The Living In One Neighborhood (LION) Bash saw over 100 engagement stations on Tuesday — which included student organizations, local food eateries and events such as balloon twisting, live music, acrobatics, a caricature artist line Allen Street in Downtown State College Tuesday evening.
“I see the booths here, and I see students engaging more with the community than I typically do on a regular weekday," Tom Parker, a local pastor, said. "So even if it’s not a large amount of people, it’s still a small population that’s at least learning.”
Parker said even though they are not meeting tens of thousand of students, “at least they are making an impact on those that are walking by.”
“I think it’s one great resource, I didn’t know how many things there were, and I also didn’t know that there were student organizations, so I didn’t realize that it was kind of like a two-way street," Natalie Ondrey (junior-secondary english education) said. "I think it’s really awesome that there are so many things, because I definitely don’t know the full breadth of resources, and kind of tend to forget that State College is a place where anyone other than a college-age student person lives.”
Dottie Ewing, a store manager and recruiter for Strawberry Fields Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides service and support for people with disabilities and their families, said the advertisements for LION Bash helped boost the number of students she was able to meet on Tuesday.
“We have a number of job opportunities available, so it gives us the opportunity to come down, meet the students and spread the word of what Strawberry Fields does,” Ewing said.
According to the Borough of State College’s news press release, “LION Bash is part of the LION initiative that strives to create a community for both long-term and short-term residents. LION Bash is a resource fair combined with a community block party that brings ALL residents together for an evening.
"This event provides an educational opportunity for new and returning Penn State students along with current Borough residents. Some available information includes services available, mix of community and Penn State organizations, and local ordinances. These all help maintain the quality of life and safety in our community.”