Fundraising activities completed by students in Conestoga’s Business Administration - Marketing advanced diploma program have raised nearly $20,000 for local charities this semester. The fundraising involved approximately 160 students who hosted events at the Doon campus as part of a hands-on learning exercise for their Event Marketing course.
Business Administration - Marketing students Rachel Palmer, Cheyeanne Almeida, Keshaune Miller and Sam Blakeney raised more than $7,200 for Soldier On as part of their Event Marketing course.
“We want to teach hands-on experience in the marketing of an event, how to source sponsorship dollars and how to project-manage that event,” said faculty member Wendy Durigon. “We also send students out in the workplace to complete five hours of volunteer work at a special event to further their hands-on skills.”
Student teams, directed by Durigon and faculty members Catherine Wittke and Christine DeVries, hosted approximately 40 events on campus and were invited to choose their charity of choice.
Cheyanne Almeida, Sam Blakeney, Keshaune Miller and Rachel Palmer supported Soldier On through an Invictus Challenge they hosted on Remembrance Day. They set an ambitious goal to raise $6,000 but finished their event with donations totalling more than $7,200.
Soldier On is a Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group program committed to supporting veterans and serving members to overcome permanent physical or mental health injury or illness through physical activity and sport.
“We set out to accomplish something big and redefine what students can achieve with their assignments. What we ended up doing was allowing people to expand their understanding of what the military does and giving them the opportunity to explore that,” explained Almeida. “We had so much incredible community support from Blacksmith and Bean Coffee, Monteiro Insurance and many more sponsors, as well as media support from 570 News and Jess Kal Photography.”
Almeida’s team hosted the Invictus Challenge in memory of her brother, Pte. Josh Almeida, who passed away following a motor vehicle accident earlier this year. Through the event, members of the Conestoga community were invited to participate in various challenges to understand the burden members of the armed forces take on and the sacrifices they make.
“I'd like to believe that he would have done similar things if the roles were reversed,” said Almeida when asked how her brother would respond to her team’s success. “He would have taken a moment that redefined who he was and, instead of sinking into the pain, he would have done something constructive with it. I'd like to believe that he would like the idea of paying it forward as well since the military was such an essential part of my family's journey through this. The fact we've been able to give back and change the lives of seven soldiers and their families is humbling beyond belief.”
In addition to finding inspiration from her own experiences, Almeida credits Durigon and the direction she’s provided in the classroom for helping with the success of this year’s fundraising.
“Our professor Wendy Durigon runs her own charity, Jessica's Footprint, and she had a lot of insightful information and considerations that were essential to our planning,” said Almeida. “I feel her belief in our capabilities was truly a motivator and assisted us in aspiring to such great heights.”
“I am always excited to see what students will do with their events and also the volunteer work that they do outside of the college,” said Durigon. “I have been instructing this course since 2011 and find it very rewarding to see our students not only excel in Event Marketing, but also helping for the greater good in our communities. On average, our students have raised more than $10,000 a year running charitable third-party events in the halls of Conestoga Doon.”
The Business Administration - Marketing advanced diploma program takes a project-oriented approach and provides opportunities to work with real-world clients. As an advanced diploma, focus is placed on ensuring graduates can perform a number of more complex functions including applying principles of financial analysis and control, using analytical and evaluation skills to support a variety of management functions, development of integrated marketing plans that drive towards business goals and objectives and embracing new technology.