Members of Franklin & Marshall's Bonchek College House had a few guests over for dinner Nov. 3 – and provided a community service to boot.
Almost 200 residents of local shelters for the disadvantaged and homeless visited F&M for the Bonchek Community Outreach Dinner, a catered, sit-down meal in the Catering Suite of Ben Franklin Dining Hall. Students in Bonchek raised funds for the dinner by donating a portion of their meal plans, collecting more than 1,000 "meal swipes" to provide enough food for everyone. Attendees included residents of the Water Street Rescue Mission, Milagro House and YWCA.
"This event helps Bonchek residents understand some of the challenges facing local residents and welcomes Lancaster community members into our College community," said Leslie Lindeman '13, a member of the Community Outreach Dinner Committee.
The Bonchek Community Outreach Dinner began in the fall of 2005 when first-year students Ian Lubetkin '09 and Rob Fleisher '09 discovered that their prepaid, unused meals from their student dining plans would not carry over to the next semester. Instead of wasting those meals, they asked College officials if they could convert the value of those meals into cash to fund the banquet.
Students of Bonchek, one of F&M's five student-governed residential communities, hold the dinner twice each year. Approximately 150 students typically donate meals, with several dozen volunteers serving the food and providing entertainment. The Chessmen, F&M's male a cappella singing group, sang for the dinner guests.
Joining Lindeman on the Community Outreach Dinner Committee were Katherine Blair '15, Darielle Christman '14 and Margi Shah '14.