Porter Patch was filled with students enjoying dancing and food last Thursday for the second annual Dating, Dancing and Desserts.
The event featured dance acts from both the Mercer and Macon communities, including Zumba Latin Dance, Mercer Dance Revolution and Chamatkaar.
There was also a silent auction where participants could bid on date ideas. Dates included dinner for two at Mirkos on Bass Road, two tickets to the Georgia Aquarium and dinner for four at Ingleside Village Pizza.
The desserts represented a variety of international cultures and were donated by students and various international organizations. Food included an assortment of American desserts as well as traditional dishes from across the world.
D3 was organized by juniors Gene Mitchell and Matt Hickman, who partnered with the Mercer International Affairs Organization to coordinate the fundraiser. Proceeds from the event benefited the Fuller Center in La Florida, Peru, by providing them with a truck and cement mixer.
The fundraiser was part of Mitchell’s and Hickman’s Mercer Service Scholar senior project and was inspired by their Mercer on Mission trip to Peru this past summer. While on the trip, the students helped build homes, which involved hauling a cement mixer a mile back and forth each day.
Mitchell said, “It would be impossible to build their homes without that kind of equipment. They have over 500 family members that need homes currently, and without the trucks they can build only 20-25 homes a year.”
Mitchell said the decision to work with MIAO made sense because both groups were hoping to host an international event.
Junior Laurel McCormack, co-president of MIAO, was enthusiastic to work with Mitchell and Hickman. She said that the event could be more beneficial with combined resources and she and her co-president, Kathleen Richardson, were happy to see money go to La Florida as they also went on the trip last summer.
McCormack said, “It was honestly one of the more rewarding things I’ve done at Mercer because it was such a diverse group coming together to help other people.” She went on to say this event is right in line with what she hopes to do in the future.
Dr. Eimad Houry, professor and chair of the political science department, said he was proud and impressed by the event.
As the faculty advisor for MIAO, Houry worked with members of the organization for several weeks to coordinate the event and also kept in close contact with Mitchell and Hickman.
Houry feels that the Fuller Center was an appropriate organization to benefit from the fundraiser. “It sounds like a real need and a very noble cause,” he said.
The number of students present at an event in the middle of the week also impressed Houry. “It really says something about our students,” he said.
If you would like to donate to the Fuller Center, visit https://www.fullercenter.org/civicrm/contribute/pcp/info?reset=1&id=122.