Students swing hammers, golf clubs to help Humane Society

By University Communications
November 20, 2015
From left to right, SCA members Nathan Borcherding, Tim Rascher and Nathan Swanke use their muscle while framing up the inside of the addition to the Dunn County Humane Society.

Photo: From left: Nathan Borcherding, Tim Rascher, Nathan Swanke

Two groups of students at University of Wisconsin-Stout have been working on pet projects this fall with similar goals — lending a hand to the Dunn County Humane Society.

As a nonprofit organization, the shelter, at 302 Brickyard Road on Menomonie’s southwest side, counts on community support.

This fall the UW-Stout Student Construction Association, made up of students majoring in construction, has been building an addition to the facility, saving the shelter tens of thousands of dollars.

Also, the Sports Event Management class, part of the School of Hospitality Leadership, organized and held a golf tournament to benefit DCHS. The class raised $575 and presented a check to Executive Director Josh Dalton.

SCA project

Construction students are building a 26-foot-by-60-foot addition to the shelter, which needs more room to hold its cats. The shelter was built in 1997 to hold 30 to 60 cats but in recent months has had up to 170.

The shelter wins by getting extra space for a financial donation to SCA, about $30,000 less than what the work would have cost commercially. The students win by getting experience with a large, hands-on project near campus and more money for club activities.

Student crews have been working, mostly weekends, all fall and expect to finish their part of the project by Christmas break, according to SCA President Tim Rascher, a student from Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

“This is the biggest project SCA has done,” Rascher said. “There has been a lot of coordinating with the owners and suppliers and to get students on the site. It’s definitely a challenge. It feels like another full-time job with school, but at the same time it’s a great experience.”

Along with the addition, SCA is doing some remodeling on the existing building and adding a vestibule to the front of the building, the latter which will help the shelter conserve energy.

Tim Esselman, a project manager for contractor Market & Johnson, is serving as SCA adviser on the project.
The entire DCHS project, which includes aspects such as plumbing and electrical that SCA students are not doing, will cost about $130,000. The shelter has raised more than $100,000.

For more information about the Bachelor of Science in construction, go here>>.

Sports Event Management golf outing

The Sports Event Management class chipped in to the DCHS coffers with its own project.

The Putts for Paws golf tournament was held Oct. 13 at the Menomonie Golf and Country Club. The proceeds of $575 came from tournament entry fees and raffles, and 15 local businesses donated products and services to help reduce costs.

As part of the class, students were required by Associate Professor Kris Schoonover to hold a golf tournament. They had to organize, publicize and host the event in three weeks.

“We met only three times prior to hosting this event. Pulling it all together in that amount of time was a pretty daunting feat,” said Allison Rucinski, of Rice Lake, the event emcee.

The 18 students were given a tournament budget of $100, and each of them donated $5 to help.

Students split up the many duties. They included publicity, team registration, tournament rules, scoreboard setup, various hole-by-hole games for participants, prizes, emcee, medical and bad weather emergencies, food and budget.

“It was rewarding. You put in all that hard work, but we knew where the money was going,” said Megan Antony, of Lake Villa, Ill., who oversaw the Putts for Paws budget.

Despite the tight timeline, students said the tournament was held without any major glitches. The class includes students from the golf enterprise management major and the hotel, restaurant and tourism major.

Dalton, the DCHS executive director, spoke prior to golfers teeing off to raise awareness about why the shelter needs and appreciates community support.

“This was an amazing opportunity to put my knowledge, skills and teamwork into practice and successfully organize a professional event,” Rucinski said. “It was also a great opportunity to bond with and contribute to the community that I have lived in and called home for the past four years.”

Rucinski, part of the university’s student “Take2” news team, wrote a blog entry about the experience. It can be found here>>.
For information on UW-Stout’s School of Hospitality Leadership, go here >>.