Taking shape: Hospitality students plan the May 9 Roaring 20s Gala

Jessica Peake, foreground, works on advertising materials for the Roaring 20s Gala.

Jessica Peake, foreground, works on advertising materials for the Roaring 20s Gala.

Putting on a gala takes a great deal of planning on many fronts, from selecting the most tasteful color schemes and floral arrangements, to advertising, food and more.

SUNY Broome’s Hospitality Programs students are up to the task and hard at work on the Roaring 20s Gala, which will take place May 9 at Tioga Downs Casino Resort.

They started working on the project during the second week of the semester, said Jessica Peake, a dual major in Event Management and Hotel and Restaurant Management.

“Our ultimate goal is to raise $5,000,” Peake explained as she worked on advertising materials for the event.

Jessica Nurczynski updates the Facebook page for the Roaring 20s Gala.

Jessica Nurczynski updates the Facebook page for the Roaring 20s Gala.

Participants in the Great Gatsby-themed event will be treated to music, a silent auction, a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres and more – and all for a good cause. The gala is a fundraiser for the University of the Virgin Islands’ Caribbean campuses located on the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix, which were recently devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

UVI serves an economy built on the hospitality industry through its Hospitality and Tourism Management Program – a natural connection to SUNY Broome’s own Hospitality Programs, which train students to excel in those industries.

SUNY Broome Event Management students are hard at work planning the Roaring 20s Gala.

SUNY Broome Event Management students are hard at work planning the Roaring 20s Gala.

A cluster of students in Professor Maria Montemagno’s Event Management class huddled around a computer terminal, weighing their options for floral arrangements. The flowers need to coordinate with the event’s colors: SUNY Broome black and gold, offset by a deep crimson.

“We have an idea of what we want,” said Dakota Radakovich, also a dual major in Event Management and Hotel and Restaurant Management. “Burgundy dahlias, some roses and extra greenery.”

In a corner of the Casino Vespa classroom, Event Management major Jessica Nurczynski mulled over sundry gift cards, witty t-shirts and other items donated by local businesses for the silent auction.

Hospitality Program students are planning all aspects of the Roaring 1920s gala, from colors and floral arrangements to advertising and business donations.

Hospitality Program students are planning all aspects of the Roaring 1920s gala, from colors and floral arrangements to advertising and business donations.

“I would actually bid on this myself,” she told a classmate, as she looked at a glass jug donated by the Farmhouse Brewery, which is good for a free refill.

The students have spreadsheets of businesses and other organizations they have visited – whether to drop off flyers, or to solicit for donations to the silent auction. Going face-to-face has netted the best results, Nurczynski acknowledged.

Tickets are $30 each or $50 per couple. Special room rates are also available in Tioga Downs’ spacious new hotel guestrooms! Call (607) 699-3900 for details and use the discount code “SUNY Broome.”

Buy your tickets now at www.sunybroome.edu/1920gala.