A group of Penn State public relations students has worked throughout the spring semester to help promote the Beaver Stadium Run/Family Fun Walk as part of a real-life extension of their classroom efforts.
With the fourth annual event just days away on April 21, the students have made a meaningful impact. Their work has helped attract runners and sponsors for the event, which benefits Special Olympics PA.
The students in COMM 473 Public Relations Campaigns organized a working group, known as Willard Communications, and worked closely with race organizers, law enforcement officials, other student groups and volunteers to help grow the race.
In 2011, the 5K that ends at the 50-yard line of Beaver Stadium attracted 1,600 runners and raised $83,000. Last year, there were more than 3,000 participants in the run and walk who raised $270,000. Everyone associated with the event hopes to maintain the positive trajectory this year.
Members of the Willard Communications team, all of whom are senior public relations majors, are: Alexa Cutler, Ardsley, N.Y.; Lorissa Holdren, Laceyville, Pa.; Lacey Ketcchell, Pottstown, Pa.; Lawrence Leung, East Hanover, N.J.; Shaun Levine, Pelham, N.Y.; Kevin Lowthert, Prospect Park, Pa.; and Julie Turkall, Pittsburgh.
A primary focus for the College of Communications students was engaging Penn State alumni.
“We’ve had a good response,” said Leung, the group’s account manager. “The biggest challenge was the timeline. Messages take time to spread and we really only had about a month to build our campaign and make our pitches. We’ve had some good success, though.”
More information about the Beaver Stadium Run/Walk may be found at www.stadiumrun.org online.