By Liam McGurl
[Image courtesy of Twitter.com]
After months of planning, ENACTUS is looking forward to their upcoming Give Back Bash on the weekend of April 17-18.
As the recent winner of the Friar and Joe Doino Award for “Organization and Club of the Year,” St. Bonaventure’s largest non-profit organization has proven its outstanding dedication and service. While the club is often recognized for its yearly service trip to the Bahamas, members also do a great deal of local charity work—which has had major impacts in surrounding communities.
Every year, ENACTUS designs a legacy project, which is independently planned and executed by the club members. Although the club has only rounded up 15 members to plan their upcoming event, members said their dedication is what pushes them through.
“Being a part of ENACTUS has truly been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had,” Alyssa Honaker, a sophomore finance major said. “Through ENACTUS we have the opportunity to use skills we are taught in the classroom and apply them to real-world situations. Students in ENACTUS develop teamwork, organization and presentation skills by being placed in situations outside off the classroom—making them well rounded.”
While a trip to the Bahamas may seem like a lavish getaway, club members spend the trip preparing for their legacy event just a few months later. Over the course of this two week trip, members participate in local community work—such as teaching elementary students—in order to work on enhancing their problem solving skills and understanding of servant leadership.
“ENACTUS specifically pushes you so far out of your comfort zone and you’re constantly being thrown into situations where you don’t know what to do,” Taylor Douglas, a sophomore biology major and second-year club member said.
As the trip comes to a close, members begin narrowing down ideas for their legacy project and select a charity to donate the proceeds to.
This year, the club decided to break up into three separate legacy teams. One group focused on planning the Science of Magic event, while the other two collaborated on the upcoming Give Back Bash weekend.
The Science of Magic event took place on March 21, with all proceeds being donated to a fourth-grader, Olean, New York, who has been battling bone cancer since age 3. For this event, ENACTUS members planned interactive science experiments and demonstration stations that featured different types of magic.
Over the course of Give Back Bash weekend, ENACTUS members will be holding three events aimed to bring students together in support of both local and national efforts to combat childhood cancer.
Half of the proceeds will be donated to the Rochester-based Cure Childhood Association, while the other half of the proceeds will be given to an 11-year-old boy, Olean, New York, who is battling terminal bone cancer.
“I’m hoping that Give Back Bash will help people understand that it’s possible to have fun while helping out a cause like CURE,” said Haylei John, international studies and Spanish double major. “It would be great to see more people become involved in ENACTUS and other service opportunities after Give Back Bash.”
The first event will be the Blacklight Bash, scheduled for Friday, April 17 at 8 p.m. in the Rathskeller. Members said they encourage students to come in all neon and white—and be ready to dance! There will also be a number of drink and food specials for attendees.
On Saturday, April 18, the festivities will continue with the Fluorescent 5K at 10 a.m. Beginning at the Rathskellar, attendees will run 3.1 miles along the Allegany River Trail. Once again, students are encouraged to wear all white.
Registration—either through the event Facebook page or the Reilly Center event booth—will be $15 with a free pair of neon sun glasses upon payment. T-shirts will also be available for purchase at the event.
Douglas said ENACTUS is planning on having at least 100 attendees for both the Blacklight Bash and the Fluorescent 5K.
After the conclusion of the Fluorescent 5K, the club will be holding the Shoot for Strength Basketball Tournament at 2 p.m. in the Reilly Center. Five-player teams will be competing in three-versus-three matches. The winning team will receive free t-shirts and a grand prize at the end of the day. While there is still debate over what the grand prize will be, Douglas said it will be something worth getting competitive over. The club also said they are planning on having around 50 teams as registration comes to a close.
To register a team, visit the event table in the Reilly Center or the Give Back Bash Facebook page. The registration price is $20 and registration will be open until the day before the event. Once again, registration can be done through the Give Back Bash Facebook page or at the event booth in the Reilly Center.
For those planning on watching the competition, prizes will be awarded to random patrons, as well. Whether students plan to participate in the Give Back Bash events or not, members said everyone is encouraged to attend and show support for these causes.
“I’m really excited to not only get the students on campus involved with this event, but also those in the community, as well, Honaker said. “I know a few people are going to be driving up from Buffalo for the Fluorescent 5k, and we also have many from the Olean/Alleghany area registered, as well.”
Any students interested in applying to join ENACTUS can speak with either club advisor Dr. Todd Palmer or current members—who will be present at all events.
“ENACTUS gives you a huge sense of pride,” Douglas said. “Overall, it’s just really rewarding.”