WILMINGTON — A marketing class at Wilmington College is partnering with a local business with the expectation of a mutually beneficial experience whose end result supports a WC student recently paralyzed in a hunting accident.
Brausch’s Brewery, 1030 S. South St., is sponsoring “We Are Kane Strong Pint Night” Wednesday, Dec. 4.
A significant portion of the evening’s proceeds — and the contents of the tip jar — will be turned over to the family of Kane Lewis. The sophomore fell from a tree stand Nov. 14 while deer hunting near Portsmouth after suffering a seizure that caused him to black out. His severe injuries include a broken back and severed spinal cord that rendered him paralyzed from the waist down.
Concurrent fundraising activities initiated by College entities have already raised more than $25,000, half of which went to a specialized wheelchair, for which Lewis was fitted this week.
Lewis’ accident coincided with a visit by Susan Lucas’ marketing management class to Brausch’s earlier in November to discuss the business’ marketing strategies.
Lucas, assistant professor of marketing, subsequently recommended Joseph Legin, a junior from Westerville majoring in sport management, based on his work on another project this semester in which he took a “virtually unknown” social media page and had great success growing its audience.
“Joe is an extremely engaged student,” Lucas said. “His posts have always stood out to me. He has a great social media voice and will be doing this for a Fortune 500 company someday.”
Lucas noted that, while the class was at Brausch’s, the topic of the tragedy faced by the Lewis family came up and, “Before I knew it, Joe was off and running with the Brausch’s to make a difference!”
Legin took over the business’ Facebook page and quickly established a presence on Instagram and Twitter. Word about the benefit night is catching fire as he quickly secured numerous new followers on all the social media platforms.
He said there’s a buzz both in the Wilmington community and at WC about supporting Lewis and patronizing the local business. Indeed, upon learning about the benefit, the musical group, Strange Reason Band, volunteered to play Wednesday night free of charge and a WC sorority approached the business about holding its spring formal at the location.
“We feel this is a good way to tie the community with the College in support of Kane,” Legin said. “I’ve heard the Wilmington community always rallies behind causes like this.”
Legin admitted he “grinned from ear to ear” when Lucas suggested he take on this project.
“This is an opportunity I never expected to have, to literally start from square one and built up,” he said, noting the ultimate result, ideally, will be “mutually beneficial” as a show of community support for Lewis, a successful marketing venture to introduce Brausch’s to new audiences and as a hands-on learning opportunity for him to use learned marketing concepts in a real life experience.
“I’m very passionate about this,” Legin added. “Kane is a close friend and the Brausch’s are great people. I want to see their business thrive.
Lucas described the opportunity of creating educational experiences that benefit both her students and the Wilmington community as “a priority of mine.”