Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Awesome new staffer at tailgate party

Emma and JamesJames Pappas with his daughter, Emma.

This year’s Seattle tailgate party came with extra awesomeness—a Box of Awesomeness, thanks to the new director of child’s entertainment, 11-year-old Emma Pappas.

Emma’s position was created when James Pappas, the ASWSU Global senator who helped organize the Aug. 28, event, wanted his daughter to be included. “It was logical for her to do something for the other kids,” he said. “So I asked her what made sense.”

Emma thought of the dentist, and how she liked to play with the toys in the treasure chest. “Can I do a treasure box for the kids at the Cougar event?” she asked.

“It was a brilliant idea,” said James, who helped Emma buy enough toys to turn her art supply box into Emma’s Box of Awesomeness.

Emma’s next problem was familiar to any event director. People were ignoring her awesome offerings. So she developed a way to reel them in:

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“I went up to the kids and said, ‘Come and pick something out of the Box of Awesomeness.’ ”

“What’s the Box of Awesomeness?” they would respond, innocently.

“I’ll show you,” she’d say, then lead them to the box.

She quickly gave away most of the toys—or, as James put it, “exhausted her Box of Awesomeness.” The most popular toy was a ball on a string that you attach to your arm.

“You throw it, then you catch it,” she explained.

The several hundred adults gathered on the patio of Henry’s First Avenue Tavern near CenturyLink Field enjoyed their own awesome gifts, including game tickets, a buffet lunch, a bag of cool Cougar gifts, and a Cougar watch. They also got the chance to meet their online classmates and academic consultants.

Shelly Mills, an accounting major, said her consultant is Chrisi Kincaid. “When I met her, I couldn’t believe I was hanging out with her,” Shelly said. “She gave my daughter advice too.”

It was the first Global Campus event for Brian Beldo, also an accounting major. “It’s pretty cool,” he said. “We got free game tickets and this really nice patio. It gets everyone out, you can feel the school spirit and you get to meet your fellow students. It’s a great idea.”

For an album of event photos, please see our Facebook page. For a list of upcoming face-to-face events, including the Oct. 4 tailgate party in Pullman, please see the ASWSU Global events page.

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