April 11, 2010

Bond Royale: All in for Tanzania

Later that night, Saturday, March 27th, my Event Management class had our big event - the culmination of all we had learned and been working toward!

Some of you may remember from blogs past, but the evening was a poker tournament to raise money for Bond University’s Tanzanian Physiotherapy Project. This initiative was started with the hopes of enriching their students’ educational experiences, while also reaching out to those living in the destitute Moshi region of Tanzania. The goal of the program is to raise $10,000 by the beginning of April to fund two Tanzanian student’s trips to Australia. These funds would cover the costs of their travels, visas, paperwork, living arrangements, and studies in the university’s medical program and clinics on the Gold Coast for four weeks.

Two Bond Physiotherapy students already made the trip to Tanzania last fall, and Bond hopes to keep this exchange with Tumaini University a reoccurring program every year. There are only fourteen physiotherapists in the Moshi region, and they are expected to serve nearly three million people. The money that we were hoping to raise (aiming for over $1,000) will most certainly be going to a good cause.

To participate in the tournaments, player would pay a flat fee of $30, which would cover the buy-in for the game and provide them with three drink vouchers for the bar. This way, the money would all go straight to the charity and people wouldn’t be gambling with money at all. The chips were representative of dollar amounts, but the contestants were playing for prizes. And the prizes were so sweet! First place prize was a poker table, combined with other prizes such as fitness vouchers, restaurant vouchers, bottles of alcohol, and tons more. The prizes were worth over $1,000 themselves! The event was held at Robina Tavern, just a short walk from campus, and we were able to secure a private room which included access to the outdoor balcony with a pool table.

My job for the evening was the group the prizes into categories, arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing way, and I was also the photographer for the evening (special thanks to Lyndsay and her camera)!

For my Broadcast Journalism class, I had to create a news story and I chose to preview my event. It sounds like cheating, but it made things a hundred times easier for me because I knew every contact person and didn’t have to travel for my interviews. It was just strategic, that’s all :) I finished my story a week early so that I could send it into a Gold Coast community site for additional advertising. I would post it, but I actually don't have a copy of it. The computers were wiped in the labs. Bummer.

Overall, the night was a huge success. People were dressed to the nines, they had a blast and I think we made our fundraising goal! Below is a photo of the majority of our group and our poster, but you can see the best photos from the evening here.

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