Drum-roll Please…,Valerie Evermon, Easter Seals

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Well, my internship at Easter Seals is coming to an end. I am very proud of everything I have accomplished during this semester. My goal was to help increase their social media presence and I feel like I successfully fulfilled that goal. I have also gotten the opportunity to be involved in so many aspects of how a non-profit organization works. In addition to all of the work I completed, I was able to make some very special friends. This internship has been one of the best experiences I have ever had in my academic career. My confidence and knowledge has grown tremendously in just a few short months.

With all of this being said, I would like to announce that although my internship is coming to an end, my time at Easter Seals is not. The CEO and other directors I have been working with were so impressed with my work that they offered me a permanent position as their marketing person. This is a new position at this facility and I am excited to put everything I have learned in the Communication Department into action to help build a brand for this organization.

I want to say a quick thank you to the department for the opportunity to complete a senior internship, without this opportunity I wouldn’t be graduating with a job at an organization that is so dear to my heart. This really is a dream come true and an answered prayer.

Please continue to check Easter Seals Facebook page to stay up-to-date! Thanks for reading!

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Last Reminder, Valerie Evermon, Easter Seals

We are all busy, busy, busy at Easter Seals! Why? Because there are three major fundraising events coming up within the next month. I am using this blog to remind everyone of all the event details and encourage you to support Easter Seals any way you can.

The first event is the annual Golf Tournament. The tournament is taking place at Bull Creek Golf Course on May 9th.  There will be two tee times, the first beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the second beginning at 1:30 p.m. It cost $500.00 to create  a team. This fee includes cart and green fees, range balls, breakfast and lunch, snack and drinks, and tournament prizes. Speaking of prizes…the Hole In One sponsor this year is Rivertown GMC! A brand new vehicle could be yours!

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The second event is the Project Playhouse Giveaway! The drawing will take place on May 17th at 5:00 p.m. in the Sam’s Club parking lot. What are you entering to win? One of four beautiful playhouses that local high school students have built. Tickets are only $5.00 and can be purchased now until the drawing day. There are three locations to buy tickets:

Easter Seals on Double Churches Road: Mon-Fri 7 am – 6 pm

Daniel Appliances: Mon-Fri 9 am – 6 pm, Sat 9 am – 1 pm

Sam’s Club: Sat 10 am – 4 pm, Sun 1 pm – 4 pm

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The third event is Walk With Me 2014. This is the third walk that Easter Seals West Georgia has hosted and it will take place at the National Infantry Museum on June 7th. Registration will start at 7:30 am and the walk/run will begin at 9 am. This event is not just a walk, there will be lots of entertainment there as well, including live music and stilt walkers! This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come out and see the participants and families that Easter Seals has touched.

Out of these three events, I hope that one of them interests you so that you can help support our local Easter Seals. Visit our Facebook page to find out other ways you can help out. Thanks for reading!

 

We finally have a Face! , Valerie Evermon, Easter Seals West Georgia

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One of my main goals going into this internship was to give Easter Seals West Georgia a presence on social media. This was a very slow process because I had to convince the directors that it would be worth their while and I also had to teach them how to operate the sites. Before we could start to build our presence on Facebook, we had to make sure that parents and caregivers were aware of our interest in possibly posting pictures, testimonies, and videos of their participant on the internet. To ensure that we received the appropriate consent, I was able to assist the directors in writing a release form to make it clear what our intentions would be. Once the directors and families were on board with becoming more active on social media, Facebook in particular, we had a meeting to discuss goals and expectations for this venture. To start off, we decided to make it a goal to post at least once a week. This might sound funny to those of you who update your social media sites multiple times a day, but this was a big commitment for Easter Seals. They were worried that they would forget to update the site and when my internship was over, that they would not know how to continue to update.

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With all of the upcoming fundraising events, it became very easy to find something to post on Facebook. I have been able to share the promotional videos for the Walk With Me event, create event pages for all of the fundraisers, post pictures of the playhouses, and update everyone on the details for each event. I have been encouraging all of our friends to share every post about an upcoming event with all of their friends and we have seen an increase in the interest for these events. Social media has really proven to be a useful tool. I already knew how helpful it could be for Easter Seals and now the directors know, too!

One aspect we are currently working on is building their friends list so that more people will hear about what is going on at Easter Seals. We have asked all of the board members to send us a friend request and are now asking all of the families who have a Facebook account to find us. Eventually, Facebook will be the best place to find updates on the center and we want everyone who is touched by the work that Easter Seals is doing to stay up to date on what’s happening.

So, what will happen when my internship is over? Well, I have started to prepare for that. I am creating a step-by-step “How To” presentation so that the directors will have a place to go if they forget how to update a status or comment on a post or share a video. I have also started a file of possible topics to post on social media sites. Some of those possible topics include monthly stories of families that Easter Seals has touched, facts about different disabilities, updates on small victories that happen daily, and other related topics. The directors and I have decided that our overall goal is to keep Easter Seals on the minds of the members in our community and social media seems to be the best way to do that. We want to symbolically “open our doors to the community,” not everyone will get the opportunity to actually visit the facility, but hopefully through Facebook they will get a picture of how wonderful Easter Seals is and what we are doing to serve the local community. Please visit our Facebook page to see what’s going on, a lot of events are coming up soon and you don’t want to miss any of them! Thanks for reading!

Literacy Celebration, Valerie Evermon, Easter Seals West Georgia

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The Rotary Club in Columbus put on a literacy celebration at the Easter Seals facility. It was a morning full of meeting new friends, seeing police cars and fire trucks, and listening to stories. The Board Members that are also part of the Rotary Club decided that this was something they wanted to do for the participants. They invited everyone and setup all the details on their own.rotary club 3

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It was such a pleasure to be there and take pictures for the event. The adults and children alike loved looking in the police cars, seeing firemen in their full uniform, and interacting with a remote control car the Marshalls of the DARE program brought with them. While the participants were outside, they met the Geico gecko, JJ the clown, Tappy the water drop from Columbus Water Works, the Chick-Fil-A cow, and Miss Columbus 2014. The event was like a block party! There was so much going on and the participants enjoyed every bit of it.

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Once the party ended outside, the participants moved inside to continue with even more fun events. Teresa Whitaker came to share a little about her career, the participants even got to see how behind the scenes looks in the making of the channel 3 news. After her presentation, Miss Columbus and her friend the Chick-Fil-A cow read the story, Click-Clack-MOO , to the participants and let them be a part by saying the reoccurring sounds “Click, Clack, MOO” they loved that. They also heard the story of how Tappy the water drop became clean after not listening to her parents and falling into a dirty puddle.rotary club 5

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While all of these aspects of the event were fun, my favorite parts were seeing the looks on the participant’s faces and watching people love on the participants that I have grown to love myself. I am hoping to be involved in many more events such as this one! I’m not the best photographer so these pictures do not fully grasp how much fun this event actually was, but it is better than nothing. Thanks for reading!

 

 

Walk With Me 2014, Valerie Evermon, Easter Seals West Georgia

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The Walk With Me sub-committee is working hard to ensure that this year’s event will be the best it’s ever been. We have contacted exciting new entertainment and have gained the continued support of our past entertainers. We are thrilled to say that there will be live music, critters from Oxbow Meadows, stilt walkers from the Springer Opera House, superheroes and there might be appearances from princesses, and more. By adding all of this entertainment, Walk With Me has become more than just a walk, it is now a family fun event.

The committee is currently focused on gaining more support from staff and the participant’s families. In the last meeting, we brainstormed ways to attract these groups of people to partake in this event. By getting the teachers involved, it triples our marketing effort to the families. Not only will flyers be sent out, posters and videos displayed in the lobby for families to see, but the teachers will ideally create excitement by continually reminding and inviting them to the event. Because the committee wants more involvement from the staff we have discussed possible incentives if they sign up and raise additional funds. The meetings have become one of the most interesting parts of my internship. It is amazing to be a part of a group of community members with a similar passion and experience the synergy first hand.

Influenced by this creative energy, I have created two promotional videos for Walk With Me 2014. The first video made its appearance on Facebook today (Please visit our Facebook page to watch it!) And the second video will be uploaded next week. Both videos have a different tone and were designed to attract different audiences. The first video was made to pull the heart strings. There are emotional triggers throughout the video meant to make it almost impossible for the viewers to say no. The second video is meant to highlight all of the fun things going on at the event.

I am confident that Walk With Me 2014 will be very successful! If you are interested in participating in the fundraising event this year on June 7th, visit the Easter Seals website for more information on how to register.

Playhouse Project, Valerie Evermon, Easter Seals West Georgia

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One of Easter Seals West Georgia’s annual fundraising campaigns is the Playhouse Project. It starts with four local high schools (Carver, Jordan, Shaw and Hardaway) agreeing to build the playhouse as a project in shop class. Although it starts off as a project, it transforms into an invested interest for these high school students. They become excited to help the organization; all the students and teachers are encouraged to volunteer to help sell tickets and some schools have even toured the Easter Seals facility and met the participants. Once the playhouses are completed, they are transported to the Sam’s Club parking lot where they will be on display until the day of the drawing. The public can then visit the playhouses and look around inside and out. This is when the community gets the chance to help raise money for Easter Seals. Tickets cost only $5.00 and can be found at various places around town. There will be four different drawings, so if someone wants a chance to win any of them, they should buy four tickets. You do not have to be present the day of the drawing to win.

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This is a very interesting event, because so many groups of people are impacted. The schools get a class project, the students find out what it feels like to help an organization, the community gets the chance to win four beautiful playhouses, and Easter Seals receives all the funds raised.  This is a win-win-win-win situation.

So, if you are interested in purchasing tickets for the playhouses you can go to any of these places:

Daniel Appliance: Monday- Friday (9am- 6pm) and Saturday (9am-1pm)

Easter Seals on Double Churches Road: Monday- Friday (7am-6pm)

Sam’s Club: Saturday (10am-4pm) and Sunday (1pm-4pm)

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There are so many things going on at Easter Seals over the next couple of months. Check out our Facebook to stay up to date on all upcoming events. Thanks for reading!

 

Valerie Evermon

Valerie Evermon, Pancakes & Pom Poms, Easter Seals

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This week at Easter Seals, we are getting everything ready for our big kickoff breakfast for the Walk With Me 2014 fundraiser. This breakfast is for all of the returning team captains, new people interested in starting a team or those simply interested in participating in the walk and want to know more about it. We are serving a pancake breakfast at 7:00 this Friday morning at the Easter Seals West Georgia facility. Shortly after everyone has received their food, there will be a short PowerPoint directing people through the process of signing up their team for the walk on the website and setting up their online fundraising page. Instead of it being your ordinary, somewhat boring, informational meeting, we want this year’s breakfast to be more like a pep rally. So, as guests are eating, we have arranged for some of the children and adults who go to Easter Seals to pump them up with a cheer. We have been working very hard on this and they are excited to show everyone their cheer skills, they even get to shake some pom poms! 

This breakfast is very exciting because it marks the starting point of a city-wide campaign to raise money for our local Easter Seals. Each team sets a goal for how much money they will strive to raise and they get to decide individually how they will meet that goal. It cost $25 to participate in the walk, so some teams recruit as many people as they can to join their team. Other teams design and sell t-shirts or other goodies. It will be fun to see what this year’s teams will come up with to raise that money.

This is the third year Easter Seals West Georgia has hosted Walk With Me and I have a feeling that this year will be better than ever. There will be a live band, a fitness trainer to help stretch all the walkers/runners, someone from Oxbow Meadows with creepy-crawly critters, stilt walkers, and we are looking into even more.

Everyone at Easter Seals is very excited about this year’s walk! I am currently working on a promotional video for the event, including pictures from the past two years, information about the event, and it also includes some of the participants asking viewers to “Come walk with them!” It’s coming along nicely and will hopefully debut on Facebook in the next week. Check it out by visiting our page. If you would like to find out more about this event, how you can help or get involved, visit the Easter Seals West Georgia Walk With Me website.