(March 23, 2009)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

2009 BIG Event Lives up to Name

By Jane Bokun email, courtesy of Shreveport Times

SHREVEPORT, La.—Students and Highland neighborhood residents who were ready for a BIG Event were not disappointed Saturday.

There were about 300 Centenary volunteers who canvassed the Highland District in Shreveport to help residents who live near the college with common household tasks such as painting, tree trimming and more.

photos by Donna Bartholomew, Rick DelaHaya, and Sherry Heflin — Centenary News Service

"We worked hard and it was a great success," said Jennifer Pate, one of the organizers of The BIG Event 2009. "It's basically neighbors helping neighbors."

Last year, more than 350 students, faculty, and staff participated in the first BIG Event, and so they decided to do it again, according to Ally Gann, another organizer. The community service project that reached out to our Highland neighbors with jobs such as repainting shutters, raking, painting, and cleaning sidewalks was met with enthusiasm from both residents and students.

"We went to about 40 jobsites and it was just a lot of fun," said worker Kim Dunnick.

Those who needed help in the Highland neighborhood were pre-screened.

"We worked with a lady who was in her 40s who had a Highland neighborhood home she donated to children for after school programs called Friendship House, and she asked for our help to spruce it up," Dunnick said.

She said the group will continue to do odd jobs for Friendship House throughout the year.

At the end of a day of hard work, there also was a carnival and KSCL Battle of the Bands for entertainment as a reward.

Former Centenary College student Missoni Lanza entered the Battle of the Bands with her musical group who came from Dallas.

"I think it went really well," Lanza said.

At the end of the day winners of the Battle of the Bands included Riverside Railway in first place with winnings of $300; AJ Haynes, second place with $150; and Three Day Weekend in third place who won $75.

"We're going to be doing it again next year," Gann said.