If anyone searches “The BIG Event” on Google, results from BIG schools, such as Virginia Tech and Texas A&M, come up. Little does the search engine know, another tiny school participates in the BIG Event: Durango High School.
The BIG Event is an annual event planned by the DHS Student Council that helps students at DHS get community service hours, in addition to getting experience helping out members of our community with chores and projects that the community members may not be able to do themselves. Each year projects requested by community members are a little different; the projects range from fence painting, the window washing, to plant watering, and each project is catered exactly to what the community member needs.
“I participated last year [in the BIG Event]. We painted and stained an older woman’s porch. It was super rewarding to do something like that and help someone who needed help. Although annoying, it was kinda funny how much paint we got all over bodies. Some of us had it on our face,” said So. Leland Heinicke.
Heinicke is the sophomore class Vice President and is the head of the BIG Event committee, meaning he, and his co-head, So. Saylor Stottlemeyer, are planning the BIG Event in 2018. Stottlemeyer and Heinicke reach out to the community and request members to send in work order forms of chores or projects they would like students who participate in the BIG Event to complete.
“[Planning the event] definitely gives me a new perspective on the event overall. I mostly notice this with the work order forms. We have gotten a lot of work order forms that we can’t do just because we don’t have enough people to do all of them. It really shows how many people need help, and that we can always do more to help our community,” said Heinicke.
Heinicke hopes the the BIG Events will have a lasting, positive impact at DHS and in the community: “I also hope that engaging students will help create special bonds between our community, and help bring social awareness and responsibility for our community. My main goal for the Big Event is to get as much participation as possible so we can create those bonds, and enhance people’s personal knowledge about our town.”
The BIG Event will take place on April 28th from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. If DHS Students are are interested in participating, they need to pick up a permission slip form in the Main Office or on the Durango High School website. The permissions slips are due the Friday before the event. Those who participate will earn community service hours. Community service hours are a graduation requirement and the BIG Event is an excellent way to earn the hours.
Heinicke encourages his peers to come to the BIG Event, saying , “It will be a rewarding, self fulfilling process where you can form bonds with your community, and peers. If that’s not enough we will have snacks and pizza!”