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College Partners with Special Olympics for Eunice Shriver Day of Service
09.18.12 |
Lebanon Valley College students and faculty and athletes from Lebanon County Special Olympics will gather with board members of Coleman Memorial Park for a day of service on Saturday, September 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Their work at Coleman Park will include painting fences, making recycling barrels, clearing trails, and removing fallen tree limbs.

Each year for the past three years, September 22 has marked "Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day," an annual celebration of the life of the founder of Special Olympics. Organizers of the global event seek to challenge everyone to "Play Unified to Live Unified" as part of Shriver's belief that people forget about our differences and recognize their mutual humanity on the playing field. Each year, athletes, families, and friends are encouraged to come together in a day of inclusive sport and play.

"We're overjoyed to have three community organizations working and playing together on EKS Day," said Rev. Paul Fullmer, LVC's chaplain, who also serves as the director of community service and volunteerism. "Other organizations as well as individuals are welcome to join us."

The project is part of a series of programs designed in support of LVC's goal to "prepare students for a life of service to others," a key tenet of the College's mission statement.

Several incentive programs seek to reward students for their service. Bronze, Silver, or Gold Community Service Awards based on the number of hours a student serves the local community are posted on LVC's Job Center Profile for the information of prospective employers. Students who serve the local community are also recognized at an annual banquet and in the Commencement program.

For the past 75 years Coleman Memorial Park, located at 1400 West Maple Street in Lebanon, has provided the community with countless moments of relaxation and family fun through space dedicated to numerous recreational sports, walking trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Multiple rental pavilions are available for business and family events. Even though the grand mansions that at one time graced the grounds of the park are gone, a leisurely stroll through the park will find historic markers where homes once stood, partially restored gardens, and evidence of the mansions as well as industrial ruins that were part of the Lebanon North Furnace that the Coleman family once owned. A stately carriage house and garage as well as two gate houses are still standing.

LVC alumni and emeriti who would like to participate on September 22 are welcome to contact Chaplain Fullmer in the Office of Community Service and Volunteerism at 717-867-6135 or by Friday, September 14. Volunteers should bring a pair of sturdy work gloves, a sack lunch, and a water bottle, and expect to engage in physical activity. Clothing should cover arms and legs; hats are strongly suggested.

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