Greeks host 'Make a Difference Day'

by Nick Gansner | 10/4/94 6:00am

On Saturday, Oct. 22, members of Dartmouth's Greek system, along with people across the country, will have an opportunity to give back to the local community through the fourth annual "Make a Difference Day."

Organized through the Coed Fraternity Sorority Council by Angela Lee '95 along with Assistant Dean of Residential Life Deb Reinders, this is the first year the College is involved in "Make a Difference Day" -- a national celebration of community service sponsored by USA Today and the Points of Life Foundation.

Greek houses and the entire student body will be encouraged to participate in a variety of community service activities. Each Dartmouth student will be paired with a Lebanon High School student on a specific project in the Lebanon area.

Local efforts will be judged on a national level by five judges who will award $2,000 prizes to 10 outstanding projects. The money will then be donated to a charity selected by the individual winners.

The CFSC has already organized numerous activities for students, including repainting the Kendall retirement center; rebuilding a ski tower at the sight of a national tournament; working with the Lebanon police department to provide an annual haunted house for children on Halloween; working with the Listen Center in Lebanon and the Youth in Action group at Lebanon High School for the Lebanon Community Kitchen; and repairing the home of Mr. Merrihue, a Lebanon man who is also known as "Mr. Santa," in light of his holiday decorations.

Lee described the day as "a wonderful idea for the entire Dartmouth community to help the local community." "Make a Difference Day" also provides students with a different outlet than their normal activities to meet people in the area. She also said students do not realize the important relationship between Dartmouth and Lebanon, and that she hopes "Make a Difference Day" will reveal that connection.

"Make a Difference Day" is also suited to Dartmouth students' busy schedules. Project Head Amy Barto '95 said some projects last from morning to afternoon while others run only a few hours. The activities are ideal for students, Barto said, because they are one-time activities, and therefore act like a study break.

Barto described "Make a Difference Day" as "a wonderful experience for Greek houses to augment and emphasize their own charity affiliations and pet projects which no one realizes."

Reinders said she hopes "Make a Difference Day" will provide new CFS members with "an introduction to community service that will be an integral part of their life and continue as an attitude in general."

She described this year's "Make a Difference Day" as "more exciting than other years," especially for Dartmouth students, because Andrew Shue '89 is one of the judges. Shue, who has become a heart-throb on the FOX television show 'Melrose Place,' is joined by Henry Cisneros, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Charlayne Hunter-Gault, a correspondent for MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour; Richard F. Schubert, president and CEO of the Points of Light Foundation; and Paul Newman, actor and president of Newman's Own, Inc.

Reinders said she is trying to convince Shue to speak at Dartmouth to draw attention to volunteer efforts.