Entertainment and Music Business students and staff had the opportunity to give back to the community as well as see what goes into planning and executing a large-scale charity event when they volunteered for the 2014 Mascot Games at the Amway Center. The Games took place July 25-26 and benefited New Hope for Kids, an organization dedicated to supporting children who have experienced the loss of a loved one, and providing seriously ill children with once in a lifetime experiences through their Children’s Wish Program. The family friendly, gladiator style competition featured 30 Mascots from MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, AFL, and NCAA teams around North America.
Jamie Elasick, who teaches the Event Management course and also served on the planning committee for the event, said, “Planning began at the tail end of 2013 and it has been an amazing ride. Over 80 Full Sailors participated in a variety of ways leading up to and at the games. I was excited to be able to extend the opportunity to so many students to get hands-on experience with a variety of planning aspects for the event, and I’m proud of the hard work and dedication that they showed throughout the days.”
Leadership and Organizational Behavior instructor Maria Spitale added, “The students loved seeing the excitement on the children’s faces during the games. Knowing the importance of this charity to the community made the time spent worth while.”
Pure Motivation also represented Full Sail at the event. 43 Volunteer Initiative Participants (VIPs) showed up on Saturday to assist with setting up and ushering in spectators.
Students were able to translate aspects of their coursework into field experience as a result of volunteering. Because of the nature of the event, volunteers were able to fill whatever role they expressed an interest in. For some, this meant running social media for the Games. For others, it meant interacting with guests, or even the mascots themselves.
“The mascots were a joy to work with,” said Entertainment and Music Business Lab Specialist Marianthy Troupos. “Some of them have been participating in this event for years because they strongly believe in what New Hope stands for. I can’t wait for next year!”