Student-run dodgeball tournament provides aid to Butler Humane Society

Published by adviser, Author: Katie Ellis - Campus Life Editor, Date: October 23, 2014
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Rock PRoductions is joining with the Butler County Humane Society for their third Dodge for Paws dodgeball tournament on Nov. 8, to raise money to benefit the organization’s efforts to help animals in need, and find rescued animals new homes.

The event has been held twice in the past in partnership with nearby humane societies, and is making its return this November after a brief hiatus last year in cooperation with the local shelter. Students involved with Rock PRoductions have been coordinating with the Butler County Humane Society and designing advertisements that have been placed throughout campus to promote the event, and spreading the word on social media.

Senior public relations major and business administration minor Lauren Jacobs, 21, serves as the Vice President of Rock PRoductions and is the coordinator of the Dodge for Paws event. As VP of the organization, she is in charge of client contact and sees that the services that organizations contract for are carried out by her fellow members. This year their partnership with the Butler shelter came about due to the connections the Communication Department has with Butler County through internships.

“When we were planning it last year, they were the contact because they were working with Campaign, so we thought why not donate to someone who is right in the area,” Jacobs said. “One of the members of Rock PRoductions was an intern with them which got us the contact, and we got in touch with them this fall.”

Campaigns is a major requirement for public relations majors where students are given a client that is not Slippery Rock related, and they are tasked with helping to build up their PR department, Jacobs said.

Dodgeball is the sport of choice for the event as opposed to another activity because it allows students to be active even if they don’t have the skills needed for other sports like volleyball and flag football, which gives all students the opportunity to participate.

Sign-ups began last week and continue through Thursday, Oct. 30, at various locations across campus including the Student Center, Boozel Dining Hall and the Aebersold Recreation Center (ARC). Jacobs hopes to exceed the sign-ups in years past by next Thursday in order to make this year’s Dodge for Paws their biggest one yet.

“The first year we had between 18 to 20 teams,” Jacobs said. “I would like to at least get what we did that first year, and if we can exceed that, that would be awesome.”

Sophomore public relations major and leadership minor Chelsea Fryc, 19, is working with Jacobs and Rock PRoductions as part of her role as its secretary in coordinating with the freshmen and other new members as part of the freshman project. The secretary is responsible for finding out students’ areas of interest and putting them into groups based on those interests, from creating advertising materials to spreading the word about Dodge for Paws online.

“We broke it down into different committees and each would do a different aspect of the planning process,” Fryc said. “We asked them what their interests were, such as design, writing or social media, and they were separated that way.”

Money from team sign-ups and the newly initiated sponsorships with off-campus businesses will go directly to the Butler County Humane Society. Sponsors have been given the title of “Paw Friends” in recognition of their support of the cause.

The off-campus apartment complexes the Grove and the Heights, and Domino’s Pizza are sponsoring Dodge for Paws this year, with more sponsorship deals still being negotiated, Fryc said.

Fryc hopes to see student involvement with Dodge for Paws continue to grow going forward, as more become aware of it across campus and through social media.

“I want to see it continue on every year, and see an increase in awareness on campus,” Fryc said. “It’s a really good cause, and I’d like to see it grow.”

Sign-ups for Dodge for Paws will continue next week at the ARC on Oct. 27 and 29 from 6 to 8 p.m., the student center and Boozel dining hall on Oct. 28 and 30, respectively, during common hour. The winners of the tournament on Nov. 8 will receive t-shirts and a pizza party in recognition of their victory.

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