During the COVID-19 crisis, University of Wisconsin-Platteville faculty, staff and students continue to look for ways to show their appreciation and support for local businesses, organizations and community members.
On Wednesday, April 22, UW-Platteville’s Department of Health and Human Performance will show its support by hosting the “Corona Cruise” event in Platteville from 5-7 p.m. The goal of the event, which is free and open to all, is to give back to the businesses and community of Platteville and positively impact the community’s social and emotional health.
The event was planned and organized by four health and human performance students enrolled in the Seminar in Health Promotion course, taught by Lisa Emendorfer, senior lecturer of health and human performance at UW-Platteville and coordinator of the event.
Student organizers include Bo Babich, a senior HHP major from Appleton, Wisconsin; Joe Biagi, a senior HHP major from Buffalo Grove, Illinois; Cody Faust, a senior HHP major from Monroe, Wisconsin; and Jacob Horan, a senior HHP major from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
On Wednesday, between 5-7 p.m., Platteville residents can choose to cruise the streets, waving and honking at friends and neighbors and picking up dinner via carryout or curbside service at area businesses, or they can stay at home, step outside and wave or hold up signs to those who choose to cruise, ordering delivery services to support local restaurants.
“The event will give everyone a chance to give back to the community and businesses of Platteville who have been impacted by the students leaving early,” said Emendorfer. “As the instructor of the course, I will make sure we are following state and local law and keeping folks safe by making sure we are clear that social distancing is expected.”
During the event planning process, student organizers contacted Grant County Health Department and the Platteville Police Department to secure approval of the event and to ensure that all state laws were being followed. In addition, they contacted local businesses to make them aware of the event and gather contact information so that Platteville residents could call in an order for pickup or delivery during the event. Students also reached out via social media instant messaging to Platteville Mainstreet, the Lafayette-Grant County Wisconsin Scanner and 107.1 Extreme Radio to help advertise the event.
“The event is unique because it was planned and organized via Zoom, email, text, etc.,” said Emendorfer. “In addition, these young men were very excited to give back to the Platteville community. Each has been in a position to ask something of the community, so, to have an opportunity to give back to impact residents and restaurant owners alike in a social, emotional and financial way is very special.”
Emendorfer noted that the experience taught the students how to adapt to an ever-changing world.
“They started the semester planning a fundraising Bags Tournament and in seven weeks, had to completely change direction,” she said. “This is hands-on education at its best.”
She said the learning experience also fostered a community of respect.
“COVID-19 turned the lives of our students upside-down,” she said. “These young men took that in stride and thought not only of themselves in their new event strategy, but thought of the people of Platteville and how to give back in a way that meets not only the letter of the law of social distancing/stay at home, but also stays true to their health and human performance background and thinking of the social and emotional health of their adopted city residents.”
The students said the experience also helped prepare them for their future careers.
“Planning and organizing the event helped me develop knowledge and skills to further improve upon my professional journey in sports performance and strength and conditioning,” said Faust.
“This experience enhanced my networking skills and knowledge development for my future profession in strength and conditioning,” said Babich.
Biagi agreed, adding, “I've enjoyed the real-life skills I've gotten to practice, such as communication, and being able to adapt to a changing situation.”
Following the event, as part of the course, students will complete a summary of the event and give a presentation to their classmates about the experience, including what went as planned, what they would change, etc.
For more information or questions about the event, contact Emendorfer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of the Department of Health and Human Performance is to help people live a healthy and active lifestyle. Through the department’s exercise science, health promotion and physical education majors, it helps people learn the fundamentals of movement, physical and emotional health, nutrition and ways to strengthen the body.