|New students connect with classmates,
community through service projects
Annual freshman cleanup project celebrates 10th year by helping out at sites
RELEASED: Aug. 22, 2002
DANVILLE, KY-Centre College's annual freshman cleanup project took place at Herrington Lake Saturday, Aug. 31. This was the second year in a four-year project to clean up the lake and its banks. This year volunteers also participated at other sites.
Students worked at the various sites from 9 a.m. to noon.
"The students really exceeded our expectations," said Trina McFarland, director of service and leadership development at Centre. "They did a great job at all of our sites. We have fantastic students and I'm really grateful to have the opportunity to work with them."
Sarah Ryan, a sophomore from Lexington who is an orientation leader, agreed.
"It's hard work, but today is a nice way for the students to give back to the community," she said. "It's a great icebreaker for the freshmen. They have a chance to meet other freshmen that they haven't met during other parts of orientation."
"We pulled everything out of the lake that you could imagine," said Sam McChord, a freshman from Lexington. "It's hard work, but we felt as if we're making a difference."
The day began with an 8 a.m. breakfast for the volunteers at Cowan Dining Commons. Rick Axtell, assistant professor of religion and the College's chaplain, was the guest speaker. Nearly 300 volunteers including members of the Class of 2006, Centre resident advisors, orientation leaders, volunteer leaders, Centre faculty and staff, as well as volunteers from state and local agencies worked from 9 a.m. to noon. Afterward, volunteers returned to campus for a cookout.
In addition to Lake Herrington, the sites and projects were: Helping with activities for the children at the Housing Authority of Danville; helping to clean at the Humane Society of Danville; and helping to sort and hang clothing at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.
Since 1993, it's been a Centre tradition for the members of the incoming freshman class, along with others from the campus community, to participate in a group service project. The first four years of the project Centre freshmen cleaned up Clark's Run of Danville. Their efforts resulted in a national environment awards sponsored by Sea World. The following four years the freshmen worked at Perryville, where they cleaned up an illegal dump in the Chaplin River, took down a shed across from the old mill on Highway 68 and helped sort tires at the Perryville convenience center so the rubber could be recycled.
Volunteering is a way of life at Centre, where nearly 70 percent of students are involved in at least one service project each year.
"Things have really come full circle for me," said McFarland, who graduated from Centre in 1997 and participated Centre's first cleanup project as a freshman. "These experiences do have an impact on your life as well as the lives of others."
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