Coordinating Smiles: Wagner ’12 Interns with Leukemia Society

By schwartzsa | November 15, 2011

It’s been a busy semester for Megan Wagner ’12, who juggles a full course load with her duties as senior staff writer for The Tower, Arcadia’s student-run newspaper, and peer mentor for a First-Year Seminar, all while fulfilling her internship requirement. But internships are nothing new to Wagner. Always looking to boost her experience and expand her networking opportunities, the Communications major has completed a total of four over the course of her undergraduate study. However, when it came time to fulfill her program requirement, Wagner decided to explore new territory by supporting a non-profit health organization: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The organization’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, all while improving the quality of life of patients and their families.

“I wanted to do something that would make a difference with this internship,” says Wagner. “I looked for non-profit companies that were offering event planning internships with a good cause that I felt was really helping people. I saw this internship as a way to help a great number of people from every walk of life. This is a cancer which effects people of so many different ages and has affected some very well known people. Michael C. Hall of Dexter is our spokesman this year because he is a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

Wagner helped coordinate Philadelphia’s Light the Night Walk, which took place on Oct. 22 and benefited the Society. This year more than 6,000 people participated in Light the Night and raised more than $709,000 for the cause. Wagner was given one of the most stressful and physically demanding roles in the event: Coordinator of the Kid Zone, an area dedicated to entertaining the walking participants’ children. She oversaw a team of character entertainers, face painters, and other volunteers who ran the moon bounce, coloring area and even administered temporary tattoos. (View photos from the Society’s Light the Night Walk.)

“With having several different sections of my zone, I was constantly running around making sure everyone was taken care of. Since we were entertaining people for around two-and-a-half hours, I needed to make sure that my volunteers were hydrated, but also make sure that we had enough supplies along with making sure everything ran smoothly. Also, I had to learn to think on my feet and get creative.

“It was very fulfilling to keep not only our participants’ children busy and happy, but children who were survivors or patients,” she says. “It was a great success and I saw many smiles that night.”

Photo by Kara Wright ’14