Mary Shannon, left, chief development officer for Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters, accepts a donation from Dawn Deeter, director of the Kansas State University National Strategic Selling Institute. The donation was raised by the institute and the university chapter of Pi Sigma Epsilon.
By Brent Fritzemeier
The Kansas State University National Strategic Selling Institute, along with the local chapter of national sales and marketing business fraternity Pi Sigma Epsilon, recently teamed up to donate more than $8,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters serving Riley County.
The funds were raised through the fourth annual National Strategic Selling Institute auction, an annual event that is organized by students in the institute’s advanced sales class, in conjunction with Pi Sigma Epsilon. The students work together to find items for the auction and sell the tickets to the event, which had a theme of Viva Las Vegas and saw approximately 200 guests in attendance.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students to develop their selling skills, and at the same time give back to the community,” said Dawn Deeter, director of the National Strategic Selling Institute. “Although the class is difficult — it is never easy making cold calls — it is real-life difficult rather than book difficult. Students appreciate the difference and the responses they are getting from employers.”
Half of the net proceeds from the auction were donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters serving Riley County, with the other half going toward the institute’s Sales Cup Merit Awards, which go to students who have earned performance points through their classes and participation in sales competitions, networking events, workshops and other National Strategic Selling Institute events.
“The way these dedicated and passionate students came together in support of the children in our programs is phenomenal,” said Mary Shannon, chief development officer for Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters. “The funds raised will go toward supporting our programs that pair children with adult mentors right here in the Manhattan community. It is our hope for the kids that we serve that through support like this, they will one day have the opportunity to go to college and participate in projects like this.”
Stan Webber served as emcee of the event, with Michelle and Matt Canny of the Canny Team overseeing the auction portion of the evening. The highlight of the evening was drawing the winner of a raffle for a customized Kansas State University golf cart, which went to Dennis and Wanda McAnany, Olathe.