On Tuesday, Oct. 14, Riverview Gardens received Lawrence’s sixth annual Collaboration in Action Award. The award recognizes Riverview Garden’s contribution to the Fox Cities community, in collaboration with Lawrence students.
At Lawrence’s annual Report to the Community, where the award was presented, University President Mark Burstein applauded the many ways Riverview has worked with students.
“The staff at Riverview has collaborated with Lawrence on a variety of initiatives ranging from courses that use the gardens as a living laboratory to outreach projects that take classical chamber music beyond the concert hall and community meetings to foster dialogue on issues of common concern,” Burstein said.
Sophomore Kobe Lewin completed the ‘earn-a-bike’ volunteering program at Riverview. “I worked for Riverview for about four to six hours, once a week, for about a month.” Lewin said. “Aside from [earning the bike], I worked at Riverview to better understand the Appleton community, and to forge a connection between my work with [Sustainable Lawrence University Gardens] and the larger farm ing community.” He went on to explain “Lawrence is in a position to help the community and should continue to play as large a role in the Appleton community as possible.”
Cindy Sahotsky, executive director of Riverview Gardens, summarized the benefit of student volunteering, both for students and for Riverview.
“Many students will take what they learn at Riverview Gardens and use it to provide community, wherever they live. We are extremely grateful and humbled by the financial and volunteer support we receive from Lawrentians.” she said.
Lawrence is one of only two Wisconsin schools to be recognized every year by the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, D.C, since the honor roll program was started in 2006.
Since 2010, when the award was established, recipients have included the Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Cities in 2013, the Appleton Area School District in 2012, YMCA of the Fox Cities in 2011, and the Mielke Family Foundation in 2010.
When the award was presented last year, Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Club Greg Lemke-Rochon spoke about the efforts of Lawrence students. “The contributions have been many. They’ve surprised us by their generosity and creativity, and they’ve made the lives of those we serve richer and brighter.”
Jaime Kriewaldt, Director of Youth Development Services at the Boys & Girls Club, further explained the benefits of student volunteering. “LU volunteers are able to support our art, education, and career development programs by incorporating their talents by helping our staff take the program/activities to the next level, a win–win for our youth.”
“The community also loves making new connections with LU students. They are so instrumental in getting projects completed, not to mention the great opportunity to burst the LU bubble, it really is a great time for the community to get to interact with passionate youth,” Megan Occhino, a Lawrence junior and the Student Staff Coordinator at the Lawrence Volunteer Center, explained.
Occhino concluded by explaining why volunteering is so important to her.
“I am such a strong advocate for volunteering, not only because it’s a part of my job, but because I really believe that volunteering has helped me be a more rounded individual.”