Planning the Mane Event

By: Alyssa Stephens, Communications & Marketing Intern

New Beginnings Mane Event

New Beginnings Mane Event

Many students have experienced being an event volunteer with a nonprofit organization, but very few have been given the opportunity to take their involvement one step further.  The students in Recreation 306, however, have been given this chance.

Each semester, Dr. Tammie Stenger-Ramsey teaches Recreation Program Planning at Western Kentucky University, a course where students are responsible for tackling an entire project in the recreation field.  Rather than reading articles or taking notes, students dive into the project, handling everything from planning details and fundraising to gaining sponsorships and recruiting participants.  This semester, their project is the New Beginnings Bicycle Ride.

The New Beginnings Bicycle Ride, a fun ride which offers four different courses from 8 miles to 67 miles, is being held to raise money for New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding, a nonprofit organization that uses horseback riding to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities ranging from autism to Downs Syndrome.  Though the project was chosen by the professor and is under the supervision of Jimmy Cottrell, a recreation graduate student, everything is being left up to the students.  “They’re taking care of it all,” Jimmy said, “They’re doing everything from creating a press release, contacting all the media outlets, trying to get TV spots… setting up all the logistics.  They have to contact all the departments…they’ve created all the materials.  It’s 100% in their hands.”

Parker Curry, a senior Recreation Administration major and student in the class, sees this huge responsibility as both practice for future event planning and as a challenge.  He is part of the recruitment committee, which is responsible for recruiting participants, volunteers, and sponsors within the community.  “It’s a challenge to myself to see how good I can do,” he said, “ to see how many people I can recruit.”  He sees it as more than an opportunity for professional growth, however.  He also realizes that it is an opportunity for personal growth and giving back to the community.   “I love helping out kids,” he said.  “I’ve been blessed with everything and I like giving back.”

The New Beginnings Bicycle Ride will begin at Chaney’s Dairy Barn on October 16th at 8 AM, with registration opening at 7:30.    Riders are required to wear a helmet to participate.  The entry fee is $25 and includes a raffle ticket to win door prizes and a T-shirt while supplies last.  The students are hoping that this event will include at least 40 riders and raise $7500 for New Beginnings.  If you would be interesting in participating, contact Jimmy Cottrell at (575) 635-7461 or visit the New Beginnings website at to register.


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