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Student Groups, Volunteers Prepare For The BIG Event

The BIG EventFerris State University's Student Government Association will again sponsor The BIG Event on Saturday, April 13. Participants will spend several hours that day at 200 residences in and around Big Rapids, working on seasonal property maintenance and other projects.

Organizers of The BIG Event, the largest student-run community service project hosted in the state of Michigan, continue preparations for Saturday, April 13, when Ferris State University volunteers will take up lawn work and other basic maintenance tasks around the city.

Student Government Association executive board member and director of The BIG Event Tess Strasser said that their goal is to bring in least 750 volunteers to make up the day’s workforce. The senior from Lapeer, set to graduate with dual majors in Criminal Justice and Psychology, added that 200 properties around Big Rapids were identified and reviewed by their staff.

“The cutoff date for service requests was Tuesday, March 26 and we placed another 24 homes on our wait list,” Strasser said. “Our volunteer numbers are at approximately half of our goal, following a public relations campaign that included information tables at campus events, printed reminders about The BIG Event and testimonial messages. We also had SGA representatives meet with Panhellenic organizations, who are required to participate, and fraternities, where such service is recommended. Most of the students enjoy working toward community service requirements through The BIG Event.”

Participants will be welcomed at Top Taggart Field beginning at 8 a.m., on April 13. Strasser said that each student, participating in a group or as an individual, should sign up on OrgSync and be on site by 9 a.m. to pick up their tools and to receive their house assignments.

“We will have a DJ at the field, Ferris’ Cheer Team will be there, so will Brutus the Bulldog,” Strasser said. “Vice President for Student Affairs Jeannine Ward-Roof will speak before we send our groups out on their service projects.”

There will be raffles for The BIG Event participants to enter, along with a Photo Challenge sponsored by the university’s News Services and Social Media office. Strasser said that breakfast and lunch would be available and everyone should consider assisting the community an important reward.

“The people who are helped that day include the elderly, veterans and those living with a disability,” Strasser said. “One person I met on a house assessment just wants to have his Christmas lights taken down because he cannot manage that on his own.”

Updated information leading up to April 13 will be available on The BIG Event Facebook page.