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10,000 Hours show also brings hours of work

BY MARLEEN LINARES | APRIL 09, 2010 7:30 AM

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A subcommittee of seven University of Iowa students spent 30 minutes attempting to complete details for decorations, catering, and pre-party invitations.

Four other students debated the design of concert invitations and thank-you notes.

On Sunday, these students, responsible for planning the annual 10,000 Hours show, can enjoy a sigh of relief.

It will be the cap to more than five months of intensive preparations. And almost immediately after pop musician Howie Day’s performance, planning for next year will begin.

The 35 students work two or three hours each week — on top of their own 10 hours of volunteering, said Kristin Fuhs, the executive director of 10K. The staff is split into subcommittees that focus on specific parts of the show.

Every committee had specific duties to accomplish that complemented each other. Business and finance was responsible for finding donations and keeping track of expenditures, and the Grassroots panel was the “ground force,” distributing fliers the Marketing and Public Relations committee designed. The Operations panel managed the décor of the event while planning the “VIPre party,” a preconcert party for volunteers with more than 100 hours and other officials.

“There is no way we could do this without any of the committees,” said Fuhs, who is in her third year of working with the show. “There is a lot of work that goes into perfecting the show so every little bit counts.”

Three UI students are in charge of managing the more than 300 nonprofit organizations from which volunteers can gain service hours. To earn a ticket to the show, volunteers must complete at least 10 hours.

Nonprofits director Elizabeth McIlwee said the weeks leading up to the concert are the busiest for the group because the members are verifying last-minute hours, helping volunteers find extra hours, and ensuring agencies are keeping track of volunteer time.

“There is no point when we are not busy,” said McIlwee, who has been involved with 10K for three years. “The most important thing is making sure that the nonprofits are happy.”

While the Nonprofits committee works year-round to provide volunteer opportunities and help log hours, planning for the annual concert began in November, when 10K members started deciding which artist to bring to the UI.

Group members selected a few performers, within a certain budget, and asked UI students to vote online for their choice. Howie Day garnered the most votes; he cost $16,000 to book.

This year, volunteers were offered two more options.

Now, volunteers with 20 service hours can gain two tickets, allowing students who didn’t get a chance to get their full 10 hours to enjoy the show. Students can also participate in the 10K exchange, which allows for an exchange of the Howie Day ticket for a pass to the other two 10K shows: Cold War Kids in Central Iowa and Trippin’ Billies in the Quad Cities.

Larry Hau, the executive director of operations, who has been involved with the 10K show for three years, said he has enjoyed working for the cause.

“I love the people I work with and their enthusiasm and energy,” he said. “I really love and respect the mission as well.”



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