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The Antelope

‘One of best years’ for Big Event

Shelby Hoffman, event coordinator for The Big Event, is excited that all the months of planning is completed and The Big Event is happening.

Around 400 UNK students went out into Kearney to help with different community service projects

BY Brett Westfall

College student on a Saturday, hundreds of students met at Copeland Stadium to listen to instructions and pump up speeches from Tim Danube and event coordinator Shelby Hoffman about how great this event is to the community. After breakfast was provided for students entering the stadium, students were put into zones around the community for their representative group to help at the job sites.

“This year, there was around forty-five job sites and close to four hundred students so it’s one of the best years I think by the numbers,” said Shelby Hoffman, event coordinator for The Big Event and visual communication and design major. 

Students working received blue t-shirts representing the long tradition of The Big Event. They had a new paint brush design on the front to show the companies and people that they were helpers. The event planners and leaders wore the same t-shirts in yellow. While the event officially started at 9 a.m., the event organizers had an even earlier morning organizing the last minute details of the event.

 “I woke up at six-thirty and had to be at the Student Union by seven-thirty,” said Asic Helberg, a senior event organizer. “We mainly just went over things to catch things that were problems in the past, planning wise, helping Shelby Hoffman with whatever she needed and just some things that could be like event management.”

After each of the groups finished their jobs at their assigned areas, students were rewarded with pizza outside at Harmon Park. Many sorority and fraternity members participated together in groups. 

“After leaving Copeland Stadium, my group was assigned the Safe Center zone, so we had to go around and paint ribbons as well as hand out flyers to businesses,” said Gustavo Valencia, a business administration major and Phi Delta Theta fraternity member.  “We were out there for just over two hours, but other groups vary based on the zone and the job I’m sure. Either way, UNK rewards us with pizza and lemonade at the end here at Harmon so we are in good spirits, plus it feels good to help the community and for them to allow us to.”

Hoffman and other students spent the past three months planning everything for this big day. 

“Since January when we started planning this continued tradition, my great, amazing event planning team and Tim Danube were great help throughout the months,” Hoffman said. “From Google maps of circling the zones and the addresses of where student groups would go, getting in contact with places, liability release forms as well as forms for the businesses and job sites, and all of those long, extensive processes, we our here today.”

The Big Event originally started at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas in 1982 and has spread to many campuses around the United States, including UNK for the past 14 years. 

The community loved the idea from which the The Big Event in Kearney grew rapidly and is getting more students and businesses every year.

“It’s a very good year, the most job sites we’ve had to offer to students to go help with, especially with flood relief in Gibbon and Wood River,” Hoffman said. “Once everything was done, we picked Harmon Park for all the groups to meet back at because it’s a tradition, as long as the weather is okay. I’m excited to pass to pass this on to the next student and hopefully they have as good of weather and success.”

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