Laser tag event to support Heart and Stroke

Katelyn Guertin has been working to create what she hopes will be a lasting connection between Brock University and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The fifth-year Recreation and Leisure Studies student is in the process of completing a placement with the non-profit organization, during which she’s trying to raise awareness its cause on campus.

Guertin’s road to Heart and Stroke began in February 2014, when she took an Alternative Reading Week trip through Brock to building homes with Habitat for Humanity in South Carolina.

She found the experience so valuable that she returned as a student trip leader the following year.

It was at that point that Guertin realized she was gaining what she described as “invaluable experience” with available hands-on opportunities.

“Experiential learning means challenging ourselves, stepping out of our comfort zones, developing soft skills and assessing the takeaways because any experience will always be an asset,” she said while reflecting on her experience.

Following the two U.S. trips, Guertin was eager to build her portfolio and registered for a Program Evaluation and Professional Practice experiential learning course with Professor Scott Forrester.

The full-year course supports students in building their resumes and cover letters through career education workshops, and connecting them with work placements in the Niagara region.

Guertin had her heart set on getting involved in the not-for-profit sector and jumped on the opportunity to work with Heart and Stroke.

The placement has since allowed her to gain valuable industry experience she feels will be a great benefit in her future career.

Guertin’s time with the organization has been focused on addressing the post-secondary target market gap the foundation faces. As a post-secondary student herself, she knew there had to be incentive for the target group to devote time and resources.

To get the ball rolling, she organized a well-attended dodgeball tournament last fall to raise awareness and funds for Heart and Stroke.

Her fundraising efforts will continue next week with We Love Laser Tag, which will transform Bob Davis Gymnasium into a laser tag field.

The event, held from 7 to 9 p.m., is held in partnership with Student Life and Community Experience, and is part of the Wellness Wednesday initiative run through the Brock University Students’ Union.

“It’s mutually beneficial because the foundation gets to connect with their target market and the students can let out some steam during finals season,” she said.

“I hope these awareness and fundraising events continue to happen, and a solid partnership is achieved between Brock and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.”

At the end of the term, Guertin will evaluate the initiatives she implemented and their outcomes. She will provide the foundation with a list of factors that encourage students to donate to not-for-profit organizations.

“Hosting these events seems to be a good source of support, both for the students and for the Heart and Stroke,” she said.

“At the end of the day, it’s all for the people that benefit from the work this foundation does, and I’m happy to be part of achieving the solutions they need.”

Cost to participate in We Love Laser Tag is $5 for two games. All proceeds will be donated to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

For more information, visit the ExperienceBU event page.

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