The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

April 6, 2013

Meet Your Neighbor: Annie Chezem

By Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — Ashford University Student Annie Chezem is getting ready for a luau.

The Gateway Area Chapter of the American Red Cross is holding its ninth annual luau at 6 p.m. Friday at Rastrelli's Tuscany Special Events Center, 238 Main Ave.

The event will feature a silent auction, dessert auction, a raffle and door prizes. As the Red Cross event intern, Annie is spending much of her time planning every detail of this fundraiser.

"Annie's played an integral part of this to date in the planning process," Executive Director Amber Wood said.

Annie, 20, of Plainfield, Ill., is currently attending Ashford for public relations and marketing, with a minor in business administration and organizational management. She is on the cross county and track team. She also is involved in a work study at the university.

This summer, she did a work study with the Red Cross, working at the front desk in blood services. Annie started as the event intern before Christmas break. She was interested in event planning and working with the organization.

"And I like the feeling of helping someone and that's what this fundraiser is for. It's for providing relief for other people," Annie said.

Annie has enjoyed working on the luau. Wood said this event is the Red Cross' major fundraiser. She felt Annie did a great job keeping everything coordinated and communicating with the committee.

"Overall, I think I didn't expect event planning to be so intensive. There's a lot that gets put into one night," Annie said. "There's the little things from the little give-a-ways we give out; the people we have to call; the sponsors we have to get in contact with."

Annie has spent time getting everything set for the venue and setting the menu for the event. She said this upcoming week will probably be the busiest, trying to get everything done before the event.

She added that she cannot wait to see the final result.

"It's a lot of work, but I'm sure it will pay off," Annie said.