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WVU Tech Service Week: It’s not all work and no play

Students pose for a photo during Spring Fling

WVU Tech Service Week runs from April 22 until April 30. It’s a weeklong celebration of our communities where student and staff volunteers can have an impact. There’s work to be done during the week of service, but there’s fun to be had, too.

On Monday, April 24, students at WVU Tech will attend the annual Spring Fling event on the Montgomery campus. In addition to enjoying food and music, volunteers will team up with the WVU Tech chapter of Delta Kappa Theta to put together dog toys for donation to local shelters.

The next day, students from WVU Tech’s S.C.O.O.T. club will host a Day of Play in Montgomery. Scotty Stone, an AmeriCorps VISTA at WVU Tech and organizer of WVU Tech Service Week, said he was inspired to offer something for area youth after working with Rose Legg, who helps to manage low-income housing in Montgomery.

“There will be Frisbees, football and probably tons of soccer. If it rains, the event will be moved into the Tech Ballroom where the back-up plan is Mario Kart, Smash Brothers and a whole lot of fun with the Gaming at Tech club,” he said.

The fun and games will continue into the weekend with Causeacon, Beckley’s first-ever pop culture convention. The three-day convention will be hosted in the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center April 28-30, and student volunteers will help out at the event.

Desiree Davis, Chairman of Causeacon, organized the convention, which will benefit the Women’s Resources Center in Beckley.

“The WRC was looking for a way to help spread information about abuse to teens and young adults. Not only is this a fundraising event to help raise money for the WRC, the WRC is hosting several panels throughout the weekend based around bullying, sexting, abuse, dating and other powerful topics just for the attendees of the convention,” she said.

For Davis, the conventions is a draw to anyone who likes pop culture, but it also provides a gathering space for people to exchange ideas and make new friends – all while supporting an important cause.  

“It's a safe place to connect with the people. It's a time where you can dress up as your favorite character, play video games, learn about interesting topics in our panels and have a good time,” she said.

Davis said that the Causeacon ticket price not only includes admission to the convention, but grants attendees access to a wide range of additional events and contests.

“We have video game tournaments, table top tournaments, game shows where you can win prizes, an interactive haunted house sponsored by our local haunted house, Fright Nights, plus concerts, cosplay contests and a lot more,” she said.

The weekend’s activities won’t be limited to the Convention Center, however. On Saturday, April 29, Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central West Virginia and the YMCA of Southern West Virginia will be hosting a number of activities throughout Beckley.

Laura Lucas is the program coordinator for the Beckley office of Big Brothers Big Sisters. She said that from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., the group will be teaming up with Mountaineer Automotive for a Drive 4 Ur Community test drive event. For every test drive during the day’s activities, Ford will donate $20 to the local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter. 

The day will also draw out area youngsters and families for two YMCA events: a youth soccer kickoff and Healthy Kids Day.

“That will include multiple events and partnerships from the community with activities such as a community walk/run sponsored by Active WV,” said Lucas. 

WVU Tech’s women’s and men’s soccer players will be helping out during the YMCA events, but Lucas said that students will be needed to assist with the test drive event and to work in the concession stand during the YMCA activities. Students interested can email Lucas to find out how they can help. 

She also said that the day’s activities are a great way for students to get connected to the Beckley community.

“The community will benefit because this is an event where multiple organizations will be present with opportunities to get involved and informed,” she said. “A student can benefit from this by getting involved and learning more about the community where they will be going to school.”

For Stone, including such a variety of activities in WVU Tech Service Week is an effort to show students that there are a lot of ways to give back.

“Students don’t get involved because it can be seen as work but, nine times out of ten, the work a volunteer might be doing is something that takes little effort. Volunteering can actually be super fun with the right group of people and project,” he said.