The Phi Theta Kappa honor society at Kalamazoo Valley Community College received a STAR Award from Volunteer Kalamazoo and MLive Media Group for its daylong community outreach event, Cougars Creating Community. The award was announced on April 23 at the annual STAR Awards ceremony at Chenery Auditorium.
The award-winning event, dubbed C3, took place on October 18, 2013. It placed more than 400 volunteers throughout the community pitching in as volunteers and completing acts of kindness.
PTK members spent about a year planning the event. “We definitely want to give back to the community,” explained Adam Lozier, PTK Chapter President and one of the event organizers. “We’re a community college and serving the community is our mission. It’s a pay it forward kind of event. We hope to create a chain of good deeds out in the community.”
Volunteers provided assistance at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, the Ecumenical Senior Center, Loaves and Fishes, the farmer’s market, the Peace House on Kalamazoo’s east side, and dozens of other destinations. One service project involved sewing handbags for a church group that uses their proceeds to buy water pumps for African villages. In addition, free haircuts and manicures were offered at Anna Whitten Hall in downtown Kalamazoo for those who couldn’t afford the services.
Ken Barr Jr., Director of Student Strengths Development for Kalamazoo Valley, nominated PTK for the award. He said, “The "Maximizer" in me recognizes excellence - and PTK was just amazing in their efforts to coordinate the volunteers, service sites, and logistics for the C3 event. Being a part of the "Random Acts of Kindness" crew allowed me the opportunity to see just how meaningful this event was for the Kalamazoo community. It is my hope that the Star Awards recognition will inspire other volunteers to join us this year.” The year’s Cougars Creating Community event is set for October 24, 2014.
Since its inception in 1986, Volunteer Kalamazoo and MLive Media Group/Kalamazoo Gazette have co-sponsored the annual STAR (Sharing Time and Resources) Awards program to recognize the contributions of the outstanding volunteers who exemplify the spirit of volunteerism. Nominations are open annually during the month of January.
Nominations are open to the public from Jan 1 to Jan 31 each year and anyone may submit a nomination. A panel of independent judges appointed by Volunteer Kalamazoo will select winners.