Lyon gives back to Batesville community

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, Lyon College hosted its annual Service Day. Providing a way for Lyon community members to contribute to the Batesville community on the whole, Service Day sent Year One groups, Greek organizations, and sports teams out into the community.


Year One groups, being comprised of freshmen and student and faculty mentors, gave freshmen a taste of Lyon’s strong ties to its surrounding community. Each faculty mentor planned a service project in advance, many returning to the same project as in past years. Dr. Terrell Tebbetts is one of these professors, having helped the Family Violence Prevention Center (FVP) for many years now.


Tebbetts took his freshman group to the Family Violence Prevention shelter, a job involving “lots of painting.”


According to Tebbetts, he helps FVP out due to his faith. “Jesus said to care for widows and orphans, and women and children who flee abuse are today’s version of those people,” he explained. Tebbetts joined the FVP Board many years ago. In addition to visiting the shelter on Service Day, he regularly donates to the organization and even chaired the Board for a few years.


Reflecting on Service Day’s Mission, Tebbetts added, “One way to measure a community is to look at how it treats its least advantaged members.”


A fellow English professor, Dr. Amy Schmidt took her Year One group to Batesville Junior High to give “a series of presentations on drug awareness and the consequences of substance abuse on one’s health.” The experience significantly affected freshman Caroline Baber, who called Service Day a “highly appreciated” event. “I like how it seeks to improve community development beyond the sphere of our campus,” Baber said.


Psychology professor Dr. Jenn Daniels focused on the elderly during Service Day, visiting Eagle Mountain Assisted Living. Along with student mentor Joey Gartin, Daniels hosted a carnival for the residents of the assisted living facility. Both mentors noted how involved the freshmen were, believing the students took the project “personally and seriously.”


“Every person in our diverse group was able to contribute in a way that suited his or her strengths,” Daniels said. “The day may have begun as one of mandatory service, but it ended as a group of friends and colleagues.”


Gartin agreed, pointing out the hard work the freshmen have put in all semester toward the project. “This semester’s project was different than ones which I have worked on over the past two years,” he said. “Rather than picking some weeds or doing something else that will be a problem again in just a few days, we wanted to give a thoughtful and fun day to some people who truly deserved it. And we did.”


Lyon’s sororities and fraternities all contributed to Service Day as well. Both fraternity Kappa Sigma and sorority Chi Omicron helped Tebbetts’ group at the FVP shelter. Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) and Phi Mu each helped out Batesville’s younger residents, TKE visiting the Sheriff’s Boys and Girls Ranch and Phi Mu aiding Eagle Mountain Elementary School.


Lending a hand to Batesville’s furry community members, Alpha Xi Delta worked with the Independence County Humane Society.  President Ralynn Brann explained how the sisters played with and photographed animals for the Humane Society’s website. “We had a great time!” Brann said.


Not to be outdone by other groups at Lyon, all the sports teams found a service project in need. The men’s basketball team visited a Southside Elementary Physical Education class, with the baseball and soccer team helping local area schools as well. The women’s teams helped the Batesville Area Arts Council (BAAC), the FVP’s resale shop, Hope Lutheran Day School, and the First Presbyterian Day School.


Coach Ray Green oversaw the volleyball team at the First Presbyterian Day School, describing how the team helped children around three years of age. The group “read stories, played at recess, and shared snacks,” with the children, having “a tone of fun.”


“I think the team connected really well with the kids,” Green praised. “It was a great experience – fun filled and worthy of a repeat!”