In addition to lecturing in her Advanced Public Relations class, SUNY Oswego Public Relations Professor Tina Pieraccini is giving her students an opportunity to apply what they have learned to a good cause. For 18 years, Pieraccini’s students have organized a charity walk to benefit the Oswego County United Way. The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 17th and the studentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s will put what they have learned into practice. The SUNY Oswego 5K Walk-A-Thon will start at noon in front of Lanigan Hall. Each walker is asked to make a $5 donation to participate. The event has been sponsored annually by SUNY OswegoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Auxiliary Services since 1991.
The United Way provides funding for various agencies and programs in the local area, including the Onondaga-Oswego chapter of the Red Cross, the Boys and Girl Scouts of America, and several family service organizations. Past students of the course have seen their impact firsthand with campus-based programs such as the Children’s Center of Oswego and the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, both receiving funds from the United Way.
“The students work hard and feel good about the results that can be seen right here in Oswego County and on campus,” says Pieraccini. In past years, the Walk-A-Thon has weathered all of the elements, from rain to sleet and snow. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Though weather has caused the success of the event to vary over the years, the students have enjoyed organizing it nonethelessÃ¢â‚¬Â added Pieraccini.
“The Walk-A-Thon is a lot of fun to put together, but it is also a very rewarding opportunity to apply what we’ve learned in class to a charitable purpose,” says Olivia Kelly, a former student of Pieraccini. The students are split up into several committees to make the Walk-A-Thon possible, including the following committees: Publicity, Route Planning, Awards, Radio/TV and Poster promotion, T-Shirts, Recruitment and a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Thank youÃ¢â‚¬Â committee. Kelly was a member of the Walk-A-Thon publicity committee last year.
The publicity committee has worked with another former class member from 1997 who is now working as a TA for the course. Bridget Clark shares her past experience with the students and is the liaison with the United Way office. Clark adds Ã¢â‚¬Å“Once again I enjoy the opportunity to work with the United Way and love the enthusiasm of the class.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“We have received much support from campus organizations and clubs,” Pieraccini says, “And each year, several different local sponsors contribute to bringing the city and campus together for a great cause.” Students are thrilled about this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s event and are working to make it the most successful Walk-A-Thon to date.