Few things make a child smile like a carnival. The thought of bringing that smile to the face of a child struggling with a serious illness was all it took to motivate Capital University sophomore Kaylee Ehman. She pitched her idea to Student and Community Engagement, and this week, after four months of planning, Ehman and dozens of volunteers from Capital’s student organizations will bring a carnival to campus — all for a good cause.
Capital’s Fraternity and Sorority Life will welcome spring and support a local philanthropy with a carnival co-sponsored with Circle K International, a collegiate and university community service, leadership development and friendship organization, on Wednesday, April 17, from 4 to 7 pm on Capital University’s Schaaf Lawn (the rain location will be The Capital Center Field House).
All proceeds from the event will support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, which creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children in Central Ohio. For 30 years, RMHC has served families with seriously ill children by providing a home-away-from-home at the Ronald McDonald House, located across the street from Nationwide Children's Hospital.
The carnival is open to students, faculty, staff and the general public. Admission is free, but there is a cost for games, activities, food, raffles and more. Tickets are $1 each, or $20 for a bracelet, T-shirt and all you can eat. There will also be competitions to win tickets.
About 80 students from more than a dozen sororities, fraternities and other student organizations have volunteered to help run the event, which will include a dunk tank, corn hole, pie-throwing, face painting, super games like an inflatable obstacle course, photo booth, raffle tickets and other carnival games and activities. There also will be funnel cakes, hamburgers, hotdogs and carnival food.
Ehman, vice president of programming for the Inter Sorority Council, or ISC, proposed the idea back in November to David Gonzalez, assistant director of student and community engagement, as a way to improve the Central Ohio community, build community among Capital sororities, fraternities and other student organizations, and to act on a core value of Capital’s Greek organizations — service. Gonzalez bought in from the onset.
“I was instantly in. Philanthropy is one of Fraternity and Sorority Life’s principal values," Gonzalez said. "This will be a fun event, and people can take a break from their finals. We all need to have more fun.”
Ehman started planning the event at the beginning of winter break and quickly decided on Ronald McDonald House Charities as a worthy beneficiary. Several friends suggested it, and following a tour of the Livingston Avenue house, Ehman and her Inter Fraternity Council counterpart, Geoff Masters, discovered that RMHC is supported by many private donors and community organizations, including the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“All service organizations and philanthropies are worthy, but I wanted to find something that the community and Capital could get fired up about,” Ehman said. “Ronald McDonald House Charities speaks for itself. It’s a great organization.”
Since the start of winter break, Ehman has been coordinating with various organizations, vendors and RMHC to plan and promote the event and ensure every game, craft and activity was carried out with these goals in mind — support the mission of RMHC and demonstrate Fraternity and Sorority Life’s commitment to service, Gonzalez explained.
Overall, there has been a lot of support for the event. Many students as well as community members are planning on attending. Ehman is hoping for a big turnout and a well-rounded event. The carnival is being advertised through a Facebook event, flyers and on WCOL. In addition, XS Blast Energy is supporting the event.
Many of the Fraternity and Sorority Life organizations have volunteered to help this cause. Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity will have a dunk tank and sell funnel cakes; Pi Phi Epsilon Sorority will sell panda chow and corn hole; Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity will sell hamburgers; Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority will sell hot dogs; Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority will sell lemonade; Sigma Alpha Beta Fraternity will have a two-liter ring toss; Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority will do face painting; Sigma Alpha Iota and Kappa Sigma will host carnival games; and Circle K will sell water, pop, and 50/50 raffle tickets.
Faculty and staff members have even volunteered to be pied in the face to raise money. Both Gonzalez and Deanna Wagner, assistant director of student and community engagement, have committed and Ehman is still accepting volunteers. Any students, faculty or staff members interested in helping with the carnival should contact Kaylee Ehman at firstname.lastname@example.org.