Students in Hotel Administration 4315: Nonprofit Social Enterprise and Food Justice and Hotel Administration 4340: Catering and Special Events are working together with Anabel’s Grocery, a student-run not-for-profit grocery store at Cornell, to host a fundraising event for the nonprofit organization.
The fundraising event, called “All in for Anabel’s,” will take place on Nov. 5 at Terrace Restaurant in Statler Hall and feature a silent auction and raffle from local vendors along with food and beverages prepared by students. Gift certificates to local restaurants, wine baskets and Cornell merchandise are among some of the items featured in the silent auction and raffle. The food and beverages are centered around the event’s fall theme.
Students in both Hotel Administration classes have spent the semester learning more about how they can use philanthropic initiatives to address social issues in their communities. The event aims to raise money for Anabel’s Grocery and provide students in the Hotel Administration classes with a valuable hands-on learning experience for producing a successful fundraiser.
Lecturer Ravinder Kingra, hotel administration, who runs Hotel Administration 4340: Catering and Special Events hopes the event will inspire creativity and problem solving among students.
“Working within constraints and overcoming obstacles and challenges is at the heart of event planning and managing,” Ravinder wrote in a statement to The Sun. “When students are taught this through reading and discussion it is never as memorable or as exciting as when you are producing a real event with real guests and with real goals. The fact that we are able to collaborate on a fundraiser for such a worthy cause adds so much value to the project.”
In addition to the valuable experience for students, the team at Anabel’s is also excited to have the support and help from the Hotel Administration classes.
“When I heard the Hotel Administration classes were supporting Anabel’s in such a big way I was relieved. I am so passionate about Anabel’s mission to provide healthy and affordable food for all students,” said Dylan Rodgers ’23, who is the collaboration and education lead of Anabel’s. “As I learned more though, I realized how much we depend on fundraising to keep prices low for students and compensate coordinators for the work they do to run the store and facilitate collaboration and education beyond the store.”
Hotel Administration 4315: Nonprofit Social Enterprise and Food Justice chose to support Anabel’s because of the overlapping interest in food justice between the course and store. In Hotel Administration 4315, students learn about food justice issues and organizations that are addressing food access. Anabel’s strives to maintain its low prices as part of their mission to provide Cornell students with fresh, affordable food in an effort to alleviate food insecurity on campus.
“Supporting Anabel’s and their mission to help students on campus was a natural connection,” wrote lecturer Heather Kolakowski of the School of Hotel Administration, who runs Hotel Administration 4315. Both my class and the AEM 3385: Social Entrepreneurship Practicum: Anabel’s Grocery [course] have service-learning components that make this partnership even more tangible.”
Students in Hotel Administration 4315 and 4340 are working with the team at Anabel’s in collaboration with AEM 3385: Social Entrepreneurship Practicum to organize and plan the event. Kolakowski’s class has the main responsibilities of organizing and planning donor relations, marketing, education and community outreach. Their class has enlisted the help of Hotel Administration 4340 to provide food, beverage, design and service for the event.
“We have a monetary goal of raising $10,000 for Anabel’s Grocery, but we also want to raise awareness of food justice issues that Anabel’s and other organizations are addressing through the poster board educational session,” Kolakowski wrote. “The students are building teamwork and networking skills as well.”
On Anabel’s end, they have worked on ingredient sourcing, coordinating volunteers and creating a presentation about Anabel’s mission and food security data.
“We hope that attendees leave with a greater understanding of Ithaca’s food system and different ways to be involved and support this type of work,” said Alexandra Mantilla ’24, who is part of Anabel’s team and is helping to organize the event.
This will be Kolakowski and Kingra’s third time organizing a charity event between the Hotel Administration classes. The collaboration started in 2018 and followed again in 2019, but the pandemic halted their plans for the past two years. All in for Anabel’s marks the reinstatement of the two Hotel Administration’s collaboration on a charity event.
“Since this is our first in person fundraiser since 2019, it is a steep learning curve for the students. In particular, the students are planning an event in two and a half months that normally would take between 6 to 10 months,” Kolakowski wrote. “So, there are lots of resources from previous fundraisers that we are using, but it takes a lot of collaboration efforts to connect between the two classes and Anabel’s.”
“I think that both classes are so happy and energized to be working with Anabel’s,” Kingra wrote. “They are so appreciative of the work we are doing and we know that any money we raise will be going to a great organization.”