Greeks create an arc of friendship

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April 1, 2008

1:57 AM

The Council for Fraternity Affairs and the Inter-Sorority Council have again banded together in an effort to enhance the local community. Members of the College’s sororities and fraternities, along with Williamsburg community volunteers, will gather in the Sunken Garden Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. to host the ninth annual ARC Carnival. The event benefits The Arc of the Greater Williamsburg — formerly known as the Association for Retarded Citizens.

“It was one of my favorite days last year,” ISC Vice President of Community Service Sarah Rojas ’10 said. “It is a great event when Greeks from all different chapters come together for a philanthropic event. It brings people together with the community.”

The Sunken Garden will be turned into a carnival with the help of the party rental company, Big Top. Each client of the organization will be paired with two students, or “buddies,” to participate in activities such as face painting, a moon bounce, an egg hunt and picture frame making. The carnival will also feature a DJ and the traditional carnival fare of popcorn, hot dogs and cotton candy.

“We have invited individual chapters to contribute costumes and items to the event,” CFA Community Service Chairman Billy Mutell ’09 said. “[They will bring in] things that make the chapters unique, and we are going to try to incorporate into ARC.” Mutell and Rojas have both played major roles in organizing the event this year.

At past events, the carnival proved to be a symbiotic learning experience between the participants and the hosts. Student participants have been invited to share their various talents for the carnival. “It sounds like a fun and awesome way to help out the community without ever even leaving campus, so I thought, ‘Why not take advantage of this rewarding experience?’” Leanne Piña ’10 said. The campus community has high hopes for this year’s
carnival.

ARC is a community service organization funded by the United Way. The agency helps with education, advocacy and services for families, children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“ARC is a wonderful organization,” Rojas said. “I am glad I had a chance to work with them. ARC provides all the networking and programs of the mentally disabled individuals in Williamsburg.”

Beginning last year, CFA and ISC adopted The Arc as their philanthropic organization. This means that the fraternities and sororities hold monthly events for the clients, including bingo and a Valentine’s Day dance.

“We have tried to help maintain a relationship with the organization,” Mutell said. “Our goal is not only to support them financially, but also active philanthropically. You really get to see the progression in the lives of the members. One of our goals is to create that kind of companionships through our monthly activities.”

__Brittany Vallette contributed to this story__

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