Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Anna Popkova

Second Advisor

Anthony Helms


Summer Bash 2017 was a multi-component fundraiser event that took place on June 16th, 2017, designed to help DC Strong, a local non-profit organization that brings personalized gifts and exciting experiences to children battling cancer in order to keep their spirits up and minds focused on finishing the fight. The first note on DC Strong’s website is that “In our minds and in our hearts, we know that the children have to give everything they've got to get through the battle of pediatric cancer” and DC Strong’s mission is to remind them why they keep fighting and why it's worth fighting for. What they do brings people together and helps create memories that could not have happened otherwise. The components included a fundraiser jump event graciously hosted by Sky Zone Kalamazoo Indoor Trampoline Park in tandem with an ancillary fundraiser car show that encouraged the community to come out.

Summer Bash took a great deal of organizing, with planning only starting early spring of 2017. Being a student with an event management minor from the Human Performance and Health Education Department, there was extensive knowledge learned about organizing an event but no classroom experience that could have given enough preparation for fully developing and implementing the event single-handedly. Fortunately, my project was overseen by a thesis chair, Dr. Anna Popkova of the School of Communication, and thesis committee members, Anthony Helms of the Carl & Winifred Lee Honors College, and Deb Droppers of the Human Performance and Health Education Department all at Western Michigan University. Along with the help of sponsors and volunteers, a successful fundraiser event was held on June 16th, 2017 from 12:00pm-5:00pm in Kalamazoo at the Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park.

Coordination of the event included finding a location to host the event, sponsors to help cover the cost of the event, all marketing and promotion for the event, and the organization of volunteers to help with event day activities. It was no surprise that a number of obstacles arose during the planning process. It ranged everywhere from finding a site to host the event, down to how the cars would be lined up for photography so that there would be no shadows from the position of the sun reflecting on the cars. The challenges were constantly present but the generous support that was received from family and friends greatly outweighed the troubles. The following report is an in-depth analysis of all aspects of Summer Bash 2017.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access