Clevelanders joined together to help others during the 4th Annual Christian A. Cleveland Memorial Week of Service. Held June 25-29, the week is a time when College personnel volunteer a portion of their time to assist others throughout the city while fulfilling the mission of service.
Marjorie Bradshaw, assistant to the president, said it is a way to lend a hand to others, while remembering someone who would have done the same.
“The Christian A. Cleveland Memorial Week of Service is something I look forward to participating in each year,” Bradshaw said. “Not only is it a great opportunity to work alongside Clevelanders with whom I may not regularly interact, taking a few hours out of our regular responsibilities to help in our community is a good reminder of what Cleveland College is really about – providing service. On a personal level, it’s also a way to honor the memory of Christian, who could always make me smile.”
The loss of the week’s namesake in 2008 was the genesis behind an idea that honors not only the memory of Christian Cleveland, but celebrates the human spirit. As the first anniversary of his death approached, Dr. Ashley Cleveland, provost, said there was discussion of how to capture his essence in a way that would make an impact on others. Since Christian was family, friend or colleague to so many at the College, it seemed only right to initiate something that would include the Cleveland community. A line from the Serenity Prayer — “courage to change the things we can,” became the theme, and the event took flight.
“Rather than doing something somber and purely focused on the loss of a vibrant, young man, we thought that it would be fitting to celebrate that every moment we are alive is an opportunity to make a difference, to help those who are in need, to see ourselves in the other,” Dr. Ashley Cleveland said. “We can’t change the fact that Christian, or anyone else that we love, has died, but we can hold his memory, their memories, in our hearts and try to do better in honor of the lives they led and the ways they inspired us. That’s what the week of service means to me, an opportunity to take my grief and loss and transform it into something positive.”
Clevelanders from several different administrative areas offered their services at the Ronald McDonald House. The group flexed its muscles in the kitchen, preparing a meal for the guests staying at the house. Those who participated or assisted the group were: Melissa Denton, director of admissions; Kyler Keith and Tracy Grindstaff, admissions advisors; Sarah Shelnutt, undergraduate coordinator; Elizabeth Cleveland, executive director of the Cleveland College Foundation; Caprice Calamaio, director of financial aid; Dr. Ashley Cleveland ’95; Randell Vanderweide, financial aid specialist; and Dale Marrant, director of human resources.
Helping at Harvesters Community Food Network were Bradshaw; Renee Ray, executive administrative assistant in academic services; Dr. Clark Beckley ’75, vice president of campus and alumni relations, his wife Brenda and grandson Jacob; Dr. Charles Bates, instructor; Dr. Jill Davis ’07; and Dr. Calee McClure ’00, instructor/clinician. Working alums included Dr. Russ Matthias ’74 and his wife Carol Ann, Dr. Gerald Witt ’98 and his wife Linda, and Dr. Patrick Barry ’11.
Clevelanders who helped out at The Kansas City Zoo were: Dr. Jon Wilson ’03, instructor; Valerie Carson, academic records and support coordinator; Sarah Hilliard, postgraduate program manager; Jeff Karp, chief operations officer; Marla Cope, controller; and Marrant.
Holy Family House welcomed the assistance of Dr. Mark Pfefer ’88, director of research, and Dr. Ashley Cleveland Cleveland. Catholic Charities had a volunteer crew of six working in its food pantry, including Jalonna Bowie, director of student services; Alan Morgan, director of communications; and Communications staff members Scott Albright, Scott Vater, Amelia Trollinger and her daughter, Parker.
Frank Haney, director of facilities management, and L.C. Primers, maintenance technician, worked for Bethel SDA Church, cleaning carpets throughout the building. Dr. Arley Wisner ’08 instructor/clinician, worked for the Johnson County Christmas Bureau collecting items for a fundraising auction. In addition, Clevelanders read to students at Special Beginnings daycare. Guest readers were: Simone Briand, assistant library director; Dr. Carl S. Cleveland III, president; Judy Stubbendeck, admissions assistant; Dr Karen Doyle, director of the Master of Science in Health Promotion program; and Karp.
This level of participation is not only appreciated. It has become part of the fabric of the institution. The College is committed to serving others, and as such, it relies on its members to answer the call of those in need.
” . . . Clevelanders should be involved in the community because we are a part of the community,” Dr. Ashley Cleveland said. “Beyond that, our Mission and our Core Values define us as an organization responsible to compassionately serve. Most importantly, though, I believe that involvement in the community, service in places that are distinct from where we daily live and work, reminds us that we are all part of the same human family and not so different as the superficialities might suggest, that our lives are richer when we give back, that we have much to be grateful for, and that an overflow of gratitude leads to generosity.”