Plates of Pleasant uses food to promote, fund Alternative Breaks


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AB program member serves Texas Roadhouse buns to students during Plates of Pleasant on Feb. 20 in Bovee University Center Rotunda. 

The annual Plates of Pleasant fundraiser filled the room with food, live music and the community to raise money for Alternative Breaks. 

The Plates of Pleasant dinner has been hosted by the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center since 1999 to assist students participating in Alternative Breaks through Central Michigan University. The event took place Feb. 20 in the Bovee University Center Rotunda with a purpose to fund the Summer 2018 break programs. 

Meals were provided by nearby restaurants such as Mountain Town Station Brewing, Dragon Express, Cottage Inn, Hungry Howies, Pisanello's Pizza, Texas Roadhouse and Pita Pit. 

Clare senior Jennifer Peacock, who is an Alternative Break site leader, said the event not only provides for the several volunteer experiences taking place this summer, but an opportunity for students to be exposed to the Alternative Break program and community. 

"We think going on one of these breaks is an opportunity every student should have," Peacock said. "When you attend an Alternative Break you become a part of a whole community with hundreds of students." 

She said the Alternative Break programs currently impact more than 700 students.

Summer breaks will provide students with the opportunity of out-of-state community service trips designed to support a variety of issues in the U.S. This year, the summer programs will be focused on projects that aid Native American heritage, criminal justice, affordable housing and animal endangerment. 

At the event, attendees paid $5 for the buffet-style meal and were entered in a raffle for free spa massages provided by the Pure Vitality Juice Bar & Spa.

Local indie-rock group, Pineapple Psychology, performed an acoustic set for students coming in and out of the event. 

Peacock said the evening was full of snacking, good songs and student-support. 

Howell sophomore Kaylee Hamilton attended the event to support her break program, "Hunger and Homelessness."

"I have always loved the AB Program here and think it's important to be a part (of) it in any way possible -- whether it's going to a new state to build homes or just stopping by to eat some food and listen to a good vibe band," Hamilton said. 

She said it's important for students to support and learn more about the different organizations and programs at CMU to promote unity and development across campus. 

Jackson sophomore Emma Mills attended to support her friends who are a part of the Alternative Breaks community. She said by coming out to student-led fundraisers she can promote on-campus togetherness.

"At the end of the day, it's a campus as a whole and we're a student body as a whole." 

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About Samantha Shriber

Samantha Shriber is a staff reporter at Central Michigan Life and is a Saint Clair Shores ...

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