Chances are, we all know someone—be it a friend, family member, or neighbor—whose life has been touched by cancer.
Just such a personal connection with the difficulties faced by a loved one fighting leukemia lit the spark fueling the community service project that students in Group 21 of the current BBA+ Weekend program are supporting.
“We are a team of forty business students that has committed to raising $750 each to reach a total of $30,000 through our participation in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night® Walk” on Saturday, September 16th in downtown Miami,” said Samantha Kugler, Group 21 class president and team leader for the project. In pursuit of her BBA degree, Kugler currently is a trust advisor with Coconut Grove Bank.
“Having recently lost a cousin to leukemia, I was aware of the society and the work it did. The “Light the Night Walk” is exactly the kind of cause we were looking to support,” she said.
Each BBA+ Weekend group chooses a community service project as part of its Business in Society class. This team considered several projects but collectively felt that the Light the Night Walk provided an ideal way to reach out to the local community and raise awareness about this life-threatening disease.
“One of the larger themes of the course is helping students realize that business exists within the larger context of the community,” said Robert Hogner, associate professor of management and international business and coordinator of the college’s Civic Engagement Initiative. “The selected project becomes a practicum in leadership development, teamwork, and logistics—all done with one goal in mind: to help the community.”
Speaking for the team, Kugler said she believes that “taking on this project is both a learning experience and a demonstration of our commitment to serving the community as a whole as we move out into positions of leadership in the business world.”
Team works hard to meet aggressive fund-raising goals.
To achieve its goal, the group divided into sub-teams focused on areas such as marketing, accounting, and logistics—the same critical operations that any business project would encompass.
“Our motivation and competitive spirit are strong,” Kugler said. “We want to top the dollar amount raised by the last group’s project, which netted about $27,000.”
To meet its objective, the group is seeking corporate sponsorships as well as individual donations.
Corporate sponsors can pledge to gold, platinum, and titanium levels, with each level based on donation amounts and offering recognition through plaques and logo displays on t-shirts and banners to be worn and paraded during the actual “Light the Night Walk.”
“In addition to our web site, we have sent targeted letters to potential corporate sponsors,” Kugler said. “Team members also are hitting the streets, making one-on-one visits to businesses to encourage donations. We are using every vehicle available to us to get the message out there!”
Donald Roomes, director of the college’s BBA+ program, applauds the work of the Group 21 team.
“Like many others before them, this team has embraced its project with a united spirit and a vision of doing something really special,” he said. “What we have here is not merely a course requirement, but a larger-than-life, character-building experience for these students. It was an awesome feeling just being with them in the classroom as they stuffed envelopes for potential sponsors. Their sense of purpose and commitment to making a difference in the larger ‘classroom of life’ was so clearly evident.”
Your support is welcomed.
The Group 21 team invites you to support its participation in the “Light the Night Walk” on Saturday, September 16, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m, at Bay Front Park in downtown Miami.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education, and patient services. The society meets the standards of the Better Business Bureau for charitable accountability. “Light the Night Walk” events take place nationally in different cities at different times.
“Our team will be there in Miami in full force, walking alongside both survivors and supporters,” Kugler said. “Any and all support will be greatly appreciated.”
For more information on the BBA+ Weekend program, visit https://business.fiu.edu/undergraduate/professional-bba/.