Business class “Mary Poppins” fundraiser to aid afterschool program
May 29, 2013
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) When “Mary Poppins” movie characters Michael and Jane Banks send out a request for the right kind of nanny, they get what they wish for and much more.
Mary Poppins floats down from the heavens with her magical umbrella and opens up a whole new world of unexpected fun for the two children. On Sunday evening, June 2, a free screening of the 1964 Walt Disney classic “Mary Poppins” was held at La Sierra University’s Cossentine Hall along with a raffle, sales of cause bracelets, food and drink. The event raised funds for supplies needed to help stir the minds and imaginations of children in the Alvord Unified School District’s after school program.
A business class of the Zapara School of Business organized the event as a service-learning activity under direction of Jere Fox, associate professor of law and management. The students aimed to reach a goal of $5,000 by end of the movie night, and had previously raised nearly half the desired amount with a car wash, yard sale, bake sales and bracelet sales.
The outreach project builds upon fund raising efforts last fall and the previous spring for after school programs, and is based on a needs assessment of local schools. The activity provides business students insight into ways they can help others close to home. “This is my community. It’s [elementary school] literally two miles from my house. We have a responsibility,” said Erin Hotchkiss, a senior film and television major who is taking the business class. She was instrumental in securing the necessary licensing for showing the “Mary Poppins” movie as a fundraiser.
The experience also instills a value system within the university students that can be of benefit throughout their personal and professional lives, added Alyssa James, a senior marketing and management major. “It’s a good, basic ethical code that we need to develop.”
“It’s a really cool experience for me,” said Nicholas Feldkamp, senior management and marketing major. He brainstormed the message “Anyone Can be a Superhero,’” which is inscribed on the fund raising bracelets. The motto derives from a critical documentary, “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” which gives insight into the American public school system, a film the class watched as part of their curriculum.
Last year Feldkamp joined a student group that traveled to India and built a school. While he valued the activity, his current business class is providing a local service opportunity. “It’s a really fun experience helping people close to home,” he said.