From Cervesa to Service

Posted by Monica Hoel
These two alumni found each other at an E&H in the City event in Oregon…and learned they had similar service passions!

When the fifth annual E&H in the City event started taking shape there were happy hour events in all the places you might expect: Roanoke, Atlanta, Richmond, Charleston SC. In all, just under 30 happy hour events all along the East Coast where most E&H alumni live.

But everyone wanted in on the fun…including some alumni in Oregon.

Sarah Gillman Whitney (’91) lamented on Facebook that she would probably have to celebrate the event all by herself out in Eugene, Oregon. Insert sad-face emoticon here.

But the E&H Alumni Office jumped in to say, “Not so fast! How far are you from Springfield?” Never mind that the alumni office is really bad at geography  – the real news here is that the two cities are right next to each other and another alumna, Jo Ann Guthrie English (’66) had relocated from Texas to Springfield 10 years ago and was looking to meet other E&Hers

Sarah Gilman and Jo Ann English at their service site in Oregon.

 

On March 31, the two met at a local watering hole to celebrate E&H in the City – but they found out that Emory & Henry wasn’t the only thing they had in common. Jo Ann has been volunteering for many years (in Texas and Oregon) with agencies who work with people who are HIV positive. In fact, she recently served for six years as a board member for HIV Alliance.  This organization was moving into a new building on Amazon Creek – where the parking lot needed a redo to deal with storm water run off.

Guess who they contacted to do the work? Sarah Gillman Whitney  – Urban Restoration & Stormwater Specialist at Long Tom Watershed Council (LTWC)!

This year alumni were encouraged to follow up their happy hour meetings with a community service project, and these two smiling alumnae wasted no time pairing their social concerns with their new-found friendship!


Photos: Sarah and Jo Ann on their first meeting in March during E&H in the City in March 2017 and a photo of them working on the storm water run off at the HIV Alliance building on Amazon Creek in Eugene, Oregon, in May 2017.

  • Sarah Gillman Whitney and Jo Ann English organized an E&H in the City event in Oregon.
    Sarah Gillman Whitney and Jo Ann English organized an E&H in the City event in Oregon.

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