Advice offered to those entertaining the idea of “fun” fundraisers
CCA faculty are often a hit with their students because of their excellent instruction. At Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, the college faculty put on the hits for their students, raising almost $200,000 for student awards.
“Puttin’ on the Hits as a show has created a community on campus among staff, faculty, administrators, students, and Board of Trustees members,” says Joan Sholars, Mt. SAC Faculty Association vice president and the director of this year’s show. “The cast members have become family. We have a good time together, and even after the show, students stay in contact with each other. It is one of the things that I look forward to each year.”
The annual variety show has raised nearly $200,000 over 18 years for student scholarships. There is an application process for students, and the criteria include good grades and writing an essay about how their college experience is helping them achieve their personal and career goals.
The show involves lip-syncing unforgettable songs from various genres and includes dancing and comedy. MSACFA members are all about the show — and the fun. A core group makes it all happen.
Sholars, who has been involved for 18 years, directed the show this year, and Jennifer (Fred) Mahlke, an adjunct professor in the Communications Department, was assistant director. Mahlke has been doing the show for three years. MSACFA President Eric Kaljumagi is in his eighth year, and Academic Senate President Jeff Archibald has performed in the show for 13 years. Roxan Arntson and Julie Laverty are full-time professors from the Communications Department, and Christine Cummings from the Theater Department helped and was in the show.
This year, Mt. SAC Board of Trustees members joined in on the act. Board members Manuel Baca, David Hall, Rosanne Bader and Robert Hidalgo performed, as did the new vice president of Human Resources, Abe Ali, and the controller, Rosa Royce.
Sholars encourages other CCA local chapters to organize events like this. “Not only is it fun, but it’s for a good cause: our community college students,” she says.
She offers this advice for those entertaining the idea of putting on a show:
- “Make sure you have help, because it is a lot of work. The first year we did the show, we just had the players on the stage — no backup and no instruments. That made it easy. The show has grown, so now we have big production numbers.”
- “Recruit volunteers who know all kinds of music. You want to entertain your audience. Even if they don’t know a song, if it’s memorable, they will like it.”
- “Have someone who can help with choreography, or do what we do and copy what is available online (mostly YouTube).
- “Don’t get caught up in the minutiae — it will all work out in the end.”
“The main thing is to have fun with it,” she adds. “It is work, but it is worth it. Remember: We are doing this so that our students can receive additional monies to help them with their school and their lives.”
Anyone interested in knowing more can contact her at email@example.com.