On Campus / Student Life

CMU students to host ‘Spring Fever’ event to benefit American Youth Foundation

Students are putting what they learned in an event planning class to good use by organizing and hosting multiple events this spring.

One group of four students from the class, RPL 430, is presenting “Spring Fever: A Flower Child Festival” on April 12 in the Finch Fieldhouse. Beginning at noon, the event includes spring-themed activities, refreshments and team events.

All proceeds will be donated to the American Youth Foundation, which the group decided upon together.

Team member Aaron Wright, a senior from Clarkston, said the foundation tends to rely greatly on donations and fundraisers.

“We chose the American Youth Foundation because I’ve actually worked at one of their summer camps for the last two summers,” Wright said. “We thought it went well with our flower child theme because camp is a place to just have fun and enjoy the spirit of youth.”

The funds raised could end up going toward updated outdoor education materials for the foundation, Wright said, such as canoes, kayaks or the outdoor high ropes courses. They could also help provide financial aid for low-income children to attend the camp.

The games and events at Spring Fever were selected based on the group’s choice of the American Youth Foundation, according to group member Rachel West.

The Crystal Falls junior said one of their activities – the cardboard rabbit race – is used under another name by some of the American Youth Foundation camps, and her group wanted to be able to incorporate it to tie in both the spring theme and their organization of choice.

The theme itself is also a reflection of the American Youth Foundation.

“We wanted something that would represent kind of a “childish” theme in order to represent the foundation,” West said, “but we also wanted to have games at it that would be fun for college students.”

Students have spent the semester planning and organizing their events as well as trying to successfully advertise them.

West and Wright’s group has been using flyers, posting in various Central Michigan University Facebook pages and will have a table in the Bovee University Center for several days.

Both West and Wright agreed the event is a great way to gain real-world experience outside the classroom setting.

“Working with a non-profit organization, especially a summer camp, has helped me understand the kinds of things that will be expected of me in my career path as an outdoor recreation major,” Wright said. “It’s wonderful to see that there are organizations in the world that are more committed to transferring strong values to the youth they serve than turning a huge profit.”

West said as the group had no start-up funds, working with local sponsors to fund the event has been a helpful experience. The end-of-project materials each student will be putting together at the end of the semester will also serve as a portfolio for the future.

The event will have no entry fee, but each activity requires a certain amount of tickets.

To participate in either the cardboard rabbit race or the flower-pot drop, teams of two can register by visiting the group’s Facebook event page.

“We were assigned groups with four people that we didn’t know, going into different majors wanting different career paths, and were told to pick a charity, pick an event, put it on, and that it must make a profit,” West said. “If you think about it, it’s pretty incredible that groups do this successfully multiple times a semester.”

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