College opens up to surrounding community

A student choir takes the stage, entertaining Community Fest visitors. (Julie Novak / Staff Photographer)
A student choir takes the stage, entertaining Community Fest visitors. (Julie Novak / Staff Photographer)

Beneath tents on Quimby’s Prairie, local organizations and businesses joined student volunteers for a day filled with food, live performances and more.

Ewing residents and College students congregated on campus for the township’s annual Community Fest on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Each autumn, the College partners with Ewing Township and Ewing schools for this day-long event.

Throughout the day, bands and local choirs provided live music on a large stage set up behind Green Hall.

With inflatable obstacle courses, crafts and face-painting, there were activities for guests of all ages.

Various student organizations volunteered at the event.

Lions' EMS provide free blood pressure screenings at Community Fest. (Jamie Primeau / Editor-in-Chief)

Lions’ Emergency Medical Services provided blood pressure screenings and were on-call to respond to any emergencies, including if anyone needed a bandage.

Speaking of this year’s event, Megan Wyles, junior biology major and deputy chief of Lions’ EMS, said, “I think Community Fest on Quimby’s Prairie is a lot more conducive to the family vibe. It’s always good, but it’s better this way.” In previous years, the event was held in the campus parking lots.

Members of the College’s American Medical Student Association had a table for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a charity that raises funds for childhood cancer research. The group gave away lemonade and collected donations.

AMSA President and senior biology major Jaya Kanduri said, “We know childhood cancer research is consistently underfunded and it’s an organization our chapter feels strongly about supporting.”

Among the many tables were representation from Mercer county political groups, Pennington Family Chiropractors, the Coalition for Medical Marijuana and the Body Language Dance Center.

The Let Them Eat Cake bakery displays cupcakes at Community Fest. (Julie Novak / Staff Photographer)

Another group that had a table was Womanspace, a local not-for-profit agency that provides services to victims of domestic and sexual abuse, including shelter and counseling.

When explaining why they were there, Susan Adams, coordinator of volunteers and community outreach, said, “Our main purpose here is for people to learn who we are.”

“A woman will walk by and it may register who we are, but she hasn’t had the strength yet to come to us,” Adams continued, “and just seeing our name might be that moment where she says, ‘I do need to call.’”

In the past, various College organizations, including Anti-Violence Initiatives and Women in Learning and Leadership, have partnered with Womanspace.

While the event was a way to integrate members of the community with the College, there were considerably more Ewing residents in attendance than College students.