Funds raised will support play therapy for children who have experienced trauma
(Above Photo: Students and emcees (from left) Olivia Johnson and Holly Calvert, coordinator of NC’s Event Management program Christine Blaine, and director of philanthropy at Pathstone Mental Health Kim Rossi.)
Students and faculty from Niagara College’s Event Management program celebrated the successful completion of their 2019 Many Hands Project with a donation for mental health services in Niagara.
As a result of this year’s Many Hands Project, $40,800 was donated to Pathstone Mental Health – a community-based organization that provides innovative and effective treatment for all children in Niagara diagnosed with mental health issues. The funds were announced at a Many Hands Project reveal ceremony held at Branscombe Mental Health Centre in St. Catharines on April 15. The donation included $35,858 raised by NC student fundraisers and $5,000 from Canadian Tire Bank, a sponsor and long-time supporter of NC’s Many Hands Project.
“Mental health services are integral to the Niagara community and we are proud to support Pathstone through this year’s Many Hands Project,” said Damian Goulbourne, associate dean of NC’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport. “The Many Hands Project gives our Event Management students the opportunity to make significant contributions to the community while applying their skills and knowledge to the real-world event industry. I applaud what our students were able to achieve through their efforts and creativity in hosting a series of unique and engaging events.”
Kim Rossi, director of philanthropy and public relations at Pathstone Foundation, noted that the funds will be used to support play therapy – a type of psychotherapy which involves using toys as words and play as the primary mode of communication. Used with children who have experienced trauma, play therapy allows children to express their inner worlds and work through problems, in the presence of a caring adult who has been trained to understand metaphors, play patterns, and how to interact with the child in a way that creates safety and change.
“We are so grateful for the gift the NC students have given us this year. Non-profit organizations need events like those organized through the Many Hands Project to be able to hit their fundraising goals,” said Rossi. “We thought the events the students organized were really well put together from start to finish. We were impressed by the way the NC events team supported one another, paid extra attention to guests as they arrived and provided a five-star experience to attendees.”
Through their involvement in the Many Hands Project, students not only had the opportunity to contribute to the community but gained valuable real-world experience in their chosen industry. They raised funds and awareness for Pathstone by organizing and hosting a series of events including a Designer Handbag Bingo (March 29), Rise and Shine Yoga (March 24), Turntable Trivia (March 29) and Taps Apps and Laughs comedy show (April 4). With no budget, students built all aspects of their campaign, from venue selection, sponsorship and fundraising, to social media, marketing and execution.
Student Olivia Johnson noted that she values the extensive training she is gaining in the program. “It allows you the opportunity to have hands-on learning throughout the entire year as we plan and execute each of the events for the Many Hands Project,” she said. “You are given real-world experience throughout the process of planning the event.”
“The opportunity to apply what we are learning in the classrooms directly to the fundraising events through the Many Hands Project is very unique,” said student Leah Letford, who was honoured with a Student Leadership Award from Festivals and Event Ontario earlier this year.
Each year, the College’s Many Hands Project supports a different Niagara-based non-profit organization with fundraising, marketing and increasing public awareness. NC has been committed to the Many Hands Project since its launch in 1998, and has made a lasting impact on the Niagara region over the past two decades, thanks to the creative efforts of students and faculty, and community support for local non-profits. Visit niagaracollege.ca/manyhands.
Sponsors of the 2019 Many Hands Project include Canadian Tire Bank, The Tribune, The Standard, Niagara Falls Review, YourTV Niagara, Sullivan Mahoney LLP Lawyers, and Boston Pizza.
Event Management is a one-year graduate certificate program at Niagara College that prepares graduates for a career in a fast-paced and multi-faceted industry. Students develop skills in planning and logistics, public relations, marketing and sponsorship strategies, and volunteer and risk management in a highly experiential learning environment.
Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.