Niagara College Sales and Marketing students raise more than $27,000 for Community Care

Students in Monique Finley’s Professional Selling Level 1 course celebrate the end of the fundraiser. Niagara College photo

Niagara College press release – Students in Niagara College’s Business – Sales and Marketing program have been putting their selling skills to good use, keeping heads warm and raising money for a great cause.

Since January, more than 300 students in nine sections of the College’s Professional Selling Level 1 class sold more than 1,500 hats to support Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold’s Raising the Roof toque campaign. They wrapped up their sales at the beginning of April, to discover that they raised $27,419 for Community Care.

NC students have volunteered for the cause for several years now in support of homelessness prevention and housing security.

“Selling hats was a valuable experiential learning opportunity for our students while supporting the community at the same time,” said Monique Finley, professor in NC’s School of Business and Management Studies. “What they’ve accomplished is incredible, I’m truly proud.”

Each student received a package of baseball caps and toques valued at $100 to promote and sell. Once they finished selling, they submitted a report with their reflections on the experience. Some students who sold out came back for more hats, selling hundreds to family, friends and strangers in support of Community Care.

Damian Goulbourne, associate dean, for NC’s schools of Applied Business and Tourism, and Hospitality, Tourism and Sport, noted that creating opportunities for students to apply the knowledge they acquire in a real setting is part of ‘Niagara College’s DNA.’

“Professor Finley not only demonstrated how a traditional business course like Sales can achieve this goal but did it in a way that enabled several professors and hundreds of NC students to give back to our Niagara community,” said Goulbourne. “This is an outstanding example of creative, innovative and entrepreneurial thinking.”

“What an amazing job by Niagara College, who partnered with Community Care to help us ‘put a cap on homelessness’ through the Raising the Roof Toque Tuesday Campaign,” said Betty-Lou Souter, CEO of Community Care St. Catharines and Thorold. “Over $27,000 in toque sales contributed to the overwhelming success of this endeavour. Thank you Niagara College for helping us make a difference.”

First-year students from Finley’s Tuesday afternoon class, Alexandra Lacivita from Ridgeway and Emily Battaglia from Brampton, were top sellers in their class.

Lacivita saw an opportunity to sell more hats at a Super Bowl party. “I want to go into sales and selling hats prepared me for that,” said Lacivita. “I used some of the strategies of selling we learned in class, like picking the right moment to sell and evaluating people’s behaviours.”

Other lessons Lacivita says she learned include being resilient and adapting to challenges. She plans to pursue entrepreneurship after graduating, continuing her work with her mother at their family-owned women’s clothing store in Ridgeway.

For Battaglia, selling toques for Community Care was a perfect fit. She sold many of her hats at a skating party fundraiser she organized to raise money for The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (SickKids). “I want to get into fundraising after I graduate and this was an opportunity to support a good cause,” she said.

Battaglia was inspired to enroll at NC by a fundraising mentor at SickKids who recommended the Sales and Marketing program to her. “I live in the Niagara region and I’m glad to be able to give back locally,” said Lacivita.

The Raising the Roof campaign promotes that just one toque can make a difference to those experiencing homelessness. For example, one toque is equal to three transit tokens ensuring a homeless youth gets to a job interview. Ten toques can help a single mother in need further her education to become independent and provide for her baby. One hundred toques equals the cost of one month of housing for a youth experiencing homelessness.



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