Every spring, the Wheeling area gathers to support higher education at West Liberty University’s annual Great Gala. This year the event has a special team of party planners working to ensure that the gala is better than ever.

“Students from the event management class are taking an active role in this year’s Great Gala, and it’s working out well. This is the first semester the class has been modified to provide a true hands-on experience,” said Bill Koegler, adjunct faculty member who teaches the class in Convention and Event Management and Marketing.

“Students are participating in decision making, reviewing band and venue contracts and working to assure a smooth fundraising event. The students’ final project is actually setting up the gala, working the event and participating in the post-event evaluation and critique.”

Business majors Ericka Fonner and Bailee Tusick of Weirton, Sydney Nicholson of New Lexington, Ohio, Mia Runkle of Wheeling and Rebekah Teter of Shanks, W.Va., are the students taking part in the class.

Designed as a party with a purpose, the Great Gala’s motif this spring is an Italian theme featuring the 1972 Godfather film. It will take place on April 27. Cocktails are at 6:30 p.m., followed by dining and entertainment.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Proceeds will go toward WLU Foundation Technology Endowment Fund and will assist with academic technological needs.

“We are grateful that our annual fundraiser continues to enjoy the sponsorship of WesBanco as its title sponsor, and I thank them for once again supporting higher education in our region,” said Angie Zambito-Hill, executive director of the WLU Foundation.

“There’s still time to join the list of sponsors and support West Liberty University, so I invite sponsors to visit our website or call the foundation to learn more about our packages. The West Liberty University Great Gala has enjoyed many corporate and individual sponsors over its eight years of existence and this community support is the reason for its success.”

Held in Oglebay Resort’s Glessner Auditorium, the Great Gala includes an exquisite meal, open bar and music. Entertainment this spring will be Italian in theme with a traditional Italian dance performance by Allegro Dance Company and music by the West Liberty University Singers, under the direction of Dr. Ryan Keeling.

Dance music after dinner will be provided by Hit Play and other entertainers.

For information, visit the Great Gala webpage or call 304-336-5635.



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