Kyla Smuck (left), and Lovishna Boodhun (right), help prepare prizes for a silent auction. Their group is organizing the great Canadian trivia night. Photo credit: Kit Gervais

For the first time since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the event management students are hosting their annual fundraisers in-person.

Level 2 event management students plan fundraisers as their final project every year at the end of their year-long program. This year they chose to focus on promoting only one charity: the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre.

The students expressed their excitement about returning to live events.

“It brings in like an extra element of difficulty when it comes to running the online auction and also planning everything for in-person,” said Kayleigh Bates, an event management student. “But I’m pretty excited.”

This year’s events take on a more fun casual approach than many prior fundraisers.

“We used to do a lot of gala dinners and we now have moved to this more kind of game fun type of events,” said Sylvia Densmore, the program’s coordinator.

Though as with any event, there comes the possibility of complications. For instance, some students expressed their anxieties about bringing back in-person fundraisers.

“I feel like if online something is going wrong, you can’t see us freaking out about it,” said Doroty Davis-Payne, one of the student organizers. “Like, I could just turn my camera off and come back and I’m just as calm as I was before I turned my camera off.”

Whatever challenges come with returning to live fundraisers, the end goals stay the same.

“You have to just make sure that everything goes well at the end of the day, and you achieve all of [your] objectives,” said Janhavi Alaknure, an event management student.

Densmore praised the community for being so receptive to the students and helping them reach those objectives.

“We’ve got emcees, we’ve got entertainers and we’ve got the core companies,” said Densmore. “So the community comes together to help the students in producing these amazing events.”

Between ticket sales and silent auctions, all proceeds go to the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre.

The charity focuses on helping youth who struggle with mental health and drug and alcohol addictions get the treatment they need.

“There’s a lot of stories that come out of this,” Densmore said. “They just change people’s lives forever and just save them.”

The events start Monday, March 20 and end on April 1.

First up is a hockey trivia night on March 20. The event is being held at Heart and Crown in Barrhaven. Next is a great Canadian trivia night on March 25. It’s being held at Danby’s Roadhouse in Richmond, with tickets already sold out.

Up next is the Indian night market on March 28. The event is being held at the Masakali Indian Cuisine restaurant in Stittsville. Then it’s a Y2K trivia night on March 29. It’s being held at Barley Mow on Merivale Road.

The last event is a summer vibe karaoke night on April 1. It’s being held at Moose McGuire’s Pub and Grill in Kanata.

“I’m excited,” Alaknure said. “I’m looking forward to it.”