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Spirit of service marks Homecoming weekend

From raking leaves to painting front stoops, Elon University students and alumni on Saturday assisted Town of Elon residents with sprucing up homes built over the past two decades through Habitat for Humanity.

Elon freshman James Venuto (right) and junior Austin Leeney, both members of the Elon Phoenix baseball team, paint a front stoop during an Oct. 18 service project organized by the Kernodle Center for Service Learning & Community Engagement and Habitat for Humanity of Alamance County.

Dozens of students and alumni helped residents of a local neighborhood with home improvement projects in a Saturday service event organized by Elon University’s Kernodle Center for Service Learning & Community Engagement and Habitat for Humanity of Alamance County. 

Alumni and students – including several varsity athletes from the Elon Phoenix baseball team – assisted those homeowners in the Town of Elon neighborhood surrounding Lawrence Slade Park a few blocks west of the Station at Mill Point.

Working in small groups, volunteers cleaned gutters, raked leaves, pressure-washed homes, painted stoops, performed light carpentry and even helped pour concrete for a new front step. Fifteen homeowners received assistance throughout the morning.

Elon University juniors Taylor Kelly (left) and Meisha Moore help paint the deck of a home in the neighborhood surrounding Lawrence Slade Park in Elon, N.C.

“With our campus chapter (of Habitat for Humanity), we build houses but don’t necessarily see the ongoing needs of those houses,” said Evan Small, assistant director of the Kernodle Center for student programs. “One of the unique aspects of today is the community building. It’s an opportunity to connect Elon students and alumni to local families (who have benefitted from Habitat for Humanity).”

Twenty-two alumni pre-registered for the project, including Akilah Owens Harris ’01 of Camp Springs, Md., who served as president of the Black Cultural Society and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Harris now works in real estate in the Washington, D.C., area.

“Real estate and homes are dear to my heart, and volunteering is dear to my heart,” she said. “I’m blessed and other people are not as fortunate. You should give back! After all, everyone sometimes needs a helping hand.”

Elon University junior Will Nance (left) and senior Tyler McVicar, members of the Elon Phoenix baseball team, power wash a home as part of a service event during Homecoming Weekend 2014.

Several student organizations were represented as well, from the baseball team to Greek organizations to members of the campus Habitat for Humanity chapter.

“Coach is trying to get us more involved in the community,” said Elon University senior Tyler McVicar of Melrose, Mass., a baseball player working Saturday with his teammate, junior Will Nance, to pressure wash neighborhood houses. “It’s good to help people around the area who come to cheer for us on our own campus.”

Eric Townsend,
10/20/2014 11:00 AM