Capping off the University’s annual Service Saturday, SUU’s more than 1000 freshmen filed off school busses carrying them home from a morning in community service across Iron County and lined up among row upon row of ice water-filled buckets, ready to cool off and hoping to make a difference.
Now in its 11th year, SUU’s Service Saturday is one of the largest one-day service events in the state. In number of students who participate in the single day of organized service, SUU’s annual initiative rivals or exceeds all other large-scale service projects at universities and colleges across the state.
A listing of community service projects included in SUU’s 2014 Service Saturday includes:
• Meek's Pioneer Farmstead in Parowan — various outside labor projects
• New Harmony parks and trails — trail work and forest fire cleanup
• Dust Devil Ranch — installing fence posts, other outside work
• Three Peaks Recreation Area — clean up and trail work
• Shurtz Canyon — clean up and trail work
• Gateway Preparatory Academy — outside clean up
• Enoch City Orchard — weeding and other outside work
• Frontier Homestead State Park — assortment of outside projects
• Cedar Cemetery Memorial Tree Grove — weeding, other landscaping work
• Fiddler's Elementary School — painting hopscotches, foursquare
• Bowling Alley — SHARE benefit carwash
• Family Support Center — playground maintenance
• Children's Justice Center — cleaning, windows, outside work
• Beehive Home (senior center) — windows, outside work
• Care and Share Community Garden — harvesting, weeding
• Cedar Animal Rescue — weeding, basic animal care, other outside work
• Paiute Tribal Center — outside work
• Park Discovery — weeding, landscape and other outside work
• Aquatic Center — weeding, landscape and other outside work
• 19 neighborhoods across Cedar City — donation collection for the Iron County Care and Share
Tying the Ice Bucket Challenge into Service Saturday was SUU President Scott Wyatt’s response to several challenges he has received in recent days to get soaked for a good cause. Given the University’s mission-directed focus on community engagement and service, Wyatt thought it fitting to invite all available Thunderbirds to join.
And join they did. What started as a memorable welcome to the freshman class extended to the entire campus community, as faculty, staff and upperclassmen all joined in, including SUUSA, the University’s Student Association, and Thor the Thunderbird, who has received several Ice Bucket challenges of his own.
In addition to getting soaked, SUU freshmen contributed nearly $500 to the ALS Association, a generous offering as the new students face their first semester of tuition and rent, and a great splash to finish out more than 2000 cumulative hours in just one day of community service across the campus’ Southern Utah community.