Club & Greek

Shadow PR Firm/PRSSA Chapter Raise Close to $8,000

prssaThe University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and Shadow PR Firm held a concert fundraiser, “Melodies by the Sea,” on campus from 6 to 9 pm on Thursday, April 9 to raise money for local non-profit, Mary’s Place by the Sea. 

Each spring, PRSSA and Shadow PR Firm hold a large event for students and faculty to benefit a charity. The group has been raising money since Oct. 2014 and raised nearly $8,000 to be donated.

“I’m really proud of what PRSSA has accomplished. We’ve been planning for the event all year and the most rewarding part, aside from the impressive funds we raised, is the attendance. There was a great energy and amount of students at the event and it really made us realize what PRSSA is capable of. We’re so grateful to have had so many students, groups, and organizations get involved with us,” said Erica Bonavitacola, a senior communication student and executive board member of PRSSA. 

PRSSA and Shadow PR Firm set up the event with the help of their advisor, Mary Harris, the University faculty, and through kind donations of local businesses and sponsors. Many companies such as George Wall Lincoln and McOmber & McOmber set high standards for sponsor donations, but University clubs and organizations like Alpha Sigma Tau really showed their support with large sponsor donations as well. One sponsor in particular, the Beth J. Rappoport Memorial Fund, provided Mary’s Place by the Sea with a generous donation of $1,000 in support of PRSSA and Mary’s Place by the Sea.

Originally, “Melodies by the Sea” was supposed to be an outdoor concert on Shadow Lawn, but due to the weather, we relocated indoors to Anacon Hall. The line to buy tickets reached from the entrance as far down  as two flights of stairs with eager students. The theme of the event was a beachy, relaxing feel with acoustic music, white lights, and white décor. Through the concert was a live stream of waves playing on the back wall. Representatives from Mary’s Place by the Sea got a firsthand look at the event and were able to show their video to students, really telling them more about what Mary’s Place by the Sea stands for.

“There were so many students waiting to get in, and once I got to the event I realized why,” said Bridget Fallon. “PRSSA put on a wonderful event to support Mary’s Place by the Sea and I am so glad I was able to be a part of it. It’s a rare occasion when you see so many students from Monmouth University gather together for one event, and this was one of them. Being a part of ‘Melodies by the Sea’ and watching the Mary’s Place reps so excited about what was going on, makes me want to look more into their organization, so they really did what they were supposed to.”

“Melodies by the Sea” featured student artists and alumni from Monmouth. In addition to the music there was a silent auction, photo booth, and a food donation from Chick-fil-A and Chipotle, really bringing in the crowd. 

The event also had games like ladder toss and corn hole to make the event more active and lively. Emcee’s J’lyn Martin and Lauren Cisernos added spark and humor to the acts, handing out door prizes and getting the students involved. Music was performed by Amanda Siller, Brittani Hrehorovich, Chai Tea and Dino DNA, Joseph Lacandra, The Rundown, The Emily Youth Project, and Matt Avellino. 

“It was a real joy to see so many members of the Monmouth University Community come together to support Mary’s Place by the Sea. I have never seen Anacon Hall so full, and the music and silent auction made the event unique and memorable,” said Harris.

Next year, PRSSA and Shadow PR Firm will continue to raise money for the charity of their choice and benefit a local non-profit the way they have been for the past two years. “This year was a great hit, and I hope to carry on this successful tradition next year,” said 2015-2016 PRSSA President, Deven McCarthy. 

PHOTO COURTESY of Maggie Zelinka