Event Students Volunteer at Fam Glam

Published on: November 27, 2013

Filled Under: Features

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Service-learning provides real-world experience at a major fundraiser

Rosealee Lee

Rosealee Lee

A team of students in the Meeting & Event Management program at Dakota County Technical College volunteered for a service-learning project that took them to the Chase Boardroom at the Marriott City Center in downtown Minneapolis for Fam Glam 2013, a Ronald McDonald House Charities-Upper Midwest annual event that celebrates FAMilies in GLAM style. The fundraiser, held Saturday, Oct. 5, brought in $258,545 for the charity, which supports families by keeping them together and strong during a child’s health care crisis.

“Fam Glam is a wonderful opportunity for our students to put into action what they’ve been learning,” said Rosealee Lee, a Meeting & Event Management instructor at the college. “They get to see firsthand what their future careers will be like. What’s great about events like Fam Glam is knowing that what we do as professionals is so meaningful to others.”

fam-glam12-300x212Carynn Roehrick, director of volunteers at RMHC-UM, has been involved with Fam Glam for 11 years. Roehrick reported that she has worked with Lee and her students going on five years. “The DCTC students have been invaluable in helping us put on the event,” she said. “Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. We find it super helpful to have volunteers from Rosealee’s program because they understand event planning and know what they’re doing.”

Banner photo courtesy of Mike Krivit

Student Perspectives

Katie Sturm

Katie Sturm

Katie Sturm • Age: 29 • Farmington, Minn.

Major: Meeting & Event Management, working on her certificate; previously earned her diploma in Photographic Imaging Technology at DCTC

Why DCTC?
“I wanted to learn how to do my own event planning—birthdays and holiday gatherings. I checked out the DCTC program and fell in love with Rosealee.”

What do you like about the Meeting & Event Management program?
“I like getting hands-on experience working at events like Fam Glam. I also like that I can take my classes online.”

Future career plans:
“I want to work as an event planner at an established venue.”

What do you like about volunteering at Fam Glam?
“I like knowing I am helping out children and their families. This is my second year. Last year, I worked the auction; this year, I’m involved with setup. I like the idea of helping a great organization like Ronald McDonald House.”

Hobbies or interests:
“I’m planning a candy-land theme birthday for my 3-year-old daughter, Stella.” Sturm also owns her own portrait and wedding photography business: Katie’s Photography.

Becky Tollefson

Becky Tollefson

Becky Tollefson • Age: 35 • Rosemount, Minn.

Major: Meeting & Event Management, working on her certificate; previously earned her B.A. in sociology from Concordia College

Why DCTC?
“I’ve always had an interest in wedding planning. I searched online for programs and looked at DCTC because the campus is near where I live. My husband knew I had found the right college because I was very excited and couldn’t stop talking after talking to Rosealee.”

What do you like about the Meeting & Event Management program?
“Rosealee’s classes are never boring. She knows so many people in the industry and she really wants to pass on her knowledge. Rosealee makes learning fun.”

Future career plans:
“I want to be an event coordinator at a resort or hotel.”

What do you like about volunteering at Fam Glam?
“I think it’s fun to see how things take shape at an event. I like getting out and seeing how what we talk about in class works in the real world, things like design and lighting. And Fam Glam is a really class event.”

Hobbies or interests:
“I foster dogs and work at St. Francis of Assisi Animal Rescue in Forest Lake. I have a 10-year-old lab-weimaraner mix named Sienna who is a rescue dog.”

Ali Olejniak

Ali Olejniak

Ali Olejniak • Age 20 • Bloomington, Minn.

Major: Meeting & Event Management, working on her A.A.S. degree; works full-time as a research clinic receptionist at the University of Minnesota

Why DCTC?
“I like that my classes at DCTC are online. I love being a college student. I could go to school for the rest of my life.”

What do you like about the Meeting & Event Management program?
“I like being part of someone’s big day. I like the teachers in the program. Rosealee is my mentor. I have good classmates, too. I like that I can count on them and that I’m part of a team.”

Future career plans:
“I will be starting my own event planning business next year, Alison Gordon Wedding Planning—I’m also getting married. I plan to take some entrepreneurship classes at DCTC.”

What do you like about volunteering at Fam Glam?
“It’s cool to see all the different sides of an actual event. I like seeing how all the different groups come together to create the big picture.”

Hobbies or interests:
“I love sewing. Right now, I’m making a friend’s wedding dress.”

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Rosealee Lee believes that volunteer opportunities like Fam Glam keep her program tuned to the event planning industry while giving her students the experience they need to succeed.

“Professional development is a very important aspect of service-learning,” Lee said. “But what my students really learn is the wonder of giving back to the community. They get to do what they do best, have fun and help others. It doesn’t hurt that they can also put Fam Glam on their resumes.

For more information about the Meeting & Event ManagementHospitality Lodging Managementand Spa & Resort Management programs at DCTC, contact:

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