March 2011 Instructor Editorial
Public Relations Class Project in Memory of Classmate Briar Palmer
As a college student, I looked forward to attending classes I felt I could utilize the material I was learning in school and apply it to “real life.” I always like to see the practical application for the things I learn. Today, as a Communication Instructor at Labette Community College, I am always looking for ways to relate textbook material to careers and to everyday life.
While most of my time in the classroom is spent teaching Fundamentals of Speech, twice a week I meet with a small group of students for an introductory class in Public Relations. To help my students learn about the variety of public relations tools available to the PR Practitioner, I like to see them put the tools to use through practical application. Planning and promoting an event offers students this hands-on experience that I believe is so valuable.
I begin by asking the students to select an event that can benefit the college and the community. First, they brainstorm for event ideas and then formulate an event proposal outlining their ideas. After each student presents their proposal, the students select an event to work on as a class project that culminates toward the end of the semester. This semester’s PR students chose a co-ed 3 on 3 basketball tournament.
We were early in the event planning stages, discussing the importance of press releases, when tragedy struck. PR student, Briar Palmer, was killed in an automobile accident on February 21st. I had only just met Briar a month before, but already he had touched not only my life, but also the lives of all his classmates. He came to class each day with a smile on his face and an excitement for life that was contagious. Class is not the same without him. As a tribute to Briar, his classmates quickly decided they would like their class project, the basketball tournament, to be held in his memory.
On Thursday, May 5th, at 6 p.m., the PR class at LCC will host “Ballin’ for Briar,” a co-ed 3 on 3 basketball tournament in the LCC Gymnasium. This double elimination tournament is opened to high school freshman and older. A $25 registration fee covers a 3 or 4 member team and the winning team will be presented with tournament t-shirts. Food and drinks will also be provided to all players. Registration is underway now through Thursday, April 21st, but it is limited to the first 16 teams.
On the night of the event, donations will be accepted at the door, but are not necessary to enter. A free throw contest will be held for area youth, 8th grade and younger, and the winner will receive an LCC t-shirt. Numerous other LCC logo items will be given away throughout the evening. Tickets to enter a 50/50 pot drawing are currently available to purchase; $1 per chance or $5 for 6 chances. The drawing for the 50/50 pot will be held following the free throw contest and you do not have to be present to win. The winner takes half of the money raised and the other half will be donated in memory of Briar to the Mound Valley Christian Church, selected by Briar’s family to receive donations in his name.
For additional tournament information, to get a tournament registration form, or to purchase your 50/50 pot tickets, e-mail Tonya Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 620-820-1121.