U of I students help at Allerton

Allerton Park and Retreat Center Event Coordinator Ashley Sims poses with University of Illinois Recreation, sport and tourism students at JT Walker’s Restaurant and Brewery in Mahomet.

Several Recreation, Sport, and Tourism (RST) students at the University of Illinois have gained hands-on experience this semester, working with Allerton Park and Retreat Center staff to plan their its Experience the Hops event, which was held Feb. 29.

The RST year-long Event Management course pairs students with local agencies for hands-on experience. Working mostly in the classroom for their first semester, instructor Robyn Deterding takes them through lessons from collaborative leadership to team dynamics to professionalism that they can apply as they work with their agency to during the second semester.

Allerton’s Event Coordinator, Ashley Sims, worked with a group of six students throughout the semester to plan entertainment, develop event layouts, strategize marketing, and even help JT Walker’s Restaurant and Brewery brew a special-release beer for the event.

“This group has not only brought excitement and enthusiasm to every meeting, but also some fun new elements that they’re helping to execute at the event,” Sims said. “They’ve had a big hand in helping me stay organized throughout this project as we’ve kept each other updated over the last six months. I’m very excited for them to see their work come to fruition.”

 Sims hopes the students involved, along with other students who are 21 years old and older, and community members will come out to enjoy the event, which includes educational seminars and beer tastings throughout the day. Fourteen breweries will have representatives onsite at the Mansion on the 1500-acre estate, just 25 miles from Campus in Monticello. Three educational talks will take place throughout the day, with topics like “distilling versus brewing” and “pairing beer with food”. 

“It’s a nice excuse to get away from the hustle and bustle of campus, or wherever, and enjoy the quiet beauty of Allerton in winter,” Sims said. “It’s a chance to learn something new, enjoy good beer, and even better company.”

About Allerton

Allerton Park & Retreat Center, located in Monticello, Illinois, is comprised of 1,500 acres of woodland, prairie areas, a Georgian-inspired manor house, a 10-acre meadow, formal sculpture gardens, and interpretive and primitive hiking trails. There is no admission fee to the Park, which is open daily 8 a.m. to sunset.