By: Micah Maxwell—
“Be a gift to the world,” is a simple but powerful mantra that fueled a new student-run Ball State Rotaract Club, the collegiate version of Rotary, to host its first-ever fundraising event on Sunday, April 30 and benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie.
About 30 Club Kids sat at 10 sponsored tables, with carefully folded napkins in their laps and elbows off the table, listening to the proper way to pass the butter and learning what to wear to make the best first impression. The etiquette dinner, “Models and Manners,” at the L.A. Pittenger Student Center, gave Kids a glimpse into the world of job interviews and college internships.
Political science major Billy Walker, the club’s president, said BGCM was an easy choice. “I volunteered at the Club through high school and I got to see what went on at the Club and the way it impacted kids’ lives. This was a good chance for us to join in on being that gift to the Kids.”
Walker, a 2014 Central High School graduate, worked with former Noon Rotary President Dale Basham to get the Ball State group, which started only in January, in place. Today, they have about 10 members and growing stronger.
Etiquette instructor, Lisa Letsinger, a teacher at Central High School, conducted the manners workshop.
“Offer to the left, pass to the right,” she said to giggles and smiles across the room.
Basham, a District Governor nominee for Rotary District 6560, emceed a fashion show. Ball State students modeled the proper attire for a “business casual,” “business smart,” and “business professional” environment.
Micah Maxwell, Executive Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie, said it was the kind of evening that students will remember.
“We focus on events that build character, and this did just that,” he said. “Our Kids need to know how to present themselves and how to dress, the same kinds of soft skills that gets anyone ahead. The Ball State Rotaract did a fantastic job making it fun and memorable.”
Club Kids were sent special invitations for the dinner requesting their RSVP. As responses were received, many questions were asked regarding what to wear, what they would learn and more. Although kids were encouraged to dress business casual, many wore suits, dresses and even a few wore bow ties! “The dinner was great because the kids understood the importance of the evening end represented themselves and the Club in great fashion,” said Karli Davis, Program Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie. “One of the biggest benefits the kids took away was being forced out of their comfort zone.”
Overall the dinner was a great success for everyone. The Rotaract Club hopes to grow the event to involve more community participants and make the experience even better for the kids.