November 02, 2012
Annual Fund: Wedding Planner Annette Hoover Gives to Her School
For Annette Hoover, ’99, ’01, popularly known as “the wedding planner,” an important part of life is donating time with students outside the classroom so they’ll excel in the event planning industry.
Also important to her is contributing to the Annual Fund for the benefit of the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management (HRTM), where she received her master’s degree and teaches. That helps ensure it has the resources to succeed. She has donated several years consecutively, making her a Carolina Circle member.
“I tell students all the time: giving back is more than a check. It’s believing in what you do, and I believe in this school,” said Hoover, who co-owns Eventus, an event planning business in Columbia.
In its six years, once each semester, Hoover’s wedding planning class has become part of USC culture. All resources are provided “gratis,” including the venue, for one lucky couple. “In the end, when you see the bride and groom’s faces, they’re always blown away by their vision coming true. That’s what makes it worthwhile,” she said.
Festival Class Fundraisers: Students Aid Good Causes
Her festival tourism management class, involving students who plan events and donate the proceeds to worthy causes, is just as successful: Both classes enroll 65 to 70 students each. One of the most important thing she tells them: Be prepared to put in substantial time. Event planning is time-intensive work—and to excel, plenty of marketing and fundraising is required. Students start out with a “zero” budget.
Here are but a few recent successes from her festival tourism class:
–Larry Di Giovanni, Development Communications
- A Chefs on the Shoe event in April, with funds raised through ticket sales, a silent auction and other means, succeeded in endowing an HRTM scholarship in honor of executive chef Jules Pernell, who passed away Oct. 5, 2011. Hoover had been his graduate assistant while working on her master’s.
- An event including a 5k run, a band, and Taste of Columbia raised more than $60,000. The money was donated to the Honor Flight program so that 100 World War II veterans could visit the World War II Memorial in Washington.