The Big Event goes on despite weather
The second annual Big Event was held on Saturday, April 21, across the Hammond and Ponchatoula area, despite storm warnings and some morning showers. Hundreds of Southeastern students teamed up to work on service projects and give back to the community on Global Youth Service Day this year.
"The turnout was actually up from about 290 to about 700 this year, so we have a ton of students here, ready to go," said William Takewell, a senior majoring in communications and the Student Government Association chief justice. "We're up by about 500. It's great. We're excited."
Takewell, who was the coordinator of The Big Event II, said that a committee of about 40 students planned everything, and everyone participating put a lot of hard work into the day of service.
"The most important part of participating in this event is the fact that these students are getting to make a connection with the community members, whether it's a business, whether it's a home, whether it's an agency here in town," said Takewell. "They make a connection. They're getting to talk to them, see them. They're getting to let them know about how much they care about us being at Southeastern and allowing us to be here in their community."
The Big Event originated at Texas A&M University and celebrated its 30th annual day of service last month.
Southeastern's Big Event began in 2011, and the support of students and community members will likely keep it going for many more years.
"I'm so excited because I'm not going to have to look at these leaves anymore," said Mary Ann Rusciano, one of the homeowners where a Big Event Team worked. "I'm so appreciative of what they've done. I've hired people to do this before and they're not good at getting work done, and I knew that this group was getting together. One of the Delts told me because they've come here to work several times, and they're here and I'm so happy. I thank them and Southeastern with all my heart."
Kellie Nelson, a sophomore majoring in general studies, worked with the Japanese Animation Society team to fix up some outdoor areas around campus.
"It was fun, and I got to meet a lot of other people who are in clubs that I didn't even know existed," said Nelson. "We worked with the Nepalese Student Association, people who come here from Nepal, and that was really cool to see them and be with them."
Many of the students who worked on service projects found the experience was more fun than work because of the positive environment in the community.
"It didn't really feel like community service because I was with all of my friends and we were doing the right thing, helping people out that needed it," said Jacob Bellairs, a freshman majoring in finance and a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity.
According to several members of the Big Event planning committee, everything observed during this year's event will help to improve upon next year's Big Event held by Southeastern.
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