Students in Western Illinois University's Recreation Park and Tourism Administration Department's Leadership in Leisure Services course plan, develop, market, run and evaluate a community recreation program. The award is named after Alexis Burks, Lauren Kincannon, Kristen Kretzer, Krista Mast, Ashley McCoy, Amanda Rehtmeyer & Jackie Rieger, who created an outstanding program for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Macomb. Teams who win this award demonstrate a commitment to excellence, professionalism and creativity in developing and implementing their community recreation program.
Kidz Karnival Extravaganza: the Kraziest Show on Earth (Fall, 2017)
Debriana Ross, Cierrae Caver, Kenya Berkley, and Katlyn Tomasetti, created a Youth Karnival Extravaganza for youth in K-6th grades. We partnered with the YMCA of McDonough County and TJ Depoy.
We had 40+ children participate in and enjoy the Karnival games and prizes! TJ Depoy complimented us on what an "amazing turnout" the program had and how we did a great job putting everything together. Participants and families enjoyed 7+ different booths and games for the youth from K-6th grades. We ensured that activities were age appropriate, so that everyone would feel included and accomplished. Youth were able to freely choose their activities and enjoyed the prizes.
We want to offer a special "thank you" to our volunteers, along with the YMCA and TJ Depoy (Director of Youth Services). Through them, we were provided with all of the necessary equipment we needed to run our program successfully. We would also like to extend a thank you to Amy and the Youth Circus Performers. They did a phenomenal job as openers for our program.
Team Building at Horn Field Campus (Spring, 2017)
Brianna Martinez, Jennifer Gonzalez, Ashley Black, Megan Shaver and Alexis Marmion hosted Horn Field Day at Horn Field Campus. We collaborated closely with Mindy Pfieffer to create a team bonding experience for the Macomb High School Men’s Baseball, and Women’s Soccer teams. Together, we wanted to offer an opportunity for Macomb High School students to connect with one another as well as learn about WIU, Horn Field Campus, and the Recreation, Park & Tourism Administration Department (RPTA).
We provided many team bonding activities like introductory games, whale watch, muse, the wall, and tye-dying. We closed with guest speakers from the WIU men’s baseball and soccer teams. This gave participants the opportunity to learn about sports on the collegiate level and also to encourage them to attend WIU. We wanted to introduce participants to positive role models who are strong leaders and collaborative workers. We were able to do this through the great facilitators, ourselves, and the guest speakers.
We would like to offer a huge thank you to Mindy for working with us, giving us great ideas to incorporate, and letting us use Horn Field Campus free of charge. That is why we decided to give all we fundraised back! We also want to thank Dr. Schlag for being such a wonderful leader and role model to us throughout the semester. Without his guidance we would never have pulled this event off. Lastly, we want to give a special thank you to each of our team members for working their hardest and putting their best efforts forward!
Making a Difference...Together (Spring, 2016)
Edith Garcia, Audrey Meixner, Jasper Perchalski, Taylor Rigg, Bob Schnoes, Olivia Schulte and Dawn Tonkinson hosted "Making a Difference...Together!" They collaborated with St. Paul Elementary School's After Care program and worked with students from Kindergarten to Sixth grade. As a group, they wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of the students by teaching them to give back to the community and introducing them to teamwork. For our program we provided a tie-dye activity and a team-building gym activity. The reason we wanted to do the tie-dye activity was to teach the kids about giving back to those in less-fortunate situations by donating the finished tie-dyed shirts to the pediatric floor at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL. We also thought it was important to teach the students about the benefits of positive teamwork. As a group, we came up with a series of team building activities that transpired in the school's gym.
We want to give a sincere "Thank you" to Barb Shrode, the principal of St. Paul School and Trish Horrell, the After Care Director. We are so appreciative that they let us work with the students and use their facility. Lastly, thank you Dr. Schlag for all the guidance throughout the semester.
Halloween Carnival (Fall, 2015)
Eliza Weiters, Samantha Presker, Holly Stauffer, and Julie Ford hosted a Halloween Carnival at the American Legion in Macomb, Illinois for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley that lasted for almost three hours. The event was made up of educational, fun Halloween games for the children, their Bigs and others from surrounding communities. Some of the games were pumpkin bowling, bobbing for apples, graveyard digging, and much more. There was also a Halloween costume contest and fun science experiments for the children to participate in and watch. The event was held on October 24th, 2015 from 2-5 pm.
We would like to thank all of the volunteers who came out to help with the program and make it special for the children and their Bigs. A special “Thank You” should be given to Pete Tarantola for partnering with us and helping us make the event successful. We would also like to thank the American Legion for letting us hold the program at their facility. Finally, we express our gratitude to Dr. Schlag for allowing us to serve the community through this project.
Fall Adventure (Fall, 2013)
Patrick Flesner, Stephanie Analitis, Erin Baldwin, and Zac Diehl hosted a 3-hour event at YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln. They organized games and activities such as: archery, GaGa ball, Gorilla walking, fire-building, s'more making, a dead cow game, ninja, nature walks, and more. Their main goal was to provide an outdoor experience where children could learn and grow. The event was for the youth in the Quad Cities and was held on Saturday, November 9th, 2013 from 1-4pm. They would like to thank the volunteers who helped run the event as well as the YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln Executive Director, Zach Klipsch, for partnering up with them and trusting them to come up with a good and fun program!
Grand Prairie Luau (Spring, 2013)
Tess Wendorf, Elizabeth Flesher, Norris Andriuskevicius, and Shayla Hill hosted a luau at Grand Prairie Assisted Living Center. The luau provided residents with a chance to experience a tropical getaway in the convenience of their home. Live music, bingo, decorations, and Hawaiian themed snacks added to the aesthetics of the getaway. Each person who came got his or her own lei so everyone could look festive. Games and food were in the activity room and live music in the main room. This made extra room for everyone to move and to be able to choose what activity they wanted to do. After the luau pictures were delivered to one of the residents who requested them. The residents and T.E.N.S. greatly enjoyed their time. We would like to give a big thank you to Mary, Grand Prairie's activity director, and the music provided by Dan Flesher for making this event a success.
Schlaginator Olympics (Spring, 2012)
Alexis Burks, Lauren Kincannon, Kristen Kretzer, Krista Mast, Ashley McCoy, Amanda Rehtmeyer & Jackie Rieger created, marketed and held a free event for Big Brothers Big Sisters on April 14, 2012. With the Summer 2012 Olympics approaching, our group thought it would be a great idea to host our own Olympics and name it the Schlaginators Olympics. Our main focus of our Olympic event was to have track and field events such as long jump, shot put, relay, etc. To make our event seem similar to the Olympics, we hosted an award ceremony where the Littles would each receive a medal for their excellent participation for the day. The olympic athletes also received free Schlaginators Olympics t-shirts. Following the event, our group provided a picnic to thank all of the parents, Littles, and Bigs that came to the event! Overall, the event had went better than anticipated and our hard work had paid off! It was reassuring to know from the parents, Littles, and Bigs how much they had appreciated what we created for them. Further, our event could not have been successful without the contributions from: Hyvee, Coca-Cola, Leland AG Repair, John Rehtmeyer, Macomb High School, E-House, and of course Big Brothers Big Sisters. Thank you to everyone!!