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Aquinas College & Rep. Dillon encourage freshmen to “Love Where You Live”

August 17, 2011 - GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – As Aquinas College enters its 125th year of providing higher education it also celebrates a smaller anniversary, 18 years to be exact, but one that is not short on impact. "Project Unite," a two-hour community volunteer program that takes first year students into the Grand Rapids community to provide assistance, celebrates its 18th year of service on Friday, August 19 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Held during orientation week each year, this community service program allows the College's newest students to learn more about the Grand Rapids community, and also celebrate the great tradition of Saints doing service. This year’s Project Unite theme is "Love Where You Live."

"Performing acts of service is a celebrated value here at Aquinas College," said incoming president Dr. Juan Olivarez. "Aquinas intends on expanding its community service outreach in its 125th year, and Project Unite is a terrific way to start our incoming students on the path to serving others."

The event kicks off at 1:15 p.m. on August 19 with a short program in the Performing Arts Center that includes a speech by 1995 alumnus, Rep. Brandon Dillon.

From there, students will break up into smaller groups and provide assistance in surrounding neighborhoods, local nonprofits and Aquinas College facilities.

"We will be doing everything from weeding flower beds, trimming bushes, and other landscaping duties for the Salvation Army to decorating Halloween bags for the Kids Food Basket. Some students will also be stamping and stuffing envelopes that will be given to 2011 ArtPrize volunteers or helping to prepare St. Thomas School for the upcoming year," said Eric Bridge, Coordinator of Service-Learning "It's a great tradition that is an important part of Aquinas."

>>More information about Project Unite