Left Picture - UHS DECA Members pose by the total amount of donations received at the September 20 Community Night. (L-R) Austin Rooney, Gavin Spence, Paige Martinez, Grant Hower
Right Picture - The team of Paige Martinez and Gavin Spence pose after unloading donations at the Caring Kitchen
Submitted Story By Thomas Russell, DECA Advisor - Urbana High School
On September 20, the Urbana High School DECA Chapter partnered up with the Urbana High School Athletic Department to host the annual Community Night at the home football game between the Hillclimbers and the Jonathan Alder Pioneers. In past years, community members were asked to show up in their best maroon and white attire for free admission, but this year there was a twist.
In an effort to bring a bigger community feel, the UHS Athletic Department asked the UHS DECA Chapter for some assistance in coordinating a non-perishable food drive for the Caring Kitchen. Heading this effort for the DECA Chapter was Senior member Gavin Spence and Junior member Paige Martinez.
Spence and Martinez spent the week before and of advertising on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, took flyers around town, spread the word at the high school, involved the UJHS with a House Competition, sent flyers home with elementary students, and ran an ad on the Champaign Economic Partnership TV’s.
By using a variety of advertisement strategies, the duo was able to get enough donations at the game to fill a truck bed. “It was amazing to see how the community responded to our efforts,” said Spence in reflecting to the outcome of community night. Martinez added, “We learned a lot from this experience, and can’t wait to make our next community night in December even better.”
Spence and Martinez are currently planning their next community night event for the basketball season to continue their project. This project, called Community Giving, uses the project management process to raise awareness for a community issue or cause. The team will take their project and present at the Ohio DECA Career Development Conference in March in hopes to qualify for DECA International Career Development Conference in April at Nashville, Tennessee.