Aiken Technical College Student Veterans Association Raises $800 To Fund Local Veteran Community Outreach
PHOTO: ATC Campus Ambassador Siara Wallace, ATC Business Department Chair Lee Hunt and SVA President Joel Wightman serve food for the SVA fundraiser “Spaghetts for Vets” on campus in April.
(May 29, 2015, Aiken, SC) Aiken Technical College student veterans donned chef hats, aprons and even mustaches in efforts to raise funds for the College’s Student Veterans Association (SVA).
The Student Activities Center cafeteria was transformed into an Italian bistro for the day as students sold plates of spaghetti donated by Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar in Aiken. Students, faculty and staff purchased dine-in and to-go plates for $5, with all proceeds benefitting SVA service projects for local veterans.
“We wanted to do something to bring the campus together as a community to support our local veterans,” said SVA President Joel Wightman. “As soon as we mentioned the word ‘veterans’ to Travinia’s, they were on board and graciously donated all the food for sale.”
The SVA efforts throughout the course of the 2014-15 college year have been heavily focused on giving back to local-area veterans, but specifically the elderly veterans. The Association hand-delivered gift bags filled with personal hygiene items, candy and clothing to the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home in Augusta, Ga. in December, and gave similar “Bunny Baskets” for Easter in April.
“There are a lot of programs geared toward the younger vets, but there’s not a lot out there to nurture the older vets,” said SVA Vice President Wanda Holden. “It’s easy to forget about the older vets, but if it weren’t for them, we would not have the privileges and freedoms we have today.”
ATC has close to 200 student veterans, and offers many resources and assistance to veterans and their families. ATC’s Student Veterans Association connects student veterans on campus and provides them with support and resources to achieve success. The Veterans to Careers initiative, a partnership between ATC, the University of South Carolina-Aiken, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions and the Aiken Warrior Project, strives to match student veterans’ program, discipline and skill set to temporary positions with businesses in the CSRA.