While most people were enjoying the Razorback football bye weekend and sleeping in on Saturday, October 26, a group of 10 Alumni Scholars gathered from 7:00-9:00 a.m. to participate in a Make a Difference Day service project. Known as a national day of service, Make a Difference Day is sponsored by USA WEEKEND Magazine and the Hands on Network/Points of Light Institute, and is the largest organized day of community service.
The University of Arkansas has been participating in Make a Difference Day projects for nearly 10 years, and is one of several large scale service projects organized by the Volunteer Action Center (VAC) – a student-led volunteer coordination board dedicated to providing community service to Northwest Arkansas. This year, the VAC worked with more than 40 non-profit organizations, schools and parks to develop meaningful service projects to impact our local area.
Alumni Scholars are selected in part for their service to others, so many of the scholars participate in Make a Difference Day through registered student organizations. But this year, Jewel Blow, a senior Membership Scholar and member of the VAC board, served as a leader for an Alumni Scholars service project which provided an opportunity for scholarship recipients to serve together.
The project, Golftoberfest, was a mini golf tournament and fundraiser for the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas (SPSF NWA). The group of Alumni Scholars served on the set-up crew to help SPSF NWA staff and volunteers get ready for their players. Students set up the registration area, meal tent and kids’ zone, and decorated the Gator Golf course with balloons and signs.
Golftoberfest is an annual event scheduled each year on Make a Difference Day to ensure enough volunteers are on hand for the fundraiser. Hosted just like a regular golf tournament, Golftoberfest had a shotgun start, two flights of players, hole-in-one prizes and goody bags for all participants. The project was a great fit for Alumni Scholars who were able to lend a hand for another important scholarship program in Northwest Arkansas.