|| Centre folks spread holiday cheer
RELEASED: December 10, 2009
By Leigh Ivey
DANVILLE, KY—Each December, members of the Centre College community are filled with the holiday spirit. And each December, they reach out to share this cheer with others.
To do so, dozens of students, faculty and staff members volunteer for projects organized by the Salvation Army. From adopting angels from an Angel Tree to ringing bells for donations to collecting canned food, the volunteers lend their time and energy to making a difference in the lives of others.
Like many businesses and schools around the nation, Centre displays an Angel Tree each holiday season. Sponsored by the Salvation Army, the trees hold the names of children who need community support in order to have brighter holidays.
Fifty-five angels hung on this year's tree, and, as in past years, they were quickly adopted.
"The majority were selected before Thanksgiving," says Patrick Noltemeyer, Centre College associate dean and director of community service and the Bonner Program.
Considering that the tree was not placed in the Campus Center until November 19, this is extremely impressive.
"Centre students are always very quick to select the angels," he says. "Every year, it's exciting to see how much enthusiasm there is about the tree."
While some individuals choose to adopt an angel on their own, other students form groups to sponsor a child. And, like the students, Centre faculty and staff members are eager to adopt angels.
"It's been wonderful to see the wishes of children fulfilled by the amazing support of the Centre community," Andrew Hornick '12 of Iowa City says. "The angels flew off the tree, and e-mails have been pouring in inquiring about what the gift requests are for the children. That in itself is awesome—to know that people at Centre are so willing to give back to the community."
From clothes to shoes to toys—one Centre student even bought his angel a tricycle this year—an array of gifts was purchased for the children, and the angels are sure to be grateful for the many treats that Centre's philanthropic community is sending their way.
In November, the College sponsored a canned-food drive for the Salvation Army, an effort led by Amber Mills '10 of Danville, Ky. During the drive, the Centre community collected 1,863 cans, on par with last year's total.
The College community also energetically volunteered to ring the bell for Salvation Army donations. For 10 hours on each of three days, Centre's student volunteers shivered outside of Danville's Walmart for one-hour bell-ringing shifts.
Michelle Balaklaw '12 of Louisa, Ky., organized the bell-ringing activities for this season, and she was delighted to do so.
"Last year, I was so excited to hear about this service project and decided to volunteer to ring the bells," she says. "I enjoyed it so much and got to talk to so many community members who just stopped by to ask where we were from, how we liked Centre, and so forth, that I really wanted to encourage everyone to volunteer this year."
Like Hornick, Balaklaw is thrilled by the outpouring of support from the Centre community this season.
"I think that Centre students are always so eager to volunteer around the holiday season because the city of Danville and community members allow Centre to thrive," she says. "The least we as students can do is to volunteer a few hours during the holiday season to help those in need."
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422