The Daily Gamecock

Students combine Blues, Brews and BBQ for good cause

HRTM class hosts event to benefit Family Shelter

“Yes, give them the card!” said Annette Hoover, professor of the Hotel, Restaurant, Tourism and Management class. ”The Marriott just gave us $1,500! They just picked up the Family Shelter as an ongoing non-profit.”

The figure was in addition to the over $36,000 the festival and event planning class had already raised before Blues, Brews and BBQ, a charity event the class held

Tuesday night at the State Farmers Market to benefit Family Shelter, a local non-profit organization.

“We started with a zero dollar budget,” said Victoria Caldwell, a fourth-year hospitality management student. “Everything we wanted to do had to be donated.”

Among other things, businesses donated Disneyland tickets, a Hooters one-hour all-you-can-eat wing certificate, a couples night at The Blue Marlin and a Myrtle

Beach resort stay for four. The entire event — including the auction, ticket sales and donations from various organizations and individuals — aimed at raising $55,000, a goal that Emily Sgorbati, a fourth-year international studies student, said was lofty but attainable. The final amount raised was not available as of late Tuesday.

“[Family Shelter is] the only homeless shelter that caters said specifically to the needs of the entire family,” said Victoria Boynton, a fourth-year public relations student. She said this made the organization stick out on the list of charities the class had to choose from.

If they reach their goal, the class will help in paying about a month and a half of the operating costs for the shelter.

“We have not done anything like this in the past. The class approached us with the idea and we were delighted,” wrote Jonathan Artz, executive director of Family Shelter, in an email. “We have talked about how wonderful it would be if someone helped us with our annual event and now someone has.”

Artz said that the money raised will go directly toward the operation of the shelter, including costs of building maintenance, utilities, shelter staff, food and general supplies. The shelter provides food and housing every day for 15 families at a time.

“This year there is no question that it [was] bigger and better and we have the USC class to thank for that,” Artz said.

The class sold out of all 800 tickets and began to issue fliers in place of them halfway through their event.

“I think that the most important thing of everything they get out of this is that event planning is still a business and you may get frustrated when working in teams, but in the end you can look at this event and say ‘We did it!’” Hoover said.