On Thursday, Oct. 1, members of the Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America volunteered at the March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction in the Bone Student Center’s Brown Ballroom from 4:30-7:30 p.m.
The March of Dimes is a foundation that has had a growing and changing mission throughout its seventy-seven years of existence, aligning with the needs of babies and their families at times to ensure that all children have a fighting chance at life upon their arrival into the world. At its start, the March of Dimes Foundation was established with the mission of battling the polio virus, more specifically its effect on children, resulting in the development of three vaccines that ultimately eliminated the polio virus in the United States. With this mission achieved, March of Dimes expanded their mission to include working towards finding ways to prevent premature birth and accompanying defects as well as infant mortality; a mission in which they continue to fight today. The auction serves as a way for the March of Dimes foundation to collect funds to put towards achieving their new mission, only calling for as little as a dime as a gift that can be made towards the efforts of the foundation. The auction also serves as a way to continue to spread awareness about the struggles many families continue to face upon the early arrival of their newborn children.
The members of ISU PRSSA recognize the importance of this organization and what they do, and put forth their best efforts in their best attire on this evening to aid in any way that they could. The auction began with a cocktail hour, giving the guests time to check-in to receive their bid number card, converse amongst one another, and have the opportunity to makes bids on the items available in the silent auction. Some ISU PRSSA members monitored these areas, being available to answer any questions and to carry out the processing duties that followed an item being sold to a bidder. At seven, the next portion of the night began which included guests taking their seats, dinner being served, and the opening speeches and presentations of the auction being given, one of which was given by ISU’s own President Larry Dietz and wife, Marlene Dietz. Following this was the live auction, where ISU PRSSA members worked as runners, delivering the items won to the winning bidders as well as carrying out the processing duties of the win that followed. Throughout the entire night, ISU PRSSA members were able to get better acquainted with one another as well as with the leadership behind the production of the event. This behind the scenes action and communication gave ISU PRSSA members a firsthand look at what could become some of the tasks (or as we say in Chapter, some of the “hats”) they will take on in their future careers as public relations professionals.
Upon the end of the live auction, ISU PRSSA members were able to leave the event with not only a broadened perspective on what issues our society continues to face today, but also with an idea and a little bit of experience of how our efforts could help in making a change. ISU PRSSA will continue to take part in events like the one described here, looking to give our members more than just the information, but to also provide them the experience needed to take on the roles they aspire to have in the future.
Composed by Chloe Kasper
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.