Contact: Allison Benner, College Relations Associate - Media, 610-740-3790


Allentown, Pa (March 4, 2005) - Instead of pitching beach chairs along the sunny Atlantic shores during Spring Break next week, a group of Cedar Crest College have volunteered to trade in "fun in the sun" for a week of physical labor, hard work, and ultimately fun - all in a quest to make a difference in two Southern communities.

As it has in past years, Cedar Crest College is once again offering the Alternative Spring Break - allowing students to use time of allows students to use time off from their routine academic schedules to aid two communities in North Carolina with construction projects. This year, students will volunteer for Moore County Habitat for Humanity in Southern Pines, where they will work on the construction of eight homes, and the Robeson County Church and Community Center in Lumberton, where they will make roofing repairs and build wheelchair ramps. Both trips run from March 5 through March 12, 2005.

Students began applying for Alternative Spring Break early in the fall semester through applications and a group interview process that allowed program coordinators to choose a mix of leadership skills and create the best possible team dynamics. In order to participate, students must also pay a fee and also work together to raise more than $4,500 for the trip.

"The interview process gives us the ability to look for beneficial characteristics within the individual students, such as energy, enthusiasm, communication and open-mindedness. This allows us to build teams with an optimal blend of leadership dynamics," says Tammy Bean, director of the Lutz Center for Community Service at Cedar Crest.

This year, 28 students, one alumna and four advisors will be participating in the program, which is in its sixth year at Cedar Crest. "Out of the 28 students who are going on this trip, 15 are returning students who have already had this experience," says Bean. "We hope that the students who are new to the program will be inspired by the energy and excitement of the returning students."

Cedar Crest College is committed to promoting a sense of civic engagement among students by encouraging community service. Last year, Cedar Crest Students performed over 22,000 hours of community service.

Students will share their experiences and photographs from the trip at a final meeting to be scheduled in April that the media is invited to attend. If you are interested in coming to this meeting or would like to learn more about Alternative Spring Break, please contact the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.

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