The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 5, 2013

Bucknell students selling beach towels to fund Lewisburg dog park

By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — It’s a doggone good idea: a park for pooches in Lewisburg.

That’s what students in Company A of Bucknell University’s Management 101 class thought, and now “A’s Towels for Dog Howls” will make it a reality, one beach towel at a time.

“We realized this was a very, very feasible project that we could accomplish,” said Taylor Cotter, service division vice president and a sophomore global management major. “Our entire company immediately wrapped around it from day one.”

Cotter and his colleagues found the dog park project through a fall Bucknell fair that brings together community organizations that would like students to help with services they need.

Among participants last fall was Katie Davis, executive director of the Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority. “We’ve been proposing this (dog park) idea for several years. This year, we got someone to really take up the project,” Davis said.

It’s been all business since. Cotter and fellow “executives,” including CEO Matt Wyman and Sales Director Ryan Frasier, must give reports to the board of Management 101, comprised of faculty members among others. They must convince the board to loan them money, present business plans and projections and essentially prove that they know what they’re doing.

Members of Company A convinced the board to loan them about $2,300 for their business, and come Sunday, they will sell the limited-edition Bucknell beach towel — “It’s a real high-quality product,” Cotter said — for $20 each with all proceeds going to the dog park.

Bucknell has offered the Management 101 course since 1979, “an experiential course on organization and managing,” said Tammy Hiller, associate professor of management.

Typically, there are four “companies” of about 28 students who decide on missions, then create and sell products to fund the plans. These student companies “have done huge amounts of service in the community,” she said.

Cotter said the toughest thing about the course is handling the unexpected.

“We have to have certain plans that we’re writing out and handing in; then we visit the project site and learn we have to change something, like replace a fence or do something to prepare the site,” he said.

A grand opening will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the dog park at St. Lawrence and St. Mary streets. Besides a ribbon-cutting ceremony, company executives will talk about their mission and show off their wares for sale to fund the park.