Community service and school spirit will combine in a sweet reunion at Hiram College for Sugar Day, Thursday, March 31. The event celebrates a “Day of Running Sap,” harkening back to 1856 when Hiram students gathered at the town’s Udall sugar camp to make maple syrup for community residents. During this year’s Sugar Day, students will pack food ingredients to provide 40,000 meals for local residents. They also will clear up weeds and debris throughout the campus.
Donning hairnets and latex gloves, students will join assembly line-style at the “Pack Shack” (Fleming Field House in The Les and Kathy Coleman Sports, Recreation and Fitness Center). Here, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., they will scoop rice, dried vegetables and other ingredients into bags for neighbors in need. Hiram College will distribute the packages to the Nelson-Garrettsville Community Cupboard, Streetsboro Community Pantry and the Mantua Center Christian Church’s 4-Cs food cupboard, which provides food on an emergency basis to needy families in the Crestwood Local School District.
Packed with ingredients to make casseroles, soups and other meals, each bag feeds a family of eight. Hiram College raised $10,000 to make the effort possible.
Outside, students will pull weeds, pick up trash and spread mulch at Hiram College’s brick entryways and throughout campus. “They will be creating a clean palette to which they’ll return in April for our Super Service Saturday when students will plant flowers and other greenery,” says Sarah Dowd, service coordinator for Hiram’s Office of Campus Involvement and Community Service.
Freshmen will gather for lunch at noon at the Kennedy Center where President Lori Varlotta, Ph.D., will encourage them to reflect on their first-year colloquiums, to reconnect with each other and to set future goals. Beginning at 1 p.m. at points throughout campus, upperclass students will present their research study projects and internship experiences, touching on topics ranging from hyperthyroidism in cats to the links between happiness and activity.
“Hiram Connect will come full circle on Sugar Day,” says Brian Lind, assistant dean of student. “This day, students will reflect on their values and how their skills, gifts and talents meet needs of the community.”