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Cazenovia College students 'Vaccinate a Village'

It takes about a dollar to immunize one child against measles. The American Red Cross Measles Initiative, "Vaccinate a Village," has immunized more than 700 million children in less than a decade. Recently, Cazenovia College students joined the effort, presenting a $500 check to the Red Cross, with money still coming in from their fundraising initiatives.

The fundraising effort began because Erich Lange, of Greenfield Center, an international studies major at Cazenovia College, and Alicia Priest, of Warners, a human services major specializing in services for children and youth, needed a service learning project for their Introduction to Human Services class.

Their instructor, Professor Mary Handley, had asked Angel Rivera, a 2010 alumna of Cazenovia College's Human Services Program, to speak to the class about Americorps, and the Vaccinate a Village program, sponsored by the American Red Cross. Rivera is an Americorps VISTA youth services coordinator for the American Red Cross of Central New York.

"The goal of $500 was set because it's estimated that an average village might have about 500 inhabitants," Rivera said.

Lange and Priest decided they would take on "Vaccinate a Village" as their service learning project. They were joined in their efforts by Ashley Ference, of Hillsdale, an interior design major, and member of the Human Services Club, who chaired a bake sale.

Lange enlisted his uncle, a middle school teacher in Shippensburg, Pa., to host a "Hat Day." Students each paid one dollar to be allowed to wear a hat in school. Priest organized her Introduction to Human Services Club to sell Christmas cards, and Ference organized a bake sale.

In addition to these initiatives, the Cazenovia College Art Gallery in Reisman Hall hosted its inaugural craft fair, selling handmade art and craft items during Cazenovia's annual Christmas Walk, with proceeds going to Vaccinate a Village.

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