On March 27, the Malone Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC), in conjunction with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Pioneer athletics put on the third annual Campus Carnival. The event was held to allow children with disabilities to have an expense free night of excitement.
In Osborne Hall from 6-8 p.m. the campus carnival facilitated children with many different needs. The carnival had activities such as a quiet room, tattoos, face painting and carnival-like games.
Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Jeff Beine directed the event.
“The goal of MCEC is to search for soul experiences,” he said. “As a Christian university we want to be a service organization, and what is better than serving children with disabilities?”
MCEC is a student organization for Malone University education majors committed to connecting with and serving families blessed with kids with exceptionalities in the greater Stark County area.
The campus carnival was put on at no cost through the combined efforts of MCEC, Malone athletics and other sponsors.
“Suzanne Thomas, director of university relations, was a tremendous help,” Beine said.
“The campus carnival is the best organized in the three years it has been here; compliments to Dr. Sarah Hamsher,” Beine said.
Hamsher, assistant professor of education, in her first year of fulltime employment at Malone, “was a big part of the carnival’s success,” Beine said.
“I was amazed with the amount of parents who stated that they were impressed with the athletic teams and workers,” Hamsher said. “They were kind, gentle and personal with the children.”
In the first year of the campus carnival, Beine did about 95 percent of the work.
“The students are becoming more involved and more professional with each year,” Beine said.
New to the carnival this year was the Malone make-a-wish program.
“One boy will be selected to attend a Malone University baseball game this spring and one girl will be selected to attend a Malone University volleyball game in the fall,” Assistant Athletic Director Dory Jenkins said.
Senior history major Johnnie Legrair, who is a member of SAAC and the track and field team, has helped with the campus carnival for two years.
“The campus carnival is awesome for Malone athletics to represent the school as more than just athletics,” Legrair said. “The carnival is geared toward children with disabilities and is good for the kids and gives them confidence so they know that there are things that they can do.”
As a member of the track team, Legrair helped manage the crowd favorite.
“The track and field and volleyball teams operated the ‘shoot the moose’ stand, which is similar to the game ‘whac-a-mole,’” Legrair said.
The number of children who attended the event exceeded last year’s numbers, with a total of 160 participants.
Mtume Msikizi-Jackson is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.