BY ALEXANDRA KEZEK
St. Thomas Aquinas College public relations class along with Beau Monde Guitars of Northvale conducted a benefit for Autism Awareness this past Saturday, November 22.
Less than a week shy of the Thanksgiving holiday, the theme was giving back to the people in the community. The event featured an open house of the “Jam Shop,” which is where Beau Monde’s group lessons for children take place.
STAC public relations students showed support by standing outside the shop by Route 303 and holding posters about the fundraiser as they painted the faces of eager children, served food, helped promote Jam Shop, and hosted the raffles.
Mike Morgan and Dan Iucci, directors of Jam Shop, love working with children and the ultimate goal of the program is to help expand creativity by working together in groups, which makes socializing more comfortable for children who have social anxieties. It’s “more about the kids than the program itself,” says Bottone.
Lou Bottone and Harry Jacovou are the owners of Beau Monde Guitars. Bottone is an alumni from STAC with a B.S. degree in marketing. Dr. Murray, Dean of the arts and sciences from STAC, was Bottone’s english professor and got him in contact with Elaine Winship, public relations professor at STAC. Each semester, the public relations class hosts a business focus to expose the students on how to plan events and have various media strategies. Beau Monde Guitars was this years business focus and the public relations class had to create and plan a fundraising event. Since it is the time of year to reflect and give thanks to others, the class decided on a benefit for Autism Awareness.
Professor Winship commented about the event, “I think the event was a great success, we earned over $640 for Autism Speaks…the students were able to execute a public relations event that they planned, and promoted for a real client. Not only did they carry out a public relations plan from beginning to end, they have articles and published news releases to add to their portfolios as well as a a successful work project to add to their resume.”