For the past 11 years, Rainbow House has been hosting its annual fundraising Masquerade Ball to raise awareness of child abuse during National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This year, the nonprofit emergency shelter worked with the Missouri School of Journalism’s Events and Promotion class to put on the event. Fourteen strategic communication students were tasked with planning and executing the NASCAR themed “Night of Champions” Masquerade Ball, which took place on April 21 at the Holiday Inn Executive Center.

The student team, working under the name Pri-MO Events, are enrolled in a one-credit-hour Public Relations Techniques elective course with a focus on Events and Promotion. The team working on the Rainbow House event started the planning process at the start of the spring semester in late January under the guidance of adjunct instructor Melanie Forrest.

“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 an actual event rather than simply learning how to do so has equipped me with skills that can be used both within and outside of event planning!”

Photo by: Kyla Drozt

Each year, the mission of the event is to raise awareness and money for those affected by child abuse, by unmasking child abuse.

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

This class provides Strat Comm students the opportunity to work with real-world clients.  This semester the class took on two clients, Spirit of 76 Fireworks and Rainbow House.

“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 Forrest. “We appreciate their trust in us to help raise funds for such a worthy cause.”