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Woo students share community love with the elderly

Brooke Skiba

Features Editor

The senior citizens of Brookdale Place of Wooster relived their high school days at their very own “senior prom” last week thanks to Wooster students. Men of Harambee (M.O.H.) and Brothers of Diversity (B.O.D.) collaborated to recognize the community’s elderly citizens by co-hosting the event, formally titled, “Beyond Hallmark: A Celebration of Community Love.” They hoped to create an event that showed how Valentine’s Day can include many forms of love, including a love for the community.

M.O.H. and B.O.D. also teamed up last semester to make greeting cards for Brookdale and Cornerstone Elementary. M.O.H. have worked with Brookdale in the past, so both decided this facility was the perfect location to host a Valentine’s Day event.

Students tabled at Lowry before the prom and allowed Wooster students to create Valentine’s Day cards to hand out at the prom. The prom consisted of playing bingo, chatting, eating a Valentine’s Day sheet cake, and enjoying jazz and soul music. The handmade cards were given out as prizes for bingo wins. Roughly 20 Wooster students and 10 senior citizens were in attendance for the event.

Henry Phillips ’14, president of M.O.H., said, “Everybody did their respective jobs from the two organizations to make sure the event was a success. It was a lot of fun. The crowd we got was actually a group of really lively women who seemed to enjoy us.”

Wooster students had a wonderful time with the residents. Sarah Kristeller ’14, a member of BOD, said, “For me, the best part of the event was being able to get off campus and enjoy the company of people other than college-aged students. I think we have a lot to learn from their stories. As hackneyed as it sounds, it really felt like the students, who were ostensibly organizing this event for the benefit of another community, were the ones who benefited most of all from the experience.”

Kristeller got to know one woman particularly well, the current “Resident of the Month” who once worked at the original Beuhler’s grocery store before she married. “It was really lovely to hear her share her life,” Kristeller said.

The residents seemed to enjoy having the Wooster students come in to celebrate with them. Patrick Lai-Fang ’13, president of B.O.D., said, “They told us to come back, and if they tell you that that means they enjoyed themselves.”

Upcoming events hosted by both groups include: B.O.D.’s  “Stomp the Violence,” an event that B.O.D. also organized last year, and a fashion show this April. M.O.H. are planning a child abuse prevention awareness campaign, an event collaborating with the Every Woman’s House and a jazz music appreciation night.

Both organizations also have formal dances and informal barbecues planned for this semester.

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