Twenty-two students and three advisers from Lycoming College recently participated in Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The week-long program is specifically geared toward college students on their spring break.
This was 25th year that Lycoming students participated in the challenge. Lycoming students have traveled all around the continental United States to participate in this alternative break program, including sites in Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Texas and Mississippi.
Students and advisers worked with Habitat for Humanity of Broward County for four days to clear a lot for a future build site, build picnic tables, truss two roofs and make additional home-building preparations.
The students worked with the future homeowners, which was a rewarding experience for many students, according to junior Annie Wegman, an archaeology and photography major who is president of the college's Habitat for Humanity chapter.
The students stayed in cabins in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park along Fort Lauderdale Beach. At the camp, they had access to a dining hall, sleeping areas and showers. During their free time, they traveled to the beach and spent time canoeing, kayaking and hiking. On Monday, the students took an airboat ride through the Everglades and visited South Beach Miami. They also went to Los Olas for outdoor shopping in Fort Lauderdale.
"This was my third Habitat trip and this was one of the best trips I've ever taken," Wegman said. "Everyone in the group bonded well and it was a great experience. The area was beautiful and the Habitat volunteers were helpful and encouraging."
The group also participated in the College's Relay For Life event on March 22 in the Recreation Center. Club members also have worked on homes in the Williamsport area, volunteered with the Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity's ReStore and organized a fundraising 5K in November.
"I would like to thank the donors who contributed to the trip," Wegman said. "The advisers, Jeff LeCrone, Casey Spencer and Annie DiSante, made this a wonderful experience."
Students who participated were Michael Competiello, Oak Ridge, N.J; Christian "C.J." Conger, Egg Harbor Township, N.J.; Katelyn Conway, Palmyra, N.J.; Tiffany Craig, Orangeville; James Dowling, Flemington, N.J.; Amanda Ferster, Sunbury; Leah Handwerk, Hockessin, Del.; Erin Hale, Oakfield, N.Y.; Chloe Hess, Ephrata; Amanda Kellagher, St. Clair; Richard Matel-Galatis, Hillsborough, N.J.; Bryan McGinnis, Levittown; Amanda Miller, Freeland; Logan Mariano, Waterville; Jennifer Monico, Harleysville; Emily Reid, Montoursville; Audrey Thomas, Curwensville; Jeff Thomas, Curwensville; Joanne Walters, Williamsport; Michael Ward, Pompton Lakes, N.J.; Annie Wegman, Douglassville; and Katy Wrona, Arnold.
Lycoming College Habitat for Humanity is a Christian-based organization that has been active on campus since 1990. In addition to its annual spring break trip, the chapter is involved in the local community. The College dedicated its first Habitat house in December 2003.