Wellness Retreat Highlights Support For Our Military

By Heather K. Elford ‘14, alumni representative, SAAG; Mollie A. Muenzen ‘13, alumni representative, SAAG

May 14, 2015

Silhouettes of soldiers marching with gearThe SUNY Empire State College 2015 Student Wellness Retreat held April 16-18th had among the many valuable offerings a wonderful opportunity for students, alumni, faculty and presenters to show support for our military personnel serving overseas. During the well-attended Health Fair Saturday, April 18, the Student and Alumni Advisory Group (SAAG) collected donations on behalf of the Saratoga Springs based organization Operation Adopt A Soldier (OAAS). SAAG collaborated with the SUNY Empire State College Office of Veteran and Military Education (OVME) to arrange this successful enterprise.

The goals set by SAAG and OVME were to collect one hundred items and one hundred dollars, and the total donations far exceeded these expectations. The generous SUNY Empire State College community donated more than 300 items and over $500 to OAAS. Donated items included snacks, candy, cereal, power bars, toiletries, books and general merchandise suggested by OAAS. A heartfelt thank-you is hereby offered to all who purchased items to drop off at the collection table, and to those who gave a monetary contribution to support our troops.

The Student Wellness Retreat attendees also stopped by the donation table to offer encouragement, express appreciation for the collection effort and to share anecdotes about family and friends who serve in the military. Special acknowledgment goes to the mother of a soldier who makes and sends her own care packages to her son, and who made a generous donation to ensure that other soldiers can also be recipients. Another SUNY Empire State College student walked to a local store during the Retreat to purchase items to donate to OAAS.

While the college community has demonstrated its extreme generosity in their monetary and item donations for OAAS, there are two upcoming opportunities to donate their time. The first is at the Survive the Farm 5k Challenge Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Greenwich, NY. Survive the Farm needs volunteers for working registration, the BBQ or on the course. Intrepid souls could even consider braving the course for the 5k or the new 10k obstacle race.

The second opportunity to get involved is Saturday, July 25, 2015, from 10-12 p.m. in Saratoga Springs, New York. Members of the SUNY Empire State College community will gather for a “Packing Party” at the Center for Distance Learning, located at 113 West Ave. in Saratoga Springs. There is a high demand for care packages from OAAS, so if you would like to attend, we will be issuing a “challenge” for all volunteers to bring enough items to pack at least one care package! SAAG will be reaching out to those who have already signed up to participate in the Packing Party at the Student Wellness Retreat; however, if you would like to join the party, or even send a personal note to be included in a package, please reach out to SAAG@esc.edu.

Finally, SAAG is looking for new members to join the group. The mission of SAAG is “to build and cultivate a forum where students and alumni can share experiences and drive improvements to encourage current and future student success and engagement in a collaborative and interactive manner that promotes a connection for students and alumni to the Center, College and each other.” If you are interested in adding your voice and ideas, please contact SAAG@esc.eduto obtain an application.



Other News

Student Wellness Retreat 2015: The Benefits of a College Retreat, By Maria Koehle, student, SUNY Empire State College

Bling Your Cap Event at SUNY Empire State College, Brooklyn, Layla Abdullah-Poulos ‘10, graduate student, SUNY Empire State College; president, Minority Students in Action

From Crisis to Triumph: Men of Color, By Samantha Williams, student, SUNY Empire State College; assistant editor, The Student Connection

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Layla Abdullah-Poulos

John Eisler

Heather K. Elford

Maria Koehle

Mollie A. Muenzen

Samantha Williams

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