Gannon GIVES back to its community

Gannon University held its annual GIVE Day, Gannon’s Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere, on Saturday and saw a remarkable amount of faculty, staff, student and community volunteers participating.

There were 1,100 volunteers working on 51 projects throughout Erie for three hours.

The motivating principle behind Gannon’s GIVE Day is considered to be even larger than the amount of volunteers, Laura Goble the director of the university’s Center for Social Concerns said.

“GIVE Day provides us the opportunity to serve, build community and live our mission with our neighbors,” Goble said.

Over 300 of the volunteers cleaned up the Beaches 1-6 as part of the International Coastal Cleanup at Preque Isle State Park. Volunteers worked within their areas from approximately 9 a.m. to noon.

Some of the projects completed during GIVE Day included: Gridley Park (heart of the new Our West Bayfront Initiative) done by the men’s basketball team, Phi Eta Sigma, and Carolynn Masters, Ph.D., RN; Erie VA Medical Center done by Students Behind Our Troops and Alpha Sigma Alpha by cleaning the vans used to transport veterans to medical appointments; Gannon Goodwill Garden and Beta Beta Beta, the national biological honor society, prepared the garden for the winter season.

There were many more projects completed and GIVE day did not just benefit organizations or gardens, it was a way to bring the community together.

Junior basketball player Amanda Berchtold said it is something her team enjoys doing each year for more than just the satisfaction of contributing to the community.

“It‘s a great experience to give back to the community and serve others,” Berchtold said. “This day gives my team a chance to bond with each other and the coaches off the court.”

The Gannon wrestling team helped pick up the garbage and recycle from Perry Square senior accounting and finance major, Zack Zelcs said.

“It was a rather rewarding experience to be able to do our part in the community and as a team,” Zelcs said.

“GIVE day opened my eyes to the needs of the community, the city can’t do it alone and I hope to carry on the giving wherever I go.”

 

BECKY HILKER

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