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Throughout the month of October and the beginning of November, Macon has been supporting breast cancer awareness.
On Nov. 2, from 7 p.m. until midnight, Oktoberfest took place at the Armory Ballroom in downtown Macon.
Oktoberfest is a fundraiser that is put together by several different groups in the Macon community.
Tickets were sold prior to the event for $35 each. Those who bought a ticket were provided with food and bottomless beer for the evening.
Oktoberfest benefits the Central Georgia Breast Care Center at the Medical Center of Central Georgia, as well as Paint the Town Pink, an event that takes place throughout the month of October.
Paint the Town Pink works towards raising breast cancer awareness and teaching women in the community about the importance of mammograms.
The Armory Ballroom was transformed into a Bavarian Beer Hall in order to create an inviting atmosphere for those willing to support the cause.
The Rookery catered the event and the Moon Hanger Group provided food. Back City Woods, a local band, was playing music at the event.
Nancy White, Director of Oncology at the Medical Center of Central Georgia, explained the purpose of the event: “Oktoberfest helps to raise awareness about the disease and helps pay for mammograms for women who can’t afford them.”
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer found in women.
One in eight women will have been diagnosed with this disease within her lifetime. However, breast cancer has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers if it is detected early. This is why Paint the Town Pink and Oktoberfest put such a large emphasis on the importance of receiving mammograms.
Another event that took place in Macon to support breast cancer awareness was The Pink Promise for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. From Oct. 19-26, tents were set up at The Shoppes at River Crossing, and fundraising took place for Susan G. Komen Central Georgia.
The race itself took place at 7 a.m. at North Peach Park in Byron, Ga., on Oct. 27. Registration lasted from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. There were food venues that were open from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. A survivor celebration walk took place at 8:25 a.m. in order to honor and congratulate those who have battled and survived breast cancer. The 5K run began at 9 a.m. and the 5K walk began at 9:10 a.m.
For more information about Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure or for more information about how to make a donation, email email@example.com or call 478-390-4828.
As many Mercer students have noticed while driving down Mercer University Drive, the Macon Mall has been under construction for quite some time. Many businesses are leaving the mall while a few new businesses are taking their place. One of the most recent additions to the mall is Dry Falls Outfitters, located between Macy’s and Smok’n Pig.
Dry Falls Outfitters had their grand opening on Friday, Oct. 19. In order to celebrate the grand opening weekend, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place and there were multiple live radio remote and prize giveaways. The prizes included: an MSR 3-person tent, a North Face jacket, a Southern Tide t-shirt, shoes from Keen, Merrell, OluKai, and Chaco, and a grand prize of a 60 inch LG plasma TV with a stand.
Dry Falls Outfitters has been around for over a decade. However, they recently upgraded their product lines and wanted to advertise to a community of college students.
Co-owner Bud Turner said, “We want to reach out to a larger part of the Macon audience. We were formally The Sock Shoppe, yet socks represent only 10 percent of our sales. We felt a re-branding was appropriate, and we want to sell clothing our children in college will wear.”
Some of the brands featured at the store include: The North Face, Patagonia, Columbia, Southern Marsh, Vineyard Vines, Costa, Southern Tide, Chaco, and much more.
Although these popular brands will hopefully be a successful addition to the store, Turner says that opening these lines has been quite difficult. Turner said, “Opening lines that are very selective has been the hardest part of this project. [These lines] need to see a brick and mortar concept, not an architectural drawing. Our concept is exciting, but [these companies] embrace the Missouri concept of ‘show me.’”
In order to get the word out about the new store, the owners are thinking about hiring a Mercer ambassador. This would be a student who will promote the store and in return, receive Dry Falls store items at a discounted price.
Dry Falls will be making an effort to work with the Mercer student body and is hoping to offer student discounts. Turner said, “We plan to work without vendors, and once we get permission from the various brands we will offer a student discount that complies with their respective corporate policies.”
Turner will be willing to make donations to different groups of students. Turner said, “We will also be glad to make product donations for Mercer student groups that demonstrate social and environmental responsibility.”
For more information on Dry Falls Outfitters, visit their new location in the Macon mall, or visit their website at www.dryfallsoutfitters.com
The friends of Macon’s Arthur “Bo” Ponder hosted a three-day music celebration in his honor on Aug. 29, Aug. 31, and Sept. 2.
This three-day music celebration consisted of different events for the Macon community to enjoy.
At 7 p.m. on Aug. 29, there was a Meet and Greet session with Bo Ponder at JD’s Drama Theater.
Guests were invited to meet Ponder and socialize with him as well as with other Ponder friends and fans.
On Aug. 31 beginning at 7 p.m., two bands called Big Mike and Just Friends prepared live entertainment at Grant’s Lounge.
While the bands were performing, a fish and grits dinner was provided for the guests.
On Sep. 2, there was live music at Gateway Park’s “Rhythm & Jazz on the Docks” in honor of Ponder.
Arthur “Bo” Ponder is a black R&B singer who was very popular during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
One of his most famous songs is: “Dr. Strangelove.”
He recorded this single in the early 1970’s.
Ponder was previously a part of an R&B group, Soul Survivors.
He later became a part of another band named the Pinetoppers.
Ponder traveled to many different states to perform with his bands.
Ponder spent a great amount of time in Macon, Ga.
Years ago, Ponder spent many hours rehearsing in the building that is currently known as the Robert E. Lee Building, on Mulberry Street.
This was previously the home to Phil Walden Artists & Promotions and the WIBB studio.
Ponder went on tour throughout the United States at a time when racial segregation was an issue in America. Consequently, this was not the easiest time for a group of African American musicians to tour the country.
However, Ponder’s band chose to not let this stop them from performing the music they loved.
His most recent performance was a tribute to James Brown in the Douglass Theatre.
He also preformed at the 2012 Cherry Blossom Festival.
Through the years, Ponder’s eyesight has become a struggle.
His eyesight has been slowly deteriorating and he is now legally blind.
Although he is not as healthy as he once was, Ponder will not let that stop him from performing the music that touches the souls of all R&B fans.
Many Macon locals came out to support Bo Ponder during the three-day music celebration.
On Aug. 25, 2012 the Rotary Club of downtown Macon, Main Street Macon, and several downtown venues, hosted The Macon Beer Festival.
The state of Georgia is the home to many famous breweries such as, Sweetwater, Terrapin, Redbrick, and Jailhouse breweries.
In celebration of these breweries, many festivals are held throughout the state year-round. Savannah holds the annual Savannah Craft Brew Festival, Atlanta holds the Great Atlanta Beer Festival at Turner Field, and the most famous beer festival, Oktoberfest, is held in Helen.
This year, Macon chose to participate in the beer festivities by hosting their very own beer festival.
The festival took on the theme of “Pints for Prostates.”
Pints for Prostates is a cam paign that uses the language of beer to reach males with an important health message.
This campaign aims to raise the awareness of the dangers of prostate cancer and emphasize the importance of regular PSA testing and health screenings.
In order to stress the importance of a PSA test, all men 40 and over were offered a few PSA blood tests at the event. The blood test usually costs around $75.
There were eight local downtown venues that participated in this event.
These venues included: earfoot Tavern, Cox Capital Theatre, The Downtown Grill, The Hummingbird Stage and Taproom, Lemongrass, Roasted Café and Lounge, and The Rookery.
The event began at 4 p.m. and lasted until 7 p.m.
Participants were able to go from one venue to the next, trying out all of the different beers that each restaurant and bar had to offer.
Each venue offered three different beers to taste, adding up to a grand total of 24 different beers.
A wide variety of beers were offered and venues carried many beers that are not typically seen around Macon.
Ticket sales were limited to a maximum of 500 tickets in order to prevent the streets from becoming too crowded.
Tickets to the event were $17.50 in advanced or $20 on the day of the event.
Tickets were available for purchase at the Grand Opera House or at the Mercer ticket sales office.
A portion of the ticket sales were donated to Prostate Cancer research.
The Macon Beer Festival was a very successful event that was able to bring the Macon community together.
Downtown Macon has plans to welcome a new beer brewery and taproom to the local area.
Two Macon locals, Cory Smith and Jeremy Knowles, plan to renovate a long-time vacant building located on Oglethorpe St. into the Macon Beer Co.
The plan is still in the works. Smith and Knowles are currently in the process of purchasing the 7,600-square-foot building that they can turn into their own business.
Co-owners Smith and Knowles will make the brewery into their own full-time business.
Smith tells the Macon Telegraph, “We actually won’t be producing until early 2013 and hope to have a grand opening around Cherry Blossom [Festival] time.”
For a starting goal, Macon Beer Co. is aiming to produce 500 barrels per year. Each barrel equals 31 gallons. However, their long-term goal is to produce 10,000 barrels per year.
Smith says, “We will be producing large quantities of beer and we sell that beer to a distributor who is also in Macon, who then sells it to the retailer.”
However, Macon Beer Co. will not sell to the general public. Due to a state law, the beer must go through retailers first.
Because they cannot sell to the public, they will hold tours and tastings in the taproom at least twice a week.
Owners Smith and Knowles plan to start off with two brands of beer and then continue to expand.
Macon Beer Co. also plans to create seasonal brands. For example, cherry-wheat beer will be produced and sold during the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Smith tells the Macon Telegraph that Macon is the perfect place to open a brewery.
Macon has the best water, which is very important for the production of beer.
Smith and Knowles were college roommates and they both hope to fulfill their dream of owning this brewery.
With plans still in the works, Smith and Knowles have high hopes of creating their own business and turning the vacant building on Oglethorpe St. into their own new brewery.
La Berry Frozen Yogurt
4646 Forsyth Road
This frozen yogurt shop on Forsyth Road recently opened in 2011. As frozen yogurt continues to become more and more popular, the Macon community and Mercer students cannot get enough La Berry! This frozen yogurt shop has eight different flavors to choose from and the flavors change daily. Once you have chosen your yogurt, do not forget to stop by the topping bar and take advantage of the wide variety of toppings that you can add to your yogurt. Yogurt is sold by the ounce and punch cards are available for frequent customers. With the punch card, for every six yogurts you purchase at La Berry, your next six-ounce yogurt is free! Be sure to check out their Facebook page to stay updated with any offers that they may have and to find out what different flavors they are offering daily. La Berry is an inexpensive and healthier way to tackle your sweet tooth. If you’re craving something sweet, make your way to this frozen yogurt shop!
543 Cherry Street
The Rookery is a popular hang out for many college students. Whether they’re in the mood for lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch, or just to stop by the bar for a drink, The Rookery is the place to go. The Rookery serves a wide variety of American-style food, including appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and burgers. Every Wednesday night around 8 p.m., this downtown joint hosts a trivia night and anyone is welcome to participate. The trivia teams compete for prizes such as gift certificates and tickets to local attractions. Whether you want to get a team together to participate in trivia night, or if you just want to come and try some of their famous burgers, make your way downtown to this popular hang out!
Moe's Southwest Grill
3111 Vineville Avenue
Moe’s Southwest Grill, located on Vineville Avenue, is quite a popular choice for college students. Especially on a Monday. On Mondays, Moe’s hosts their famous ‘Moe Monday’ where customers can purchase a burrito, chips, and a drink all for only five dollars. Many Mercer students choose to take advantage of this special offer. If you want to get a lot of food for only five dollars, check out Moe’s Southwestern Grill on a Monday! Moes is also quite a popular choice for students on Tuesdays through Sundays as well. Also, don’t forget that you can use your Bear Bucks at this local restaurant. Add some cash to your bear card and head over to Moe’s Southewestern Grill!
1191 Oglethorpe Street
The Bear’s Den, located just a few short blocks from campus, is known for their famous southern style cookin’. Their menu features a wide variety of what is known as, ‘southern soul food’ such as: fried chicken, green beans, biscuits, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and of course, sweet tea. Their menu items change daily. The Bear’s Den is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. unil 3 p.m. Since this popular southern style restaurant is only opened for lunch, stop by in between classes to grab a quick meal! If youre craving some southern style cookin’ after 3 p.m., remember that they still cook take out orders until 6 p.m. Come in and try this restuarant that has been popular since 1989!
442 Cherry Street
Lemongrass is a sushi and Thai bistro that is located downtown. They serve lunch and dinner daily and they serve brunch on Sundays. Lemongrass chef, Saravudh “Tom” Sarrtsud, is a Bangkok-native who brings his native cooking skills to the table. With the use of fresh ingredients and with a hint of Asian flare, this restaurant serves and prepares bright and flavorful dishes that have continued to please the Macon community. This Thai cuisine is known for its balance of 5 flavors: spicy, sour, sweet, salty, and bitter. Lemongrass offers traditional Thai dishes, Thai Fusion, and they even offer non-Thai specialties. If you’re in the mood for some fresh sushi and Thai cuisine, this local restaurant is a must!
401 Cherry Street
This local tavern was the new addition to the downtown area in November of 2011; so far it has been a hit! This restaurant is decked out with Mercer spirit and has a sporty atmosphere. They capture the atmosphere of a sports bar by having a total of 16 flat screen televisions covering the walls and having a personal 24 inch screen television in each booth. Owner Ceasare Mammarella says to The Telegraph, “I want this to be Mercer’s sports bar. They are our hometown college and it is important that as their programs continue to expand we support them as a community.” If you’re looking for a place to eat some good food while watching sporting events with friends, Bearfoot Tavern is the place to be!
Greek Corner Deli
587 Cherry Street
Greek Corner Deli is located in downtown Macon and is famous for their hummus, sandwiches, and gyros. This is a very popular lunch joint for many Mercer students. The quick service and low priced food draws in many graduate and undergraduate students. Owners Arty and Desi Passias have recently opened another location on Forsyth Streeth. This new addition serves the same Greek cuisine as Greek Corner Deli. However, they also serve pizza. Both restaurants also serve a wide variety of pastries if you’re in the mood to tackle your sweet tooth. If you’re craving a Greek-style meal, then Greek Corner Deli is definitely the way to go!
The long and anticipated wait for phase II of The Lofts to be completed is finally over. The building was finished on Aug. 1 and is move-in ready for both Mercer graduate and undergraduate students.
Due to the great success of phase I of The Lofts and the high demand to live in this popular area, contractors decided to build phase two of The Lofts directly across the street.
Phase II contains many of the same features that the first phase offers students.
However, there will be a few changes in the finishing touches of the new lofts. For example, additional light fixtures and ceiling fans will be added to each unit.
This building only contains four bedroom lofts.
As of Aug.12, there were no vacancies in The Lofts and there is a waitlist to live in the building for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.
In order to be eligible to live in The Lofts, the prospective student must be a junior, senior, or a graduate student and he or she must be enrolled as a full time student.
The Lofts offers students a three or four bedroom fully furnished loft and each bedroom has its own bathroom. Each loft also has a fully equipped kitchen, living room, and a full-sized washer and dryer.
Unlike the first phase of The Lofts, phase two does not contain any local businesses or restaurants on the ground level.
Instead, the Center for Collaborative Journalism (CCJ) has been located in this section of the building. This center includes: the Mercer University journalism program, The Telegraph, and Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Contractor Jim Daws said, “The street dynamic is really changing a lot. Having 40 plus employees working in the Center for Collaborative Journalism will really get the street vibe going. I think [having CCJ on the ground level] will be a plus.”
Many students are also excited about this new addition to the Mercer community.
Student and Loft resident Erica Cumbie said, “The Lofts are such a great addition to Mercer village and I’m so excited to be one of the first people to live there.”
Phase two of the Lofts aims to keep students living close to campus.
Dr. Jim Netherton, Mercer’s executive vice president of administration and finance told Jennifer Bucholtz, “Studies show that universities where students live on campus have higher retention and graduation rates.”
Dr. Netherton added, “Vibrant neighborhoods attract students, allowing Mercer to accept more competitive students.”
As the student population increases, the demand for housing increases as well. Creating this new community for students to live in attracts even more prospective students.
Property supervisor at the Lofts, Eric Martinez tells Jennifer Bucholtz “Students are most impressed with having their own private bathroom — something they don’t get in traditional on-campus housing.”
The amount of privacy that is provided by The Lofts along with the brand new finishes to each room is also quite impressive to students.
Jim Daws said, “Students are drawn to the Lofts because they can be close to their friends on campus, plus have the freedoms associated with living on their own in an area with retail and restaurant conveniences.”
The Lofts at Mercer village are continuously becoming more and more popular.
Students are anxious to live there and to have this community become their home away from home.
Mercer University hosted its annual Greek week throughout the week of March 26.
Every year, Order of Omega organizes Greek week and sets up a number of events that all Greek organizations can participate in.
Order of Omega is a national Greek leadership honor society.
It recognizes students who have attained a high standard of leadership in inter-Greek activities, service to the community and academic excellence.
During Greek Week, each Greek sorority and fraternity chapter can earn a certain number of points by winning events or having high attendance rates at each event.
Greek week is a week of events that aims towards the ultimate goal of uniting students within the Greek community in an enjoyable and positive manner.
The schedule for Greek week this year consisted of: participation in the SHAPE carnival on Monday, Greek grillers and a band party on Tuesday, trivia night at Margaritas on Wednesday, Greek games on Thursday, and the car bash for Relay for Life on Friday.
At the end of Greek week, the amount of points earned by each chapter is added up and a winner is announced.
This year, the winner of Greek week will be announced at the Greek awards, which are being held later this month.
In comparison to previous years, the attendance rate of Greek week was much higher this year. No one was able to give a specific answer as to why.
However, according to Order of Omega president Evan Summerville, there is still some room for improvement.
“While I think that there was more participation than at last year’s Greek week, I felt as though the Greek community as a whole definitely was not as involved as I would have liked. Many people came to our events, however, the Greek community is very large and there definitely could have been some larger crowds,” said Summerville.
Order of Omega is continuously striving to increase the attendance rates of Greek week for the upcoming years.
Current members of the Order of Omega organization suggest that in the future, Greek week should be planned further in advance.
“If the details of each event are planned earlier, there will be more time to perfect the events so that they can reach their greatest potential,” said Summerville.
Summerville believes that in order to make Greek week as popular as it should be, attendance rates need to increase.
“I hear things about how awesome this event is at other schools and I want that for Mercer as well,” said Summerville.
Greek week takes place in order to promote unity throughout the Greek community as a whole.
“Greek Week brings out comraderie and competition amongst members of the Greek community. I liked participating in the community events and games this year,” said Sigma Nu, Albert Sykes.
It is supposed to be a stress-free and fun way to get students involved with Greek life. Order of Omega member Kelsey Dillard said, “Everyone really seemed to be bonding and having a great time together. I think it increased morale for everyone.”
Overall, Greek week was more successful this year then it has been in the past.
The amount of time and effort that each Order of Omega member put into planning this event seemed to pay off.
Dillard said, “It was so great to see all of our hard work come to fruition.”
Order of Omega hopes to see this event continue to expand and become more popular within the Greek community in upcoming years.
Students are already excited for Greek Week 2013.
“Greek Week is awesome. I can’t wait for next year,” added Sykes.
Mercer University hosted its annual leadership conference titled Leadership MU throughout March 19–21.
Leadership MU is a leadership conference that was organized by Campus Life and the Division of Student Affairs in order to provide students with an opportunity to learn about various topics surrounding leadership.
The conference includes various events targeted to students interested in bettering their leadership skills.
Every year, the conference has a different theme and each event goes hand-in-hand with this theme. This year the conference was titled The Pursuit of Equality, focusing on how leadership can affect the issue of equality in America.
The events for the conference consisted of: a leadership fair, a leadership panel, and a keynote speech given by former Georgia Commissioner of Labor, Michael Thurmond.
The conference began in 2005 with a group of students who felt the need to express the importance of leadership on Mercer’s campus.
As time has progressed, less students are attending these events which is concerning to the Campus Life staff.
Carrie Ingoldsby said, “I think that it’s time to reinvent the wheel and do some new things with leadership activities for students. Attendance is dropping so we need to give this a long, hard look and make some changes. We rely on student’s feedback for that.”
In order to receive the student feedback that Ingoldsby is looking for, a leadership committee, composed of students and staff, is being formed.
This will hopefully give students the opportunity to voice their opinions so that leadership programs offered will appeal to the majority of the student body rather than just a select few.
This committee will help with ideas for new leadership programs as well as planning and advertising those programs.
“I am really excited about the new ideas that the students and other staff members will bring to the table. There is great potential here and we have the ability to offer some wonderful programs. We just need to make sure that students are involved and help plan the events,” said Ingoldsby.
Despite the dwindling attendance rate, student Eric Ennuson believes that this conference has been a positive influence on him and has impacted his leadership abilities.
“This conference has actually motivated me to listen to the concerns of the student body more,” said Ennuson.
“Ultimately, I can say that this conference has motivated me to re-run for Senator-at-Large with the main focus of listening to the concerns of the students and bring them before the Student Government and making a difference for the benefit of this University,” said Ennuson.
Ennunson expressed that this event has greatly impacted him and could potentially have the same impact on the rest of the student body.
A total of 33 students attended the leadership panel and 52 students attended the keynote speech.
Ingoldsby said, “Overall it was a great experience and there was great conversation about political issues and leadership. It was also a great way for students to make connections with and to get to know leaders in the Macon community.”
Members of the Campus Life and Student Affairs staff are looking forward to creating a leadership committee on campus and encourage all students who are interested in this program to contact the office of Campus Life for more information.
On Saturday March 17, Mercer’s Panhellenic woman volunteered to work at the Kids CherryDazzle held in downtown Macon from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Kids CherryDazzle is an annual event that is held on the first weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival. All children are welcome to attend the festival and participate in a day of games and activities.
This year, Panhellenic Vice-President Nichole Brown was one of the volunteers who helped organize the event.
Five women from each sorority on campus also volunteered their Saturday afternoon to work at this event.
Volunteer Katey Skelton said, “I really think that Panhellenic participation helped to show Macon citizens how involved we are in the Macon community. They were very thankful and appreciative of our help.”
This event was a day that consisted of fun activities for children such as: coloring, face painting, pet fashion show, live animal shows, games and prizes, free stuffed animals and candy, local mascots and many more events.
“This is an event that is supposed to lift the spirits of the children in the community. Whenever we would see a child who was upset or didn’t look like they were having a good time, we would go up and give them a stuffed animal or something to play with. I think that this really lifted their spirits and brightened their day,” said Brown.
Many children who spent the day at this event won prizes, toys, games and raffles. These events were created with the intentions of bringing joy to the children of Macon.
Phi Mu volunteer Lindsey Little said, “I think the CherryDazzle was a great way to get the kids in the community out for a fun day at the Cherry Blossom festival. I’m sure that it left them with great, lasting memories.”
The volunteers at this event were constantly rewarded with positive feedback as they saw the children smiling and enjoying themselves at this event.
The children at the festival had a great time and loved participating in the events that were made available to them.
Alpha Delta Pi volunteer Mary Katherine Johnson said, “I feel like the kids who live in Macon got to experience a fun day full of activities in a healthy environment.”
Everyone at the festival was entertained and relaxed because they were able to take a day off. They had their minds focused on simply having a good time.
Volunteer Caroline Cooper said, “My favorite part of CherryDazzle is that it gave families a chance to do something fun that didn’t cost any money. A lot of the events that are offered at the Cherry Blossom Festival are too expensive for some families to attend, so I think it’s great that we were able to provide them with an afternoon of fun for no cost at all.”
Kids CherryDazzle was a great success and this event will continue for many years to come. This festival brings the Macon community together and allows for Mercer’s Panhellenic women to get involved by lending a helping hand to those in need.
Students Chelsea Flieger and Garret McDowell were commended for their dedication to the LEAP community service program by receiving their acceptance letters to Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) on Feb. 9. CGIU is a national leadership conference that is hosted once a year. This year the conference will be held in Washington D.C. from March 30-April 1.
There will be thousands of community-service driven students from across the nation attending the CGIU conference on March 30-April 1. Garret and Chelsea agree that one of the largest benefits from this conference is that they will have the opportunity to meet so many people who have a great deal of experience in leadership and community service events. Garret said, “The best thing about this is that we are not the only people who have ideas like LEAP. CGIU will allow us to see what other people’s ideas are and how we can then relate those ideas back to the Macon community in order to take LEAP to the next level.”
Applying to CGIU is a very time consuming process. Garret and Chelsea chose to apply as a team; together, they spent hours perfecting their application. Numerous students from across the nation apply to CGIU every year and acceptance to the program is extremely competitive. Garret and Chelsea were a part of the first batch of acceptance letters.
In order to be considered for the program, students must make a proposal for something that they plan to do in order to make the world a better place. Once students are accepted to the program, they are expected to fulfill these commitments. Garret and Chelsea’s commitment is a continuation of the LEAP service program; they are working on expanding the program. Another goal of theirs is to target the causes of poverty rather than just the effects.
For example, the team is planning many educational events such as tutoring at local schools and sponsoring a reading festival in order to encourage reading and education to local students.
LEAP community service program began in the fall of 2010 and has progressively grown each semester.
The LEAP team has set a goal of logging 10,000 community service hours related to poverty alleviation. Currently, the team is half way to their goal and has logged about 5,000 community service hours.
One of the team’s goals is to transform the LEAP program into a campus organization.
Flieger and McDowell have high expectations for the LEAP program and intend for the program to enrich the lives of Macon residents.
Flieger said, “The ultimate goal of LEAP is to eliminate poverty in Macon. I think that as long as we keep that in mind, that we’ll keep working. But it’s not all about logging 10,000 hours, or having ‘x number’ of volunteers, it’s about making a difference. These people are our neighbors. I think if you just make one persons life better, then it makes a world of difference.”
Flieger and McDowell have formed many relationships with the Macon residents that they help and they are continuously look forward to helping those in need.
“I’ve made so many different relationships with the people that we’re helping,” said Flieger.
Through their extreme dedication to the LEAP community service program, Flieger and McDowell have been rewarded with the acceptance to CGIU.
“In the end, it’s not about numbers or statistics; it’s about people. We’ll make a dent the amount of poverty in Macon, which is all that matters,” said Flieger.
Flieger and McDowell look forward to the countless opportunities that this conference has in store for them and are anxious to apply what they learn to their efforts of poverty alleviation in Macon.