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Media Advisory: UT Austin’s Largest Day of Service Will Be Held in Dove Springs on Feb. 23

Event:   The Project 2013

When:  Saturday, Feb. 23, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where:  Dove Springs Community; Dove Springs Recreation Center and Mendez Middle School are the event headquarters.

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Event:   The Project 2013

When:  Saturday, Feb. 23, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where:  Dove Springs Community; Dove Springs Recreation Center and Mendez Middle School are the event headquarters.

Background: The Project, the largest community service event for University of Texas at Austin students, will be held Saturday, Feb. 23, in the Dove Springs community. The largest of the 23 worksites are the Dove Springs Recreation Center, Mendez Middle School and First Independent Baptist Church, where volunteers will make repairs, paint, clean up trash, plant trees and make improvements to landscape.

Approximately 2,000 volunteers including students from The University of Texas at Austin and St. Edward’s University and alumni from the Austin chapter of the Texas Exes are expected to participate. The day will begin at the Dove Springs Recreation Center outdoor pavilion with an opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m. The ceremony will be repeated at 11:30 as volunteers arrive for the afternoon shift. There will be an opportunity for media and sponsors to talk with the student organizers of the Project from 9:15 to 10 a.m. after the opening ceremony and again from 12:15 to 1 p.m. after the ceremony for afternoon volunteers.

As part of The Project, a community health fair will be held at Mendez Middle School from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The UT School of Pharmacy will provide health screenings and immunizations. Area businesses and organizations such as the People’s Community Clinic and Ventanilla de Salud will provide resources and host workshops throughout the day that are aimed at helping families make health and wellness a priority in their daily routines.

Established in 1999 by the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, The Project is organized by students and is a collaboration among students, city government agencies, community organizations and local businesses. Since its inception, The Project has involved more than 22,000 student volunteers completing more than 72,000 hours of community service in 10 Austin neighborhoods.

Video/Photography/Interview Opportunities:

Dove Springs Recreation Center 5801 Ainez Drive, Austin, TX 78744

Texas Exes alumni, community and student volunteers will be at this location. This is where Longhorn Steakhouse will serve lunch to volunteers. Interview contacts on site: Courtney Ratliff, Texas Exes; Cameron Crump, student leader (817-707-5910)

Mendez Middle School 5106 Village Square, Austin, TX 78744

Sixty student volunteers will be at this site for projects including the community health fair. Student organizers will hold a media briefing at 9:15 a.m. and again at 12:15 p.m. at the school. Interview contacts on site: Jose Carrasco, parent support specialist at Mendez Middle School; Leonor Vargas, Family Resource Center director at Mendez Middle School; Lydia Cleveland, student leader (512-903-4743)

First Independent Baptist Church 8401 Bluff Springs Road, Austin, TX 78744

More than 120 student volunteers plus many community volunteers will be on site. Interview contacts on site: Pastor Mike Marcellus; John Ogleton, congregation member; Juan Pineda, student leader (972-804-3499)