By Hayden Godfrey
A group of fourth-year RTA: Sport Media students held an event Friday at Oakham House in support of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment’s (MLSE) charitable foundation for their program’s final practicum.
The event, “Kits for Kids” featured a fashion show, a silent auction (which included signed Jozy Altidore and John Tavares jerseys) and a raffle for various MLSE-related prizes. All of the proceeds from the night, including tickets, raffle fees and donations, are going exclusively to the MLSE Foundation.
Dana Milani, Jessica Pincente, Isabelle Roman, Nicholas Gardner, Carlen Oliveira, Zachary Mullan, and Cassandra De Marco—the event group’s seven members—began planning the event at the beginning of September, with support from a practicum advisor.
Pincente, the event’s volunteer and event coordinator, says that while the event goes towards their RTA 431 – Sport Media Practicum course, the inspiration behind the event stretches far beyond the confines of an academic requirement.
“This is so much more than just a thesis project,” said Pincente. “The work that [MLSE Foundation] does is just amazing. They focus on local kids and are focusing in our community, which provides such a great opportunity for us to have an impact in our own backyard.”
Overall, the event attracted over 90 people and ultimately succeeded in reaching the goal of $7,000 in donations for the MLSE Foundation. The crowd was made up of current students, alumni, parents and faculty.
The MLSE Foundation was founded in 2009 and has since raised over $35 million to support communities in Toronto. According to the foundation’s website, their goal is to “[change] lives through the power and spirit of sport.”
“I think this is a great direction for the Sports Media practicum to go in,” said Brian Withers, the group’s practicum advisor. “Tonight was a fantastic event, and it managed to intertwine sport components and also showcase what the MLSE Foundation stands for. It’s easy to see why the students were so passionate about this project.”
Even if the event hadn’t reached its financial goal, the event leaders noted that the night still would’ve been a success, based on the innate awareness generated for the foundation’s noble cause.
“Leaving knowing that we’ve made all these people aware of the cause is the biggest thing,” said Oliveira, the event’s registration and fashion show lead. “It’s just going to be a ripple effect, which is great.”