Students looking for a way to spend Valentine’s Day, whether with a significant other or with friends, will find many options in State College.
Christ Community Church, 200 Ellis Place, will be hosting a fundraising dinner at 6:30 p.m. to benefit Echoes of Madagascar, Sandratra Kerr, founder of the program, said.
“[We are] building a better future for children and families [in Madagascar],” Kerr said. “It’s a long process, but we are trying a little bit every year.”
Kerr, originally from Madagascar, founded the organization in 2009. This year, the program is raising money to dig a well for a Madagascar school, and to build a community playground, Kerr said.
Kerr said this is the first benefit dinner the charity has hosted. The menu will include traditional Madagascar dishes, such as coconut chicken, as well as salads from Olive Garden.
Students who show their IDs can purchase tickets at the door for $10.
“We try to explain to people that $20 in Madagascar could feed a whole family for a week,” Kerr said.
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 780 Waupaleni Drive, will also be hosting a charity dinner today to benefit the O-An-Zendo Buddhist meditation center , Meido Barbara Anderson , resident teacher at the center, said.
The buffet-style meal will include many vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes, such as quinoa burgers, butternut squash stew and bacalao, Anderson said. The event will also feature several musical acts, including the Penn State Taiko drummers, a Central Pennsylvania African drumming group and two local musicians.
“It will be a fun evening of music and a buffet,” Anderson said.
She also said she thinks the event is perfect for students who don’t have a significant other to spend the holiday with.
Tickets will be sold at the door for $25 per person, but they can be purchased in advance by phone or online for $20.
Wisecracker’s Comedy Club, 2280 Commercial Blvd., will also be hosting an event on Valentine’s Day, catered by Hoag’s Catering, Diane Casher, event manager for Hoag’s, said.
The dinner, which will include a carving station and free champagne, will begin at 7 p.m., Casher said, and will be followed by a show at 9 p.m.
“They’ve got to eat somewhere — why not dinner and a show?” Casher said, which is in its first year as a partnership between the comedy club and Hoag’s catering.
Priced at $55 per ticket, Casher said she encourages students to make reservations before attending. Casher said the venue can seat 100 guests and they have reserved about half of the room, mostly with adult guests.
Students who wish to spend the evening outdoors will have the opportunity to participate in a sweetheart owl prowl event at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, 3400 Discovery Road, Johanna Jackson, public workshops coordinator, said.
The program will be free to students, Jackson said, and will be a “really fresh way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”
“It’s really magical under the full moon,” she said.
The event will begin at 6 p.m., when guests will have the opportunity to look at a barn owl, nicknamed the sweetheart owl because of its distinctive, heart-shaped face, up close. Afterward, guests will be guided on a walk through Shaver’s Creek trails, Jackson said.
Instructors will call to the owls, as well as teach owl mating calls to guests, in hopes that a sweetheart owl will respond. Jackson said there will also be Hershey Kisses and hot chocolate available at the center following the walk.
Caroline Briselli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 865-1828. Follow her on Twitter at @CarolineBriselli.