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UTPA Make a Difference Day project helps Boys and Girls Club facility
By Gail Fagan, Public Affairs Specialist
381-2741
Posted: 11/02/2006
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More than 130 students from The University of Texas-Pan American joined 100 other volunteers from the University staff, Boys and Girls Club members and people from the community to make a big difference at the Alamo/San Juan Boys and Girls Club facility during the national Make a Difference Day Oct. 28.

“The annual Make a Difference Day is the largest community service effort in the nation and brings together educational institutions, corporations, government leaders, charitable organizations and citizens to work together on one special day,” said Amy Martin, director of the UTPA Student Leadership Academy, which sponsored this year’s project. “The University is very proud that the number of volunteers for this year’s project almost tripled from last year.”


UTPA Image
Pictured are some of the more than 200 volunteers, including UTPA students and staff, who participated in the UTPA Make a Difference Day project Oct. 28 for the Alamo/San Juan Boys and Girls Club. UTPA student organizations also collected and delivered more than 1,800 items of school, crafts, sports and other supplies for the facility.
On a day set aside for citizens to help improve their communities and assist neighbors in need, the volunteers were able to provide much needed improvements to the Boys and Girls Club facility located in Alamo. Working together, the volunteers were able to paint the interior of the facility’s gymnasium, exterior bleachers and other areas; resurface three pool tables and the exterior basketball court; replace basketball netting and restroom sinks; repair air conditioning units and the public address system; and install a 390-foot fence.

“We made a difference one brush stroke at a time,” said UTPA student Melinda Barrera, a Student Leadership Academy member, who volunteered.

Other student volunteers said they appreciated the opportunity to give to others.

“Helping the Boys and Girls Club was a great opportunity to give something to the children of the Valley,” said Celina Gilpatrick, a member of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society. John-Robert Iruegas, a UTPA Student Government Association member, said the project did more than strengthen the community.

“It also strengthened us as individuals,” he said.


UTPA Image
Loida Tamayo, a UTPA student and Leadership Academy member, was one of the many student volunteers who helped improve the facilities at the Alamo/San Juan Boys and Girls Club Oct. 28 as part of UTPA’s national Make a Difference Day project.
Providing generous support for the Make a Difference Project, sponsored by the UTPA Leadership Academy, was Home Depot, Lowes, Sherwin Williams, Matt’s Cash and Carry, Wal-Mart, and the Mudd Dawgs.

In addition to the efforts that day, UTPA student organizations also collected more than 1,800 items of school, crafts, sports and other supplies for the facility. Participating UTPA organizations included the following: Student Government Association, Association of Migrant Students, Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Residence Housing Association, Hispanic Business Student Organization, Premedical/Bio-Medical Society, Gamma Lambda Beta, Sigma Tau Delta, PSA/Pre-Law, Society of Women Engineers, Delta Zeta, Social Work Student Association, and BRIDGE.

For more information on Make a Difference Day projects conducted nationwide, log on to www.makeadifferenceday.com.

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