Each year since Globe University opened in Wausau, the campus has participated in the United Way of Marathon County’s United We CAN event. Various organizations throughout the area form teams to build sculptures out of canned or boxed food products that are later donated to area food pantries. The event has proven to be a popular one within our campus community. Each year, the students, staff and faculty come together to reach our goals.
This year proved no different. The project kicked off in June when a design idea was chosen by the Student Ambassador group. The group decided to “put education on the table” by building a picnic table and grill using Rice-a-Roni, pasta, bottled water, sardines and cocoa.
The next step was to take the idea to William (Bill) Meyer of Evergreen Civil Engineering, who has graciously donated his services to our campus every year to make the idea into a workable sculpture. Bill also calculates how many of each item will be required and provides a blueprint to follow for construction.
You may ask how many boxes of Rice-a-Roni does it require to build a picnic table? The answer is, more than you think! In order to successfully build the planned structure, our campus community needed to collect 277 boxes of Rice-a-Roni, 76 boxes of pasta, 69 cans of sardines, 32 cans of cocoa, 24 cases of water, and 20 bags of Creamette noodles. It was calculated that if we reached our collection goals, we would provide at least 1,664 servings of food for those in need in our community.
By the time of the practice build on Sept. 18, we had exceeded our collection goals. The practice build was well attended, and, it turned out, quite necessary as several bugs were discovered, necessitating some slight adjustments to the structure. Some wonderful additions were made as well, including some burgers and brats contributed by medical assistant students Tarah Bergs and Jessika Carlson, and Health Care Management Program Chair Julie Krizan.
By Sep. 19, our team was ready to go! Librarian Nora Craven, Medical Assistant Program Chair Kerry Miller-Mouzon, and Student Ambassador Nikki Kassien, with initial assistance from Esteban Carreon, assembled the sculpture in just a few hours.
The finished product did not win awards this year, but it did draw some positive comments from the audience, according to Student Ambassador Katie Heisler, who attended the event on Sept. 21. The final sculpture will provide many more meals than we initially thought for people in need in our community, which left everyone with a positive feeling.
“I enjoyed working alongside the other students and staff from different programs,” Nikki Kassien said. “It was great to see everyone pull together as a Globe team and work together for one common goal—The United Way CommUNITY fest, which included the WeCAN event.”
Student Ambassadors Katie Heisler and Deb Feldbruegge agreed. Armed with observations of the “competition” from this year’s entries, they suggested ideas and strategies for our next sculpture and display.
“Next year’s sculpture will be great,” said Katie. “We know what to look forward to. This is a great cause, and I hope that Globe University-Wausau will be a part of it for many years to come!”
Deb added, “This event grows every year. Last year, We CAN generated more than 10 tons of food. This year, one sculpture alone will feed more than 3,000 people. I like knowing that we are part it. This event is a great way for our students to get involved and make a difference for as little as a $1 donation or a canned good.”
Written by Nora Craven, Globe University-Wausau Campus Librarian