Students dedicate weekend to service

The 24-Hour Service Fair featured 21 different projects to benefit the local community.

Photos by Parrish Evans

Daylight savings wasn’t the only thing happening this last weekend.

Beginning at noon Saturday, students kicked off the 24-Hour Service Fair. A different service project took place every hour until noon Sunday.

Junior Brandon Eddy was the leader of about 15 students who took on the task of clearing Little League Baseball fields outside Neil Armstrong Middle School in Forest Grove from to 1 to 2 p.m. shift Saturday.

Eddy knew from his own experience as a Little League coach that there is a lot of competition in the area for field use, because certain fields are made unusable by an overgrowth of grass.

“The grass itself creates bumps so when balls hit it, it bounces up and it can endanger the players…it is good to give them a chance to actually play,” Eddy said.

In addition to his role as a Little League coach, Eddy also is a member of the Gilbert Hall Council, the Exercise Science Club and the Pre-Communications Sciences & Disorders Club. It was from these clubs that volunteers came to help clear the fields Saturday.

Sarah Tomscha ’13, a student helping the in the clean-up process, said the project allowed her to “do something in the community you’re apart of.”

For Eddy, the experience was about the kids and being able to “give them a chance to experience playing more sports.”

While the entire fair revolved around the idea of service, not every time slot was occupied by such a hands-on project.

Jefferson Bethke ’11, a recent graduate who had his video “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus” go viral on YouTube, was a guest speaker providing inspiration and information about supporting charities.

The Saturday evening event drew a standing-room-only crowd as Bethke performed two of his poems and hosted a Q&A for audience members to anonymously text in questions.

Bethke actually performed his poem “Sexual Healing” for the first time at an open mic night at Pacific when he was a student, and he admitted to the audience that he was wearing the same shirt Saturday as he had when he had performed the first time.

The performance lasted approximately an hour, with only a minor hiccup when the stage lights and microphone lost power. Bethke kept the show going, performing without the microphone until power was restored.

Though admission to the event was free and open to the public, donations were taken for local charities, including the cold weather shelter that is housed in the local church.

In total, the 24-Hour Service Fair featured 21 projects, some spanning more than an hour. (It also technically lasted only 23 hours, as the event happened to fall on the first weekend of Daylight Saving Time.) The University Center also featured a Random Acts of Kindness table, where anyone could drop by and make a card for a stranger.

This year’s fair also included prizes raffled off to participants.

Chelsea Yarbor ’12, who helped run the fair, explained it had been difficult to get people to participate in the late night to early morning events in past years. This year, participants earned a raffle ticket for every event they participated in. Drawings for prizes, such as a NOOK, Wii or $100 gift basket, started at midnight, and students had to be present to win.

Posted by Jenni Luckett ( on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Edited by Rachael Burbank ( on Apr 16, 2012 at 5:01 PM

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