Feb. 13, 2019
For Immediate Release
Brantford – Wilfrid Laurier University students living off-campus in Brantford are giving back to the community by throwing a Valentine’s Day dance and brunch for seniors living at Brierwood Gardens Long Term Care Home.
Hosted by the Laurier Off-Campus University Students group (LOCUS), the Feb. 14 event will feature a catered brunch and dance including a playlist of songs seniors will recognize. Students will be decorating a hall at Brierwood Gardens and setting up a photo booth for the occasion.
LOCUS is a program designed to aid the transition to university for first-year students living off-campus. The program provides students with academic, social and personal supports in the off-campus community.
Mitchell Higgins, off-campus first-year initiatives coordinator, got the idea for the dance and brunch from an outreach project he completed in high school. The project took Higgins’ class to a retirement residence for a holiday party, where he had a positive experience connecting with seniors.
Wanting to bring a similar event to Laurier, he reached out to a former classmate, Bradley Papp, seniors’ hub program coordinator with the City of Brantford, who jumped at the idea. The Valentine’s Day dance and brunch aims to build community and strengthen the relationship between Laurier and the City of Brantford.
“This Valentine’s Day dance and brunch is a great way for students to participate in community outreach,” says Higgins. “The dance is a small token, a way to give back and say thank you to the Brantford community.”
Papp said bringing generations together for a single event helps with the city’s goal to reduce senior isolation.
“This event is a great opportunity for students to assist with the endeavour of reducing senior isolation and will be an enriching experience for the seniors,” says Papp. “It’s going to benefit both the seniors and the students immensely.”
Tyler Britz, a LOCUS don and second-year history student, said the dance and brunch offers a wonderful opportunity for students.
“Seniors are not a group that our students usually associate or run events with, so not only is it new and unique, it is exposing Laurier to a new avenue of outreach and interaction,” says Britz.
The Valentine’s Day dance and brunch takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 14 at Brierwood Gardens Long Term Care Home. Visit wlu.ca/calendar for more information.
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