Fisher Students Spreading Service in February
February will be another month full of community service and charitable activities taken on by the always dedicated student body at St. John Fisher College.
This month will include three events that have become traditions here at Fisher, one of those traditions starting 30 years ago.
Project Community Convergence – February 4 and 11
Students With A Vision (SWAV) is once again leading Project Community Convergence (PCC), an ongoing tradition that takes place over two weekends, when dozens of volunteers from the campus community team up and tackle projects at five area city schools. The projects range from priming and painting, to cleaning and organizing classrooms. This year, PCC takes place Saturday, February 4, and Saturday, February 11. The schools benefitting from the project include the School Without Walls, School #2, School #16, School #43, and the Integrated Arts and Technology School.
Students will be putting in a full day at each location during both Saturdays. So far, SWAV estimates that approximately 100 volunteers have signed up for the first weekend, with 75 committed to the second weekend. They are in need of juice boxes for breakfast and one gallon jugs of water for volunteers. Donations can be dropped at the campus ministry office.
If you’re interested in volunteering, you can still sign up during free period in the Campus Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or email the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers will leave campus by bus at 8:15 a.m. both days.
Students taking on a big paint project during last year's PCC event.
The Sweetheart Ball – February 14
SWAV also hosts the Sweetheart Ball every year on Valentine’s Day, a formal dance that takes place at the Friendly Home in Rochester. Each year, the residents dress to impress, and look forward to the chance to meet and dance with Fisher students. Transportation is provided. Volunteers will leave campus at 2:30 p.m., the event begins at 3:00 p.m. SWAV is still looking for a volunteer to emcee the event, so anyone with DJ experience is encouraged to contact SWAV if they are interested.
Students dance with a resident from The Friendly Home at the 2011 Sweetheart Ball.
Teddi Dance for Love – February 17 and 18
Hundreds of St. John Fisher College students, faculty, and staff will once again be putting on their dancing shoes for 24 continuous hours to raise money for a good cause. The annual Teddi Dance for Love will take place on February 17 and 18, and this year marks the event’s 30th anniversary! To date, the event has raised nearly $800,000 for Camp Good Days and Special Times, an organization for children and their families who are touched by cancer and other life challenges.
The annual event has been led by a committee of dedicated students for decades, and takes nearly an entire year to plan. Each hour has a theme, including: Bieber Fever, Diva Hour, Holiday Hour, Top 40 Hour, Karaoke Hour, and Alumni Hour. In addition, the committee has already begun to collect hair donations as part of the event, which in turn is donated to Locks of Love. The 2012 event chair is Lou Gramm, former lead singer of the band, Foreigner.
The proceeds from the event help grant the last wishes of these sick children and offer them a chance to enjoy a trip to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and other destinations in Orlando. Last year, the College raised over $44,000 and collected a total of 747 inches of hair.
This year’s event is dedicated in memory of J’lon Woody, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in March 2010. After an almost two-year battle, which included surgery that removed part of a tumor in his spinal cord, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, along with intense physical therapy, the 11-year-old passed away surrounded by his close family.
Before he lost that battle, Woody had the chance to go on the Disney Trip funded by the dance, a trip that his family says meant the world to him. A brief dedication ceremony including a balloon launch will take place in honor of Woody during the last hour of the event.
The dance has a special connection to the College. Gary Mervis, the founder of Camp Good Days and Special Times, is a volunteer football coach at Fisher. His daughter, Elizabeth “Teddi” Mervis, died of childhood cancer in February 1982. That year, Lou Buttino, a former professor and close friend of Mervis, organized a group of students to plan a 24-hour dance marathon to benefit the Camp. Buttino is planning on attending this year’s event to help celebrate the 30th anniversary.
The Teddi Dance for Love takes place in the Student Life Center. It begins at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 17, and ends at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 18, when the total amount raised will be announced. Campers from Camp Good Days and Special Times will take over the dance floor beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Students hold a memorial balloon launch for last year's honoree.
A camper from Camp Good Days shows the students some moves at Teddi 2011.