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Hatters make a difference on Doug Lee Day of Service

Doug Lee Day of Service 2013On Saturday, April 20, 2013, several Stetson students, staff and alumni gathered together to commemorate our late former President, Dr. H. Douglas Lee, by serving at seven different sites in the community as part of the “Doug Lee Day of Service.” These sites included Woodward Avenue Elementary School, the Wounded Warriors Golf Tournament, Border Collie Rescue, Council on Aging’s Meals on Wheels Walk, the Gillespie Museum’s Earth Day Fair, Hatter Harvest Garden’s workday and the Chisholm Community Center. Over 60 students volunteered to help with the different service sites that were offered, amounting to over 250 hours of volunteer impact in our community! (Students Aniarka Diaz and Alyssa Stringer are pictured bathing one of the Border Collies in the rescue center.)

At several of the sites, our volunteers had the opportunity to work directly with community members. A great example was the Council on Aging’s Meals on Wheels Walk, which took place at Bill Dreggors Park in DeLand. Mayor Bob Apgar attended the event, gave the opening speech and led the walk. Volunteers were able to meet many of the Council on Aging employees as well as the individuals who receive assistance from the organization.

Another example was Gillespie Museum’s Earth Day Fair, where 150 students and community members worked together on environmentally focused projects. The students came from organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Students Advocating Sustainability at Stetson (SASS), Stetson Cycles and Hatter Harvest. Projects included natural tie-dying, making lady bug houses, making smoothies with Stetson Cycles’ Smoothie Bike, natural stone beading, a recycled art competition, a birdhouse building competition and prescription drug collection. These were only a few of the many engaging and exciting events going on during the Doug Lee Day of Service 2013!

Woodward Elementary-Doug Lee Day of Service 2013Stetson students pictured above are (l to r): Stephan F, Soleil Mershon, Maria Casado, Daniele Mottier, Tiffaney Langhorn, Chan’tia Vasquez, Krystal Pruet-Lantz. Back row: Kyle Lindemann and Eric Ebersole. They worked at Woodward Avenue Elementary School doing a variety of yardwork duties, such as clearing away unwanted shrubs and bushes, spreading mulch, cutting down branches and moving fallen tree limbs.

It was heartening to see so many Hatters coming out to honor Dr. Lee’s legacy and our shared commitment to community engagement by working with our community partners – especially on a weekend with a multitude of events to choose from, including Senior Week and HatterPalooza. It is safe to say that Dr. Lee would have been proud of how our Hatters commemorated the day of service designated to honor his memory.

by Heather Hamilton

Community Organizer Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA

Stetson’s Center for Community Engagement