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October 29, 2012

3 area colleges to collaborate at community event

Staff Report
The Daily Star

---- — A joint event this weekend between three of the area’s colleges will focus on serving the community. 

The Center for Social Responsibility and Community at SUNY Oneonta will present its 12th annual Conference on Volunteerism and Social Responsibility on Saturday. The conference, which is co-sponsored by the O’Connor Center for Community Service at SUNY Delhi and SUNY Cobleskill, is free and open to the public. 

Registration will begin at 9:15 a.m. in the Morris Conference Center on the college’s campus. Admission is free, and community members are invited to attend. Doughnuts and lunch will be provided, and every participant will receive an official conference T-shirt.

Conference attendees will be invited to enter an essay contest on the topic “How Does Helping Others Also Help Me?” The winner of the Provost’s Essay Award on Volunteerism will receive a Kindle Fire. Additional details will be announced at the conference.

Designed to inspire participants to make a difference in their communities, the program will open with a keynote address by Dave Kelly, a student leadership trainer from Atlanta who has presented at more than 120 colleges and universities across the country. 

According to a media release, Kelly, a state champion storyteller in high school and former stand-up comedian, has been honored numerous times for his community service activities, particularly his work in motivating college students to volunteer. In addition to performing more than 50,000 hours of community service himself, he has inspired college students to volunteer more than 2 million hours in service to others.

Following Kelly’s presentation, participants will choose three of the following “funshops:”

• “Working with People Who Think Differently: You Can’t do it THAT Way!” presented by Julie Dostal of the LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addictions;

• “St. Jude’s…A Place of Hope,” presented by members of the St. Jude’s Giants student club at SUNY Oneonta;

• “Making a Difference Through Service and FUNdraisers,” presented by Dave Kelly

• “Study Buddies: Partners in Disguise ... Transforming Stereotypes Because Shift Happens,” presented by students from SUNY Delhi;

• “Hearts of Hope: Making a difference … one heart at a time,” presented by Judith Pedersen of the Hearts of Hope Foundation;

• “An Experience You Will Never Forget,” presented by Helen Stepowani of Pathfinder Village; and

· “Building Character Brick by Brick,” presented by  Ashok Malhotra, president of Ninash Foundation and SUNY Oneonta Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy.

For more information about the conference, contact Linda Drake, director of the Center for Social Responsibility and Community, at 436-2098 or