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Big-Event-2012

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu

More than 300 volunteers signed up on the first day of registration for The Big Event as The University of Texas at Arlington prepares to participate with 75 other universities on the largest one-day student-run service project in the United States.

Volunteer registration will close Monday, April 9. 

The Big Event takes place Saturday, April 21, when UT Arlington faculty, staff and students join members of the community in various volunteer projects at 47 sites in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Among several new partnerships, volunteers will work with the Special Olympics at sites in Arlington and Bedford.

“Our role as UT Arlington students will be to support the competing athletes by cheering for them as well as creating spirit banners,” said Mandy Boxill, student coordinator for The Big Event. “We're hoping to give the Special Olympic athletes a warm Maverick welcome to our campus and our stadium.”

Other new partnership agencies in 2012 include a Wish with Wings, Cancer Care Services and the American Red Cross.

A new program taking place at the University will be “Reading with Mavericks,” organized by UTA Volunteers and the Leadership Center.

“We are hoping to have approximately 200 elementary and middle school students on campus to engage in reading activities,” Boxill said. “We're hoping that it gives them an opportunity to view our university as well as recognize the importance of a college education, and show them that, as Mavericks, we care about the younger generation.”

UT Arlington first participated in The Big Event in 2000. The project has grown to more than 900 volunteers in 2011, and this year organizers are anticipating more than 1,000 participants. More than 3,600 service hours were logged in 2011 as more than 50 agencies combined on the effort.

Frank Lamas, vice president of student affairs at UT Arlington, said the event has touched the lives of many individuals and agencies over the last decade.

“Our students continue to make a real difference for those in need in our community. I'm very proud of their selfless efforts to make their communities a better place,” he added.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of nearly 33,500 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.