And dedicate a day a month to provide free community service
Students at Avondale are giving up one Sunday a month to organise a family fun day as a free service to their local community.
Sunday Funday sees students from Avondale College of Higher Education provide activities such as craft, face painting, games and sport with live music and a sausage sizzle at Cooranbong Park on the first Sunday of each month. The student’s only aim: to connect with the community.
Co-founder and ministry and theology student Dan Wilson borrowed the idea from The Pulse, an outdoor town square-type event presented regularly by Avondale for its Lake Macquarie campus-based staff members and students. “We wanted to implement Pulse on a wider scale to facilitate good old-fashioned fun and to help members of the community and students bond.”
The Pulse is organised by Chaplain Dr Wayne French. He is proud the students are choosing to serve the community in their own way. To lower their costs, French has given the students access to the games and sporting equipment used at The Pulse.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in northern New South Wales is also supporting Sunday Funday. Assistant Director of Adventist Youth Ministries Pr Michael Chapman has granted the students funding because the church considers the event as part of short-term adventure mission ministry STORM Co. “Whatever will best serve a specific community is what we encourage,” he says.
Sunday Funday Activities Coordinator Lucinda Maxwell says the students are “grateful” for the funding. She wants to use some of it to upgrade equipment and purchase new equipment, including a jumping castle.
The students have been hosting Sunday Funday since April this year. Mother of four Leone Tully has attended all of the events. “I love how it encourages family time and allows me to meet new people from my community. The best thing is it’s free and open to anyone.”