The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 10, 2011

Big Event brings record number of students into service

PITTSBURG, Kan. — For Betty Ward and her husband, Earl, having extra help around the house and yard makes a big difference.

“When you’re older and you don’t have a big income, you have to find other ways (of getting things done),” Betty Ward said.

The Wards, who live on Twin Oaks Drive near the campus of Pittsburg State University, were given a helping hand by about a half-dozen members of the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority on Saturday, as part of The Big Event. The event is an annual community service day in which students volunteer to help out with cleanup, yardwork and maintenance at homes and businesses in the Pittsburg and Frontenac areas.

More than 700 PSU students took to the streets Saturday, making turnout for this year’s Big Event the largest in its nine-year history, according to Emily Smith, Big Event director.

“This is the biggest it’s ever been,” Smith said. “The biggest thing I want to accomplish is for our students and the surrounding area to have a better relationship.”

The students also teamed up with Take Charge Pittsburg, an organization working to help the city win a $100,000 energy efficiency grant through the state of Kansas. Students took compact fluorescent light bulbs to their home work sites and obtained data on energy efficiency improvements to homes. That data will be used in determining whether Pittsburg or three other communities in Southeast Kansas will receive the grant.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of Monday’s Joplin Globe or register for our E-Edition at

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