Share This Page

St. Vincent students roll up their sleeves to help neighbors

| Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, 8:53 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
St. Vincent College freshman Maura Halferty,18, of Bloomfield gives the rink a new look with some red paint.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Ethan Madey,19, of Altoona paints Latrobe Unity Parks and Recreation's dek hockey rink in the city. Nearly 500 St. Vincent College students volunteered for community service projects throughout Westmoreland County Friday.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
St. Vincent College orientation committee members Kyrie Lokhaiser, 21, (right) and Dante Gentile, 20, paint the dek hockey rink in Latrobe.

Sarah Robbins and Marina Ulhaq spun the merry-go-round at the Irving Avenue Playground in Latrobe to add a coat of green paint to the well-worn equipment.

They were among about 600 St. Vincent College students who fanned out through Greensburg, Jeannette, Latrobe and Ligonier for service projects on Friday afternoon. This is the sixth year students have worked for local nonprofit organizations.

Kelly King, service learning director at St. Vincent, said students like painting, landscaping and getting their hands dirty.

“The students prefer to be active and busy,” and see a visible difference when they're finished, she said.

Ulhaq, a junior from New Castle, said she returned to help lead freshmen on orientation projects because she's able to see more of Westmoreland County beyond the borders of the Unity campus.

“It's not something that happens in your everyday life, so it's nice to get out and do something like this,” she said.

King said from year to year, different agencies have different needs. Each submits a request for a certain number of students and she plans the projects accordingly.

Some washed trucks for the American Red Cross in Greensburg, while others painted the dek hockey arena in Latrobe's Legion Keener Park or helped senior citizens with yard work through Faith In Action.

The group included about 475 freshmen and 130 upper classmen who were taken by bus to the sites,

Robbins, a junior from Hollidaysburg, said she returns each year to welcome new students.

The program helps support St. Vincent's Benedictine mission of reaching out to nearby communities, King said.

Students “understand themselves to be at the service of their neighbors,” she said.

Jarod Trunzo, sustainability coordinator for the city of Latrobe, said the program is making an impact.

“St. Vincent's been making the event better every year and doing a little more good for the community every year,” he said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.