April 28, 2008
08-086

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

VSU Hosts Luau, Invites Coffee County Seniors

VALDOSTA - Special Events, Equal Opportunity and the VSU Bookstore are hosting the first ever university-wide luau for faculty, staff and students from 6-10 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, on the University Center patio and in front of the Equal Opportunity House across from the University Center on Patterson.

While it was originally established to provide the VSU community with an evening of fun, festivities and a boost to morale, the event will be open to a special group of seniors from Coffee County. More than 40 students were recently victims of fraud when a Coffee High teacher collected $250 from each of them without delivering on her promise of a trip to Disney’s Grad Night, according to WALB News. Although the teacher has been arrested, the students are left without their money and the trip they had planned.

Special Events assistant and luau event coordinator, Jimmy Fields, said he heard about the situation on Friday and felt an immediate instinct to reach out. After a few phone calls, Fields arranged for the students to enjoy the Hawaiian festivities with the VSU family on Tuesday.

“I reached out to the students because I truly wanted VSU to be a positive influence during a hard time,” said Fields, who added that he hopes the VSU family will welcome these students with open arms. “It’s not about I; it’s about we, and together we can make a difference.”

The Coffee County school system is providing transportation for its students to the event, which will offer a warm, Hawaiian ambiance; complementary grass skirts and luau attire for the first who arrive; and a feast of ribs, chicken, burgers, snacks and even vegetarian entrees. Representatives from Alcohol and Other Drug Awareness will serve virgin mixed drinks to refresh guests as they enjoy themselves throughout the evening.

Fields said he has participated in several campus luaus, but this is the first university-wide event that he can recall. He hopes it will establish a tradition that will continue for many years. For more information about the event, contact Special Events at (229) 333-7446.