Bethel's Arete to Spearhead Make A Difference McKenzie

Bethel University’s Arete Social Sciences Club is spearheading Make A Difference McKenzie this Saturday, Oct. 23 in the downtown/historic area of McKenzie. The event is part of the national Make A Difference Day that is sponsored annually by USA Weekend Magazine.
     More than 200 volunteers have already signed up to participate in the daylong event and two local civic organizations, Beta Sigma Phi and the McKenzie Rotary Club, are taking on large projects at Goose’s Games and at Kappellar’s Tae Kwon Do.
     “We truly wanted to make a difference in the community where we live and work,” said Kristi Corbin, a faculty member at Bethel and one of the advisors to Arete. “We feel this project is a powerful and organized way to make that difference.”
     Some of the projects that will be undertaken during Make A Difference McKenzie are clearing alleyways behind some of McKenzie’s downtown buildings, helping to weed landscaping, washing windows, repairing entrances, painting buildings and awnings, reorganizing inventory at McKenzie United Neighbors, and painting murals.
     Corbin said Arete has already been recognized for the Make A Difference McKenzie project idea.
     “Arete has won a free Flip video camera from Hands On Network,” Corbin said. “We were one of only 100 participants registered for the Make A Difference Day to receive the prize.”
     Corbin said Arete will be using the new video camera to document Saturday’s activities.
     “We’ve been asked to submit a short video for inclusion on the Make A Difference Day YouTube Channel.”
     Other events taking place during the day will be a free health fair on the McKenzie square conducted by Bethel University’s Physician Assistant and Nursing Programs, a pet adoption event on the McKenzie square sponsored by the Carroll County Humane Society and a Yard Sale (across from the McKenzie fire station) to benefit United Neighbors outreach efforts.
      At 11 a.m., a ceremony to celebrate the efforts of the late Marty Marshall to place the Old Train Depot on the National Historic Register will also take place.
     Make A Difference McKenzie begins at 7:30 a.m. and will conclude at 4 p.m.
     Corbin and co-advisor Stacie Freeman say it is not too late to sign up to help on Saturday.
     “We encourage the whole community to come take part and to sign up as soon as possible at,” Corbin said. “All volunteers who signed up at the website are asked to join us in the Marrs-Stockton Student Center at Bethel at 7:30 a.m.”
     Corbin said registration and breakfast will continue until 8:30 a.m., at which time volunteers will be transported to the downtown area via bus to work on their assigned projects.
     “If you don’t get the chance to sign up at the website, please come at 8:15 to registration where we can assign you to a project based on your skills and talents,” Corbin said. “All volunteers must register before they will be allowed on work sites.”
     According to Corbin, a boxed lunch will be served downtown at noon for those who signed up on the website and free bottled water will be distributed on work sites during volunteer hours.
     “Don’t forget to wear weather appropriate clothing and jeans and closed toe shoes, and avoid wearing clothing that is so loose fitting that it poses a risk for getting caught or snagged.”
     For more questions about Make A Difference McKenzie, contact Kristi Corbin at 731-352-4036 or at or Stacie Freeman at 731-352-4265 or