Food For The Hungry has a Successful 42nd Annual Drive
by Allison Prouty
Knox County worked together to care for everyone’s neighbors during the 2023 Food For The Hungry drive. The food and funds collection kicked off Nov. 1 and culminated in a live broadcast called Food For The Hungry Live on Dec. 8. Everything raised during the drive benefits organizations like the Salvation Army of Mount Vernon, the Knox County Interchurch branches, and other food pantries to relieve food insecurity in Knox County. Food is given directly to these groups for distribution, and the money can be used for purchasing food from the Mid-Ohio Food Collective or providing financial aid to clients.
Several events were held throughout the county to raise food and money for Food For The Hungry. This includes the Fredericktown Christmas Walk, Psi Iota Xi elementary school drive, a Turkey Trot 5K held on Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s campus, Apple Valley’s Festival of Trees and Kenyon College’s Snowflake Gala. This gives the people of Knox County a chance to have fun with their families while giving back to their communities. During Food For The Hungry Live, 12 collection points were opened throughout the county for people to drop off food and monetary donations. In total, Food For The Hungry raised $319,158.17 and 12 truckloads of food.
MVNU also held multiple events to help Food For The Hungry. The campus contributed a total of $6,028.11 with different collections, including donations from the campus Happy Bean, bring a buck to chapel, faculty and staff donations, the student Christmas party, a table sponsorship and Fund-A-Cause Auction purchases at the Kenyon Snowflake Gala and a presidential match from Dr. Carson Castleman. 389 food items were also donated from a collection at Esther Jetter Preschool and a basketball game on Dec. 8 to benefit Food For The Hungry.
Chelsea Porter, Faith Works coordinator at MVNU and Food For The Hungry board member, explained the importance of MVNU’s involvement with the food and money donations, saying "A big part of my job is helping our students see the needs and have a heart of generosity and a willingness to do something about the needs. One of the slogans for Faith Works is 'What mark are you leaving?' One of my goals is that students would see the needs around them in this community, because they are a part of this community when they are at MVNU. But beyond this place, when they leave MVNU and they go to whatever community they plan to belong to, that they would see the needs in that community as well."
To learn more about Food For The Hungry, go to foodforthehungrycares.org.
Senior Spotlight with Bailey Conrad
By Nathan Sharpes
It’s a busy time of year for Mount Vernon Nazarene University as basketball season is in full swing! With just over a month of games left remaining for the Cougars, the men’s basketball team has seen a lot of production from new faces. One being Bailey Conrad, a senior transfer from The Citadel College.
Although this is his first year with the Cougars, Bailey is familiar with the basketball program as he was recruited out of high school by head coach, Jared Ronai. One of the highlights of a small campus university is the family feel that it provides. Bailey feels like he knows all his classmates better because of the smaller class sizes, which is something he did not experience at his previous school.
From a basketball perspective, Bailey mentioned the closeness of this year’s team and went on to say, “We all love each other, and it is the most together team I’ve ever been on”.
Coach Ronai continues to build a fundamental program that focuses on competitive culture and Christ-centered growth. Bailey spoke on coach Ronai’s development and style of coaching. He mentioned that he is much more involved than his previous coach. There is no question about coach Ronai’s values and how important it is for those values to be instilled in each of his players. “He [Jared] also makes sure we really focus on our team values and live through them the best that we can,” says Conrad.
Originally from Corydon, Indiana, Bailey spent his first three seasons at Citadel College. Transferring from one school to another, one can always expect change. When asked about what he likes about the MVNU community, Bailey mentioned the Christian community, “that really shows love to each other”.
Bailey plans to graduate from MVNU this spring with a degree in business management. He plans to enter the business world through all of the connections that he has built at all of the colleges he has been to.
Students welcome their Little Sibs to the neighborhood
By Abby Almodovar
A wave of new, young faces arrived on campus the second weekend of this semester, and all for the heartwarming purpose of visiting their older sibling. The pizza party on Friday, Jan. 19th launched Little Sibs Weekend, an event for students to show their brothers and sisters a slice of college life at MVNU.
Admissions counselor Aubrey Bailey recollected her experiences as a student, “My brother was five years younger than me, so I brought him to Little Sibs a few times. It was cool for him to meet my friends and see where I live. I even think I took him to the radio station with me one time to do a shift!”
For middle-school-aged visitors, the pizza party and Nerf war are amusing ways to connect with their sibling. For high schoolers, this event may entice prospective students. As Bailey continued, “On the admissions side, it’s also good for siblings to see the school and imagine themselves being a student here.”
Chloe Hall, a student whose younger brother is currently a high school senior, reflected, “It seems like he already made some connections, and hopefully it encouraged him about next year and coming to college.”
According to Hall, Little Sibs is unique from other admissions events because it is relationship oriented. For the young adults who spend the school year away from home, she reflects, “It’s good to bring siblings back together since they are spending so much time apart already.”
I personally can attest to these sentiments, as my own brother looks ahead to attending MVNU after he graduates. Hopefully any apprehension about the future dissipated as he met some of his potential peers and witnessed the community that I was able to find here. Little Sibs allowed me to help my brother feel connected before he even steps foot on this campus in the fall.