Missouri Students Support Local Nonprofit by Planning Annual Masquerade Ball

Rainbow House "Night of Champions" Masquerade Ball

Pri-Mo Events Agency Offers Undergraduate Students Real-World Experience in Event Planning

Columbia, Mo. (April 23, 2018) — For the past 11 years, Rainbow House in Columbia, Mo., has been hosting an annual Masquerade Ball to raise both funding and greater awareness of child abuse during National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This year, the nonprofit emergency shelter hired the University of Missouri School of Journalism’s student-run Pri-MO Events Agency to carry out the event. Fourteen strategic communication students were tasked with planning and executing the NASCAR-themed “Night of Champions” Masquerade Ball.

Rainbow House "Night of Champions" Masquerade Ball
Fourteen Missouri strategic communication students planned and executed the April 21 NASCAR-themed “Night of Champions” Masquerade Ball for Rainbow House, a local nonprofit that provides services to children of abuse and neglect.

Pulling off a successful event required the students to be in constant communication with April Barnett, director of development and marketing for Rainbow House, to ensure the event achieved its goal of being more successful than in previous years.

“Rainbow House has enjoyed collaborating with the J-School students for our biggest fundraiser of the year. Our Masquerade Ball raises funds that allow us to continue providing services to local children of abuse and neglect. The Mizzou students we have worked with have amazing talent and Rainbow House appreciates all of their hard work,” said Barnett.

Students on the Pri-MO Events team are enrolled in a one-credit hour Public Relations Techniques elective course with a focuses on Events and Promotion. The 14 students assigned to the Rainbow House account planned the event since Jan. 2018, the beginning of the spring semester. Students were divided into four groups charged with specific tasks – Production, Entertainment, Strategy, and Design and Decor – to ensure the success of the event, which took place on April 21, 2018, at the Holiday Inn Executive Center.

“Being a part of Pri-Mo Events Agency has allowed me to truly immerse myself in the Missouri Method of learning by doing,” said senior Amanda Moy. “Planning actual events rather than simply learning how to do so has equipped me with skills that can be used both within and outside of event planning.”

Pri-Mo Events Agency has worked with a variety of different clients in the past. The agency gives J-School students the opportunity to work with real world clients and build upon the core strengths they have developed in their introductory Strategic Communication courses. This semester the agency took on two clients, Rainbow House and Spirit of 76 Fireworks, due to the increase in interest for the elective course.

“Pri-MO Events Agency students have taken on a huge community tradition, planning and executing the event decor, entertainment and strategy for the annual Rainbow House masquerade ball,” said Melanie Forrest, adjunct faculty member. “We appreciate their trust in us to help raise funds for such a worthy cause and hope the event exceeded everyone’s expectations.”

Updated: August 15, 2019

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