January 2, 2013 — Amy Radik
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for many, but not for those in need. The student clubs of Fulton-Montgomery Community College are well aware of those less fortunate in our community, and they spent much of the fall semester helping others.
FM’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Chapter, Alpha Alpha Upsilon, in one day was able to collect 500 “Letters to Santa” from students, faculty, and staff; that translates to a $500 donation from Macy’s/Ralph Lauren to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Kappa chapters from across New York State combined to raise $19,000 through this campaign.
Student Activities Board (SAB), along with the Ladies Auxiliary to The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1019, launched a Housewares for Heroes project, collecting new or gently used items for local Veterans who had been homeless and now have found housing with the help of the Auxiliary. The group also sponsored an online “kettle” to raise money for the Salvation Army.
More funds were raised for the Salvation Army with the help of students in the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Club. Students spent time ringing Salvation Army bells at a local Price Chopper to help collect funds. “A couple of the students were so well received by the public – singing and boosting people’s spirits – that they were asked to come back again,” said club advisor and History Instructor Anna Biel.
The Graphic Arts Club held its annual Toys for Tots drive; the Business Club adopted four families in need, totaling 21 people, and provided Christmas gifts and gift cards for a holiday meal; and the Community Outreach Club sponsored the Blizzard Ball dance with all proceeds benefiting the Family Counseling Center to support another family in need for the holidays. “The club even took money from its reserves fund to be sure the family had enough funds to enjoy a wonderful holiday season,” said Student Activities Coordinator Gwen Ossenkop.
The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, also known as FM’s Gaming Club, held a bake sale fundraiser to support Lexington, an agency that provides services and programs to children and adults with disabilities in Fulton and Albany Counties. “Our motivation to donate to Lexington was based on the fact that many gamers have some form of physical or mental disability, as well as learning disabilities,” said club president Jay Chapman.
Many food drives were also sponsored by student clubs. The AWARE Club held a canned food drive and the Student Nurses Club sponsored a “Food for Fines” drive where students could forego paying their overdue book fine or parking ticket and instead contribute food to help fellow community members.
Almost daily, you can pass through the College’s Classroom Lobby and find a bake sale table, staffed with student volunteers selling a plethora of sweets, treats, raffle tickets, and even items for pets, all with the intent of raising funds for families and animals in need.
This is just a handful of examples of what the over 30 clubs on FM’s campus do each semester, whether it’s during the holiday season or any other time of the year, the student clubs at FM are selfless. Each group has its own purpose, but they all share a common goal: to enrich their lives and the lives of others by fostering community service.
Amy Radik is Coordinator of Public Relations & Marketing at FM.