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Students fundraise for senior citizen health

Five students from a Western’s Small Group Processes communications class are helping fundraise for a St. Patrick’s Day-themed festivity: a Traditional Irish Dinner for the Meals on Wheels and More Program.

At the start of winter quarter, students were given the choice of four nonprofits they could work with. Meals on Wheels was among the options. The students were able to break into groups of their choice and learn to put on an event in the hopes of developing their skills.

Meals on Wheels is a local Whatcom County organization that focuses on supporting the health and independence of senior citizens. By providing nutritious meals, Meals on Wheels helps seniors stay as healthy as possible.

Five communications students from Communications 224, a small group process class taught by professor Jennifer Hayes, have been helping to organize and publicize the event. The Traditional Irish Dinner will be from 6-8 p.m. at the Bellingham Senior Center, Saturday, March 12.

Leah Terry is one of the students involved in putting on the event. She has been helping to spread the word through advertising in Bellingham, such as designing posters and managing social media for the event.

“We are working to mostly do publicity for the Meals on Wheels,” Terry said.  “[We are working] to help them raise as much money as possible. We are hoping to promote awareness about this program.”

The Meals on Wheels program is run through the Whatcom County Council on Ageing, a nonprofit based in Bellingham. Julie Meyers is the director of the Meals on Wheels program for the Whatcom County Council on Ageing. The program serves home-delivered meals to over 400 seniors each year, Meyers said.

Western communications students have been working with Meyers throughout winter quarter to help plan the event, design the marketing material, market the event on social media, design tickets and solicit raffle items.

The students have been behind the scenes and doing a lot for the event, Meyers said.

“One goal is to get more people in the community aware of our program and the needs of local seniors,” Meyers said. “Many of them are living alone or partially low income.”

The program is partially federally funded but relies on donations, grants and fundraising events such as the Irish dinner to make up its budget.

Food, live music and raffle prizes will set the atmosphere for donations. The event is open to all ages.  Each ticket will benefit Meals on Wheels and help provide seniors nutritious meals they may not have access to.

Ticket prices are $7 for kids, $15 for pre-ordered tickets, or $20 at the door.  Tickets are available for purchase at The Bellingham Senior Activity Center, Village Books, The Community Food Co-op, and brownpapertickets.com.



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