Instead of taking blood pressures and giving injections, Castleton State College nursing students were waiting tables and greeting customers at an Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraiser on Saturday February 26. Tickets were sold for $6 each for the pancake breakfast that ran from 8am to 10am to raise money toward an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for the Castleton Community Center. “We sold around 200 tickets and had a good crowd of over 150 people,” said Kate Treworgy, President of the Student Nurses’ Association. Customers were primarily “teachers and students with their families, and people from the Castleton Community Center.”Last semester, Treworgy visited the Castleton Community Center while researching ideas for a local service project for the SNA. She asked the community center director, JoAnn Riley, what the center was in need of and Riley explained to her, “We really need an AED.” This idea was brought before the SNA and after some consideration, it was decided that raising money for an AED would be a great way to help out the community. AEDs cost between $800 and $1200 or more, so the student nurses knew they had a lot of fundraising to do. A bake sale was held in the Fall semester, as well as a raffle. SNA Vice President, Kristen Sheehan suggested that they hold an Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraiser to raise the remainder of the funds.
The breakfast was a big hit with both the students who volunteered at it and those who attended, “we rang the bell in Applebee’s every time someone gave us a tip; kids really got a kick out of it,” Treworgy stated. In the end, a total of $1415 was raised to put toward the defibrillator; any remaining funds will be used for other SNA functions. In addition to raising money for the AED this year, the Student Nurses’ Association also held a sock and underwear drive for residents of The Pines (a long term care facility in Rutland) and participated in Operation Bundle Up which collects coats and winter clothing for local children. The SNA also started one new tradition within the nursing department: a mentorship program in which second year students help guide beginning students through their first year by providing support and advice. “We’ve really reached out to the community and our own nursing program,” says Treworgy.