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2009 News Releases

Longwood to participate in nationwide community service project called The Big Event

March 10, 2009

The Big Event logo

Longwood University this year will participate for the first time in The Big Event, a nationwide effort in which college students show their gratitude to the surrounding community through one-day service projects.

Longwood's version of The Big Event will be held Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. until President Patricia Cormier gives closing remarks about 2 p.m. on Lankford Mall. It is sponsored by the Student Government Association, and its two main coordinators are Josh Rolfe and Holly Cooney, both members of the Student Senate. Rolfe is the project's director, and Cooney is its chief financial officer. They hope this will become an annual event at Longwood.

"The Big Event is a way for the entire student body to express its gratitude to residents of the Farmville community who have supported them during their college career and put up with the traffic, noise, parties, and other byproducts of students having a good time," said Cooney. "The Big Event is a single day when students and campuses across the nation come together to give back to the people who have given us so much during our time here. These projects encompass all areas of community service such as picking up trash, raking leaves or painting a house."

Cooney said that she and Rolfe have been working with the Farmville town manager, Gerald Spates, in examining prospective jobs. "We originally considered 14 jobs but have narrowed that to 12 jobs," Cooney said. "We hope to have at least 10 students per job. We also hope to connect with the community and that in the future, individuals in the community will contact us with jobs."

Rolfe and Cooney found out about the project when they attended the Conference on Student Government Associations in February 2008 at Texas A&M University, where The Big Event was launched in 1982 by the SGA vice president.

Those who want to register or want more information should visit www.longwoodbigevent.org, or email longwoodbigevent@gmail.com

The Big Event is the largest one-day student-run community service project in the nation. Almost 80 schools participate in The Big Event, and about 150 other schools do something similar, said a spokeswoman for the project at Texas A&M, where this year more than 11,000 students (that university's enrollment is 48,000) will do more than 1,300 jobs.

"This is a concerted effort to give something back to the community," said Dr. Tim Pierson, Longwood's vice president for student affairs.