Lane Community College employees who attended the first “Go the Extra Mile for Our Students” event in Oct. 2015.”Go the extra mile” is held twice a term, and invites Lane’s employees to walk or jog a mile while at work for fitness or to help reduce stress. A service is chosen to be the beneficiary of donations made during each event. Donations are optional, fun is not.

As part of a college-wide wellness program, Lane employees walked or ran one mile to benefit themselves and others. “Go the Extra Mile for our Students” was held on Jan. 24 at Lane Community College.

Director of International Programs Jennifer Falzerano had a vision of an event to encourage Lane employees and help students at the same time. In 2015, she teamed up with Wendy Simmons, Lane’s Employee Wellness coordinator, and Phillip Hudspeth, the Annual Gifts and Corporate Relations Officer, Lane Community College Foundation. All three wanted to create an event that would benefit employees and students

Twice a term, Lane employees are invited to drop in for some fitness during their work day to help with stress and their health. Each event would offer a campus service, program or resource as the beneficiary for the employee’s donation. In the past, the wellness event has raised money for Shining Star, International Programs and ESL among others.

Donations are given to Lane’s Foundation to disperse to the recipient organizations. On Jan. 24 $283 were donated by Lane employees for the Egan Warming Center located at Lane in Building 4, Room 104.

All meals served at the Egan Warming Center are executed by Chef Tim Hill from The Center for Meeting and Learning and served by Chef Clive Wanstall, Lane’s chief instructor of the Culinary Arts program. St. Vincent de Paul and FOOD for Lane County contributed as well.

Lisa Rupp, one of two warming center organizers, states the center has been open 23 nights so far, averaging 18 guests per night. On many nights guests would be turned away due to lack of room — on other nights the center housed only two guests.

Between Dec. 6 and Jan.13, Lane’s warming center helped 418 guests, while accruing approximately 1,000 volunteer hours. When the temperature averages 30 degrees, guests are housed from 6 p.m. – 6:45 a.m. when the shuttle picks them up.

Lane Community College receives assistance from the Public Safety Department when the warming center is open. “They filled in when we did not have enough volunteers and provided safety for volunteers and guests safe 24 hours a day,” Dawn Rupp, warming center organizer, said.

“Dawn and Lisa have spent 100s of hours volunteering….Both of these women have been tireless in their work. As Chief of Public Safety, ,” Jace L. Smith Chief Lane Community College Public Safety said.  

“Go the Extra Mile for Our Students” provided $283 to purchase supplies for the warming center.

“It’s a win-win — employees are feeling better and the community is being helped at the same time,” Simmons said.

The next “Go the Extra Mile for Our Students” is planned for Feb. 15 at noon. Participants meet at the track on the main campus. Donations for the next walk will be given to the Rainy Day Food Pantry on campus.