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April 4, 2019

SVSU student-organized bowling fundraiser at Stardust Lanes to support assisted living facility

When Lindsey Mead in high school began volunteering at Community Village, an assisted living facility for senior citizens in Saginaw Township, she became fast friends with its residents. 

“I’ve kind of adopted them,” said Mead, a student at Saginaw Valley State University these days. “They’re near and dear to my heart."

Those relationships endured through the years and recently extended to a group of her SVSU classmates now hoping to better the lives of those residents. The students' goal: help pay for renovations at the assisted living facility by inviting people to participate in a bowling tournament organized to raise funds for the cause.

The bowling competition is scheduled Saturday, April 13, from noon to 3 p.m. at Stardust Lanes, 3750 Bay in Saginaw Township. Participation involves signing up teams of four people for $100 total to bowl in a three-round competition. The winning team will earn $200 while all other proceeds will help pay for renovations to Community Village bathrooms and showers as well as upgrades to its air conditioning system. Organizers also will host a silent auction at the fundraiser.

To sign up for the fundraising tournament, contact Taylor Stockton at tmstockt@svsu.edu or (810) 701-0405.

Community Village, operated by Rescue Ministries of Mid-Michigan, houses about 60 people who are ages 60 and older. Dan Streeter, chief executive officer of Rescue Ministries of Mid-Michigan, was impressed with the spirit of generosity driving Mead and her SVSU classmates to support the residents of Community Village.

"It's really amazing to see young adults — who care about our community — take the time out of their busy school schedules to invest in our neighbors in need," Streeter said. "This is a great example for how we should all care for each other."

Streeter said a fundraising bowling tournament was a smart way to generate interest from community members while also offering an entertaining afternoon.

"People can have some fun, and at the same time, know that their fun is helping people," he said.

Mead, an English literature major from Saginaw, began helping the people of Community Village — and having fun with them — while volunteering there as a student at Swan Valley High School. Since then, she maintained strong friendships with residents there, visiting them at least once monthly and often taking them on trips across the region. She and some of her friends at the facility are regular moviegoers at local theaters, for instance.

Mead in 2018 was selected as one of 10 students to participate in SVSU’s Roberts Fellowship Program, a year-long leadership development initiative that features students with a strong interest in community engagement. Knowing Mead’s affinity for Community Village, Mead and four of her Roberts Fellowship classmates searched for ways to support Community Village.

“I was just looking for any way to help,” Mead said. “My Roberts Fellows group members searched the Community Village website and discovered they were in need of help with renovations. Roberts Fellows is all about teamwork. My group members really are working so hard on this event.”

That group includes Mead and Stockton, a management major from Hale; as well as Kellie Rankey, a creative writing major from Saginaw; Miles Shane, a health science major from Southgate; and Andrew Vivian, an electrical engineering major from Richmond Township.