Students get social

Volunteers who participated in the fifth The Big Event were able to provide some much-needed help to community members and to each other. The Big Event is a direct way for students and faculty to give back to the town and show their appreciation to the businesses and various areas.

After the spring football game ended and all the students finished their Subway sandwiches and received The Big Event T-shirts, volunteers headed to the jobsites.

One of those areas was the Ridgeview Bible Church. Lee Branson, a Chadron  resident, who’s in charge of the building and grounds for the church, described the volunteer work as “very helpful.”

“The group had a lot of good man power, and was a lot of help for things that we haven’t had the man power for,” he said.

Volunteers first helped move items for a garage sale from the home of a church member to the church.

Kristi Johnson, of Chadron, houses materials for an annual mission garage sale. The items are donated and then sold at a yearly event to raise money for people going on mission trips. This year, CSC students Alexis Phillips, 21, junior of Bellmont, and Eli Badje, 20, sophomore of Hay Springs will be going on trips to Africa and Alaska, respectively.

“Having all these people here to help is a huge boost,” Johnson said, “I love all the muscle and work ethic.”

About 80 CSC students, and 20 Pine Ridge Job Corps. students, attend church at Ridgeview, according to Johnson.

“It is  kind of like mission trips, you know,” Johnson said, “like with The Big Event or with mission trips; there is joy in serving others. And, there’s definitely joy in receiving it as well!”

The volunteers uncovered and moved larger rocks that were along the property, and next, placed them on the flatbed of a truck to be removed. All group members were high-spirited.

“I know there’s a variety of work going on, but being outside is the best, I know this might not seem like much, but it’s important,” said Andrew Smith, 19, freshman of Chadron.

The group members expressed how much they wanted to show the residents of Chadron their appreciation for the town.

“It helps the community a lot and shows that we care about Chadron and want to help out,” said Dominic Badura, 19, freshman of Omaha.

“I think it’s really great CSC gives the opportunity to help Chadron,” said Jennifer Scherbarth, 19, sophomore of Hay Springs.

“I thought the event went really well, I worked with students from a couple of college campus ministries,” said former CSC student and jobsite leader Sam Parker, who serves as a START adviser for CSC. “It was very encouraging to see our team so joyful and willing to help out.”

Branson admitted that the church was finally able to finish removing the rocks thanks to The Big Event.

At Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, five volunteers—Dakota Gellner, 22, senior of Gering; Brittany Hoagland, 23, senior of Rushville; Chaona Radtke, 20, sophomore of Sidney, Kylee Giles, 20, sophomore of Gordon, and Shayla Dockweiler, 20, sophomore of Oconto­—helped Fred McCarthy, State Forester for the University of Nebraska, and Barbara McCarthy, seventh grade math teacher at Chadron Middle School, clean up around the church.

“It’s so nice to have you students come and help us clean up the community,” Barbara McCarthy said.

“Who wants to use the chain saw?” joked Fred McCarthy while the crew rested.

The Volunteers work consisted of cleaning up the parking lot of the church, shoveling rocks, sweeping the sidewalk around the church, moving mulch, tending to the plants and flowers, trimming hedges and trees, and raking.

“I love volunteering, and supporting the community,” Radtke said. “I get to make good old Chadron look better, which is a lot of fun.”

Afterward the crew and the McCarthy’s congregated inside eh church for cookies and juice.

The Social Work Club went to Crest View Care Center to volunteer time at this year’s edition of The Big Event.

The students prepared picnic tables and set out chairs while the residents ate their lunch inside. When the Crest View Care Center residents finished eating around 2 p.m., they made their way to the front lawn to enjoy some ice cream and beautiful weather.

The group split up the work of making the sundaes and root beer floats and delivering the treats to the residents. Not all the residents came outside, so a few students delivered ice cream to them inside.

About 20 volunteers spent the afternoon distributing ice cream and talking with the senior residents. The jobsite leader at Crest View Care Center was Savannah Hurtado, 21, junior of Boulder, Colorado, who made sure things went smoothly throughout the afternoon.

CSC’s Director of Social Work Richard Kenney said he and his group of students have volunteered at Crest View Care Center for five years, which means they have been there every year since The Big Event began at CSC. He said it was the “perfect day for this event.”

The residents seemed to enjoy the company for a few hours as they shared stories with the students during the ice cream social.

The feelings were mutual, the volunteers and the residents ended the afternoon feeling good about The Big Event, and happy they participated.

Many people had differing reasons for joining The Big Event volunteers list, but the fact remains that Chadron benefited from the hard work from everyone who was involved with The Big Event and made a lot of Chadron residents happy and proud.

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