre, another event management student. A wide variety of items including gift cards, headphones and artwork are all up for sale. The proceeds will go towards helping Habitat for Humanity continue building homes for people in need.
Student Louanne Sylvestre said she has been learning a lot about working as a leader over the course of the project.
“I think the most I’ve learned through this whole process is to be patient and brave. Often times, you find yourself so overwhelmed and you want to get it all done right now, but you can’t because you’re one person,” Sylvestre said.
Other projects include a virtual talent show where performers can pay $10 to watch or perform their talents on various social media platforms. This is headed by student Nathalia Jaya Dimabayao and proceeds will go to Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
Another project consists of a set of renowned individuals speaking on diversity within Windsor-Essex, lead by student Angelee Incitti. These funds will go to Windsor Essex Youth/Child Advocacy Centre to help abused children.
Students will be marked for two parts of their final projects. The first is centered around the written portion of their marketing plan for their event. This aspect would have to be approved by both program instructor John Weese and the charity with which they are working.
The second part involves the actual execution of their event, marking how smoothly the event goes and the level of planning put into it beforehand.
Those involved in the community organizations whom these events will benefit also have positive things to say.
Amanda Everaert, executive director of the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation, said St. Clair’s students created innovative ways to continue their event during COVID.
“They came up with the idea to use digital ticketing, which we’ve never used before. They did their own website and social media feeds and such. I think the technology they used and were able to offer us was really fantastic for this situation,” said Everaert.
The students' efforts also brought in new audiences that Jack Miner normally doesn’t reach, according to Everaert.
She also said she hopes to continue her organization’s relationship with St. Clair on future projects for Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary.
“We would love to work with St. Clair College on any projects that we could be of assistance. We’re a pretty large facility in terms of horticultural events, education of the history behind it, so we would love to have a partnership with them throughout the years.”
Program co-ordinator Dwayne St. John said he hopes students involved in these community projects take away some key lessons.
“I’m hoping that they gain not only insight and appreciation for what it takes to be an event manager, but I’m also hoping they gain a tremendous respect for our community partners, our agencies in the community that are not for profit,” St. John said.
- Tyler Clapp