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Spring Fling to take place April 5

The Spring Fling tradition at Lehigh was created by a former student, Emily Aagaard ’04.

The Community Service Office will reprise one of its most well-attended events when it hosts the 7th Annual Spring Fling on Saturday, April 5.

The event, which begins at 11 a.m. on the University Center lawn, is geared toward children from kindergarten to eighth grade and their families and will include an egg hunt, games, crafts, a deejay, a moon bounce, storytelling, food, a scavenger hunt and more.

All of the activities are free of charge for the participants, courtesy of the generous benefactors who underwrite the event.

The Spring Fling tradition at Lehigh was created by a former student, Emily Aagaard ’04, who worked with the university’s Community Service office to encourage children from South Side Bethlehem to visit the campus, according to Carolina Hernandez, director of the office.

“Emily and I realized that most kids from the local community, overall, never even step foot on campus,” Hernandez says. “We wanted to create a program that would accomplish this immediately, so we came up with an entire day dedicated to being here, enjoying the campus, exposing them to college life and welcoming our young neighbors.”

The event has grown over the years, but Hernandez says that the 2007 event was the most successful.

“Last year was absolutely amazing,” she says. “Spring Fling is scheduled several years in advance, but it happened to be the Inauguration Weekend for President Gast, which allowed us to expand its scope and open it up to families from the South Side as well.”

Arts and crafts, an egg hunt, games, a moon bounce, storytelling and a scavenger hunt are on tap at this year's Spring Fling

Hernandez says that a highlight of last year’s event was seeing hundreds of local families lining up to register for the event.

“We had more than 500 kids participating last year, and when you count in adults from the South Bethlehem, we had well over 700 people attending Spring Fling,” she says. “It was really special to see members of the Lehigh family, including students, faculty and staff, also attend.”

Over the course of several weeks leading up the event, more than 200 Lehigh students volunteer their time to prepare for the event.

“Everyone involved really enjoys Spring Fling,” she says. “It’s one of those programs that people call us about. Everyone wants to participate in this deeply special program that has helped us connect as one community.”

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008

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