By: Jen Russon
For the Students United Network or SUN, the last Saturday in August will be an ideal time for collecting donated school supplies for students at James S. Hunt Elementary School in Coral Springs.
The school, east of Riverside Drive, is encouraging the public to donate in exchange for service hours, or the chance to win a raffle prize.
Each new or gently used school supply donated to Hunt Elementary is worth at least one service hour or raffle ticket, with individual donations capped at ten service hours.
Billed as “Unity in the Community,” the event marks the first one SUN students have put together. SUN is a new volunteer organization with over 20 high school students and five adults, who meet regularly at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts devising ways to help fellow students in their community.
Bill Haggert, general manager for the Center for the Arts, said he was impressed when SUN contacted him out of the blue and suggested holding a picnic and school supply drive.
“These kids are really impressive. I’ve watched them put together quite a concept, and I’ll be standing by to nurture them,” said Haggert, adding the group seems so keen on helping others, he doesn’t think a freight train could stop them.
Organized by teen volunteers, like Steve Munsie and Crystal Boudreau, the event will feature food trucks, games, a DJ and face painting. SUN committee members said the picnic is designed for family fun, so guests should bring blankets and chairs, and sporting equipment.
“This is the first event Students United Network is hosting. It is teenagers coming together and proving to local government we are responsible enough to withhold a student commission,” said SUN committee member, Crystal Boudreau.
She said school supplies of any type make welcome donations, and if they are gently used, she and her crew are happy to receive them. Co-founder, Steve Munsie said Hunt Elementary staff would help his group catalog the donated items at the event, and that monetary contributions are welcome as well.
Munsie said while he leads SUN meetings and is the main organizer of its adult members, he views everyone in the group equally.
“Group titles aren’t important to us. We believe leaders step forward regardless of named positions,” he said.
Along with other businesses in the Coral Springs community, South Florida organizations like Baptist Health and Broward Health, Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation and The Friendship Journey are helping to sponsor the picnic.
The community picnic will take place at the Tom Messenheimer Field at the Coral Springs Sportsplex. The event does not require preregistration or tickets and will be held on Saturday, August 10, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 2575 Sportsplex Drive.