Newman’s culture of service is something that has stuck with alumnus Sam Evasick since his graduation in 2010.
Evasick received his Bachelor of Business Administration Management in 2009 and his Master of Business Administration in 2010 from Newman University. He also attended the University of Oklahoma College of Law, graduating in 2013.
He has since moved to Denver, where he has found an organization that fits his love of service and his desire to help the community. Evasick is a member of the Denver Active 20-30 Children’s Foundation (DA20-30), a nonprofit organization for business leaders between the ages of 20 and 39. The organization has less than 100 members and has raised more than $12 million for 65 charities since it’s inception, according to its website. Evasick is serving as the foundation’s secretary in 2019-20.
“The mission of this group is to improve the outcomes of at-risk children in Colorado while developing future philanthropic leaders in the Denver community,” said Evasick.
The group organizes and works premier Denver events and raises more than $1 million each year for children’s charities.
Evasick was elected chair of one of the major fundraising events DA20-30 puts on each year: The Denver Barn Party.
The Denver Barn Party is a large-scale country concert and Evasick leads the planning process from start to finish. He books the talent, plans logistics, and, along with the rest of the club, offers a hand wherever is needed at the event.
“I had never planned an event this size before,” said Evasick. The process taught him how to negotiate with music management, work on a budget and effectively communicate the mission of DA20-30.
“However,” he said, “The real effect of any of our members chairing one of our events is the equivalent of reading 100 books on leadership. We are a learning organization, we are learning how to motivate the other members to push their fundraising goals and we are putting out fires and dealing with adversity all the way up to and through the event.”
Evasick also mentioned that no event is a one-person effort. An “excellent” committee was very involved and helped guide him through the entire process, he said.
DA20-30 members volunteer to run every aspect of their events that they can because that means there’s more money available to give to charity.
“Every member of the group is necessary to pull these (events) off. We work security, we work the bars — including getting certified to serve with the state, we serve food, we work sanitation — we do it all. So in essence, a dollar you donate through our organization goes all the way to the kids and families in need, but on the way to the end destination, they are also building the future philanthropic leaders of the Denver community — it is a win-win.”
The DA20-30 group allows charities to apply to receive funding through their grant program. Last year, more than 160 charities applied and, after a rigorous review and decision process, DA20-30 was able to help approximately 60 charities with funding.
Evasick’s time at Newman allowed him to participate in a wide variety of activities including baseball, working as a student senator and resident assistant, writing an anonymous column for The Vantage and he was a co-creator of Newman 360Five along with current Newman chaplain Adam Grelinger.
“Newman gave me plenty of opportunities to build my leadership skills while in school and take those skills into my career and ultimately my community. Being exposed to those opportunities gave me a huge head start,” he said.
Though Newman educated him for his future career, he was more interested in the mentorship the university could provide.
“Being in smaller classrooms and having on-campus opportunities to build my leadership skills is really where the value has been for me. I have had no issue fully engaging my opportunities and immersing myself in my professional and charitable communities. As a result, I have been able to leverage those skills to create plenty of professional and philanthropic opportunities.”
Evasick said he hopes to have a positive impact on the community through his involvement with DA20-30.
“We are so much more than a group that throws events. We are deeply involved with so many charities in the Denver community and have the good fortune of meeting the extremely talented executive directors and visionaries of those teams.
“We are building leadership skills, but really what we are doing is telling the stories of the incredible nonprofit leaders who dedicate their lives to improving outcomes in our community. I get to be part of those stories and help tell them through our events and our broad-reaching platform.”