USD’s CAE to host AWOL fundraiser on Feb. 12

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students from The University of South Dakota who plan to use their spring break for service-learning projects will host a “Pig Out & Provide” soup supper, silent auction and food drive on Thursday, Feb. 12 at the Vermillion Armory.

More than 30 trip participants will travel to Eagle Butte, S.D., East St. Louis, Ill., Staten Island, N.Y. and San Francisco, Calif., during spring break with the Center for Academic Engagement’s Alternative Week of Off-campus Learning (AWOL) program. AWOL offers students the opportunity to combine community service with education during academic breaks. This year, students will work in neighborhoods coping with poverty, homelessness, education and HIV/AIDS issues.

The all-you-can-eat soup supper will be held from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Beverages and dessert will also be served. Tickets are $5 in advance, $6 at the door, or $5 at the door with a donation of canned goods. Soup supper tickets are available by contacting (605) 677-6338, engage@usd.edu or from any AWOL spring break participant. The canned goods will travel with trip participants to the Cheyenne River Reservation in Eagle Butte, S.D., where local residents have identified a need for the items.

"We are excited to combine a charitable event with the opportunity to garner awareness in the community about the value of the AWOL program," said junior Allison Struck, AWOL executive board president and site leader to Eagle Butte.

This is AWOL's sixth year on campus and more students are participating in 2009 than in any previous year. During winter break, students traveled to Agua Prieta, Mexico, for AWOL’s first international trip. Prior to departure, students participate in six weeks of educational training. The goal of the program is to engage students in a lifetime of service-learning. More about AWOL is available at www.usd.edu/engage/alternative-breaks.