Not all good ideas arise in a moment of inspiration. Some evolve, eventually yielding satisfaction as rewarding as the ones that take off from the outset.
One such evolving event involved Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) in association with the College of Business Administration’s collegiate American Marketing Association (AMA) chapter. Its results: first, $1,000 for Better Way of Miami, a successful substance abuse and HIV-AIDS awareness program; second, the successful rollout of a project now expected to be an annual event, one that fills a missing piece for FBLA-PBL, namely community service; and third, a successful collaboration between two student organizations.
[flv:http://business.fiu.edu/newsletters/BusinessNetworks/2009/03/videos/fblapbl.flv 500 334]
“We applied for a grant for an HIV-AIDS event but when we didn’t get that funding, we decided to develop the concept of a forum on HIV-AIDS and substance abuse on college campuses,” said Abdel Perera, FBLA-PBL president and a political science and international relations major.
The idea of the forum then grew to embrace the added effort to raise money for Better Way of Miami. And Danielle Whiting, FBLA-PBL vice president of chapter projects, devised the idea of a “Red Tie” theme.
“We wanted to convey that the dinner was formal, like a black tie event, but using “Red Tie” enabled us to also project the message of HIV/AIDS awareness,” she said.
All the ideas gelled.
Approximately 75 people, many from other student organizations at Florida International University (FIU) attended the January 30, 2009 forum—which the United Faculty of Miami Dade College, Local 4253, sponsored. The forum included presentations by Aaron Alvin, residential manager for Better Way of Miami and an FIU student; Alex Jennings, a clinical supervisor for the organization; and Mary Jane Barry, organizing director of the committee of interns and residents, University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital.
A festive dinner followed the forum. The more-than 120 who attended were able to enjoy music, a raffle that included gift cards and makeup, and a silent auction.
“We had raised $946,” Perera said, “and people there chipped in to get us to the $1,000.”
AMA makes significant contribution.
Thanks to the marketing savvy of the AMA chapter, the event grew beyond what FBLA-PBL initially hoped.
“On January 29, 2009, we found out that we had sold out the event and had to add tables and order more food,” Perera said, crediting Carla Marconi, AMA president, in particular for assistance.