Student’s internship work funds fight against pediatric cancer
Stevie A. Petrison, a business administration: sport and event management student from Landenberg, helped the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation to organize the group’s fourth annual Farmapalooza, a music festival in Oxford.
The foundation honors the life of McDonough, who battled leukemia, septic shock and other complications for nearly six months before he died on July 14, 2007, at the age of 14. His B+ blood type became a motto for his family and friends: always be positive. The organization, headed by his father, Joe, provides financial and emotional support nationwide to families of children with cancer, and it funds childhood-cancer research.
Farmapalooza was held Sept. 14 on Souder’s Farm and was headlined by Mark Farner, a multiplatinum recording artist and former lead singer for Grand Funk Railroad. It included eight hours of music by Farner and five other bands, along with food trucks, farm animals, a playground and a pool.
Petrison established a social media presence for the event, facilitated arrangements for food trucks and staffed the green room for the bands – which gave her VIP access to the performers.
“I learned valuable skills that I will take with me as I grow in my future career,” Petrison said. “I learned about contracts, negotiations and how to properly work for a fundraiser; all the small details that they entail really helped me realize I am on the right path.”
The festival attracted more than 400 attendees – who gave positive feedback about the interactivity of this year’s event – and quadrupled the prior year’s fundraising total, raising $5,500 that went directly to the B+ Foundation.
“We were able to spread awareness in our community. I love helping people learn about a foundation that is doing a lot of good work for children with childhood cancer,” Petrison said.
The music festival entailed a 14-hour day that started with a 9 a.m. sound check and included nine hours of live music. Petrison, too, had a turn at the microphone, sharing facts about childhood cancer.
“I love that at the end of the day, I was volunteering my time to help a foundation that helps kids with childhood cancer,” Petrison said.
Among the highlights was a talk by Andrew’s mother, Chris, who co-founded the foundation with Joe and their daughter Ali.
“It had been cloudy all day,” Petrison said, but when Chris McDonough came to the microphone, the clouds cleared and the sun shone. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
Penn College’s bachelor’s degree in business administration: sport and event management concentration prepares graduates for management careers in sports-related venues such as arenas, ski resorts, health clubs, colleges or major and minor professional sports leagues, or in convention and business-event planning, at entertainment venues, in travel and tourism, and more.
“What I love about being an event planner is that I get to see an event from the very beginning and help it grow into a successful event,” Petrison said.
To learn more about sport and event management and other business-related degrees at Penn College, call 570-327-4505 or visit the School of Business & Hospitality.
For information about the college, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.