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Liberty News

Students in event planning class raise more than $4,000 for community organizations

April 22, 2019 : By Tobi Walsh Laukaitis/Liberty University News Service

Assistant Professor Alison Pettit’s Event Planning course at Liberty University isn’t only about gaining hands-on experience in a competitive field that will be useful in a future career; it’s about using those skills to give back now, as students.

For the second year, Family and Consumer Sciences students have raised more than $4,000 for local organizations and nonprofits through class projects.

In January, students were placed in groups and tasked with planning an event from scratch for an organization of their choice. Some of the events included a coffee and paint night, trivia night, and an Easter Brunch.

For junior Elizabeth Mastrangelo, picking an organization was easy. A New York native, Mastrangelo wanted to help the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center after the Empire State passed a controversial abortion law earlier this year.

“Our group felt strongly that we had to do something,” Mastrangelo said. “The Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center does so much to help women and provide them with options other than abortion. It was a special cause, and we’re glad that our event was successful so we could support them.”

Her group decided on a bingo night and they had an overwhelming response.

“I think people really wanted to support a good cause,” she said.

Junior Leah Weaver’s group decided on Lynchburg Daily Bread, a local soup kitchen that provides hot meals to those in need.

“We got to tour their building and see exactly what they do,” Weaver said. “It was cool because we got to see where the money is going to.”

Her group chose to do an artisan craft fair on campus and raised $1,200.

“Going into this class I knew I wanted to be an event planner, but now I realized that I don’t have to just be a wedding planner,” Weaver said. “I can use these skills to do more fundraising events.”

“It’s great to be part of a school that gives you these opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus,” Weaver said. “As Christians, we should give back to those around us.”

Senior Stephanie Rogers assisted with fundraising for Liberty’s Habitat for Humanity Club. It was a special cause for Rogers, who received her own home through Habitat for Humanity as a newlywed.

“Having our own house helped us so much when we were first starting out,” Rogers said. “It’s been encouraging to try to help out because I know the impact it can have on a family.”

As an older student, Rogers said she was encouraged by her younger classmates who have a passion for serving others.

“I think the younger generation gets a bad rep sometimes that they don’t care,” Rogers said. “But as a mom, I know that’s not true. I think this generation wants to help and give back. They just need the opportunity to do it.”

Other local groups receiving donations as a result of class fundraisers were Gleaning for the World and Patrick Henry Family Services.

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