KALAMAZOO—Occupational therapy students at Western Michigan University are hosting a fundraiser Saturday, May 17, for a senior center in Ireland that has been an integral stop during a study-abroad program.
The event, "The Gathering," from 1 to 4 p.m., will feature entertainers from the Quinn School of Irish Dance in the atrium of the College of Health and Human Services. The cost is a $5 donation for a cup of tea and a scone. Students also will show pictures of Ireland.
Dr. Maureen Mickus, associate professor of occupational therapy, has led an interdisciplinary study-abroad program to Ireland the past eight years that focuses on understanding the cultural context of aging. During the past several trips, the group has visited the Cloghan Day Center in rural northwest Ireland. WMU students became aware of the center's financial hardships due to a downturn in the economy and planned the fundraiser in response.
"This center is a really important place for people to have the opportunity to socialize," says graduate occupational therapy student and event organizer, Sarah Bouali. "In such a small remote part of the world, it would be devastating to the participants if this center was closed down."
"The fundraiser is such a good cause and truly depicts the WMU pillar of global engagement—our students giving back to others in another part of the world," Mickus notes.