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The Antelope

The Antelope

UNK’s Big Event returns to provide community service


Last year, many campus events were shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic response. The Big Event, a flagship community service days for students to get into the Kearney community and volunteer, was one of the events cancelled.

The Big Event will return Saturday, April 17. 

“It’s a great way to give back to the community,” said Ashly Helfrich, the Big Event chairperson and a senior majoring in international studies and political science. “Kearney has done so much for UNK, and it’s just a good way to say thank you to those people who have donated their time or resources or support to the university.”

The event will begin at 9 a.m. at Foster Field and last about four hours.

“You start at 9 a.m. at Foster Field, and then you’ll go to your job sites and work there for usually about two to three hours. You’re welcome to come back to Harmon Park when your done, and you can get lunch that we have provided,” Helfrich said. 

In the past, the Big Event has seen a lot of fraternity and sorority group participation as well as participation from student athlete groups and individuals who want to give back to their community. 

Many student organizations are participating in the Big Event this year.

“All of the fraternities and sororities are present, and then we have our Student Athletic Advisory Counsel, Honors Student Advisory Board, honors societies like Hispanic Student Association, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Korean Student Group. And we have some individuals participating this year, too,” Helfrich said. 

The Big Event has had to adjust to COVID health guidelines.

“We have pretty much all outdoor sites,” Helrich said. “We can do some indoor things, but they have to all be cleared by the COVID Committee.”  

The Big Event is partnering with multiple non-profit organizations like the Archway, the Firefighters Museum, Salvation Army, Compass and the Jubilee center.

“I think I’ve spent easily, like 200 hours planning this event,” Helfrich said. “I want this to be pretty successful since we didn’t have it last year. A lot of people don’t know what the Big Event really is, so I want their first one to be good.”

“[The Big Event] is a good way to get community service hours if you are in a group or organization that needs those, and it’s just a good way to bond with other UNK students because no one’s alone on any of the sites,” Helfrich said. 

Students interested in participating in the Big Event can check out the Student Government Twitter account, @UNKStudentGov, or on the UNK Event’s Webpage. 

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