The kindness and generosity of our adult learners at Misericordia never ceases to amaze my colleagues and me in the Center for Adult and Continuing Education. At a time of the year when people are at their busiest, members of Misericordia University’s Adult Student Council still find the time to help others.
This holiday season, council members are helping to raise funds for Ruth’s Place Women’s Shelter by participating in Grotto Pizza’s Parade of Trees. Every year, Grotto Pizza at Harvey’s Lake holds this event in which local businesses and organizations sponsor a charity of their choice by decorating a tree that is displayed in the restaurant’s main dining room during the holiday season.
Adult Student Council member and Applied Behavioral Sciences major Darlene Magdalinski suggested this worthwhile charity at a recent council meeting. A long-time community activist and organizer, Darlene explained the shelter’s need for funds as Ruth’s Place plans its move to a new location to continue providing emergency shelter and services for homeless women. Before the end of that council meeting, Darlene had placed a call to the shelter’s director and had her full support of, and gratitude for, the project.
So, just how does the Parade of Trees help to raise funds for worthwhile causes? Through the kindness and generosity of our community.
Businesses and organizations like MU’s Adult Student Council decorate their trees with a theme to reflect that business or organization, or the charity they sponsor. Each business and organization pays a $150 entry fee. Half of that money directly benefits their respective charity, and the other half goes into a prize pool. The three trees that get the most votes split the prize pool money. Each also charity receives the money earned in votes for its tree.
The cost per vote is just $1.00. We hope that you will visit Grotto Pizza this holiday season for a great meal, a chance to view all the beautifully decorated trees, and to cast your vote for our Adult Student Council’s very special tree dedicated to Ruth’s Place.
And if you’re wondering how the Adult Student Council came up with the $150 entry fee? Well, our council members are wondering the very same thing since the donation was made anonymously. To the person or persons who made this donation, you exemplify all that is good in people and what this holiday season is all about. We thank you!
And thank you to the dedicated members of our Adult Student Council, especially alumni advisor Betty Gaia who took the reins on the decorating project and shopped for all the decorations. Rumor has it that Betty visited at least a dozen stores before the right color of blue for the ornaments so that the tree could be decorated in her alma mater’s colors of blue and gold!
Interested in learning more about degree programs at Misericordia University designed for adult learners? Register for the Adult Learner Open House being held on Tuesday, January 12 from 4-7 p.m.
About the author: Johnna Evans, M.S. '15 is the Expressway Student Services Coordinator for the Center for Adult and Continuing Education at Misericordia University. She also serves as the advisor to the Adult Student Council.