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  • Events Raise Awareness of Social Injustice

    April 29, 2015
    Bless Dress 2015
    Students at the University of Valley Forge (UVF) are always looking for ways to align themselves with the university mission to prepare individuals for a life of service and leadership in the church and in the world. One way students do this is through creating and leading events that raise awareness and support various projects to end social injustice. This semester, a number of students took a stand against human trafficking and poverty by participating in two annual student-led events.
     
    The week of March 23–27 kicked off with a weeklong event known as Confidence Week. Many students, faculty and staff participated by choosing not to wear makeup or hair styling products for one week. The purpose was to encourage a sense of confidence, security and authentic beauty among UVF students. Many participating individuals purchased Confidence Week t-shirts to show their support. The proceeds from the shirts were donated to Project Rescue, an initiative to rescue women from the human trafficking industry.
     
    On the evening of March 28, nearly 100 students came to Flower Chapel to participate in Bless With a Dress. This event, headed up by early childhood education major, junior Shawna Johnson, turned out to be a huge success. “It is great to know that we are making a difference by creating awareness for such a huge problem in the world,” says Johnson. “Many times we think we can’t do anything to help, but that night, we were able to create awareness, pray and ask God to shed light in those dark places.” The goal of the event was ultimately to raise awareness about the global pandemic of human trafficking and raise funds to benefit Project Rescue.
     
    Upon entry, students were charged an admittance fee of $5 and received a large brown bag to fill with clothes that had been donated from various UVF students in the months leading up to the event. A number of students were also featured as models in the annual Bless With a Dress fashion show. The show was presented in three segments held at different intervals throughout the evening. Businesses such as Panera Bread and Starbucks also supported the event by donating food for participants to enjoy while watching the fashion show and presentations.
     
    In previous years, UVF’s various student-led ministries have made exquisite and sobering presentations about human trafficking that truly captured the hearts of the audience. This year, opening the night with a song of inspiration was UVF’s a capella group, Noteworthy. This was the first time that the group participated in the event. Another group, Dry Bones, performed a lyrical dance and AO1, UVF’s drama team, presented a human video. Both student ministries effectively communicated the heartbreaking realities of human trafficking through their talents in creative movement. Precious Gems, a student-led ministry with a mission to reach out to women who work at adult clubs in the surrounding community, raised awareness about what God is doing with its ministry. The night concluded with a time of prayer for those enslaved in human trafficking around the world. The Bless With a Dress event raised nearly $500 for Project Rescue.
     
    A few weeks later, UVF students raised awareness for another social injustice. Night of Awareness, an annual event led by students in UVF’s Homeless Ministry, took place on April 16. This event lends a helping hand to the homeless, organizes prayer for opportunities and restoration. UVF students partnered with Good Samaritan Shelter, a Phoenixville ministry that provides shelter and food to homeless men, to make care packages filled with personal care items like soap, toothbrushes and socks. The group also inserted “Carenotes” with a message to encourage and spread the word about Good Samaritan Shelter to the individuals who would receive the packages. 

    Men who had previously been homeless and found help through Good Samaritan Shelter shared testimonies throughout the night, helping listeners to understand how to reach out to those in need on the streets. The evening closed with a candlelight vigil and intercessory prayer for any spiritual or physical needs the homeless in surrounding communities might have. After the event, participants were encouraged to sleep outside in cardboard boxes in order to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless. 
     
    "The goal of sharing the Gospel is to act as Jesus would", said pastoral ministries major and sophomore Zach Thorp. Thorp assisted Zac Way, a junior majoring in pastoral counseling, in organizing Night of Awareness.

  • Captiv8 Film Festival 2015

    April 29, 2015
    Captiv8
    On March 26, the University of Valley Forge (UVF) hosted its annual film festival, Captiv8, for the third consecutive year. Captiv8 proposes a complicated challenge: to create a quality short film in just 48 hours. Hundreds filled Krempels Theater to view the films produced, directed and edited by students in this limited amount of time. To ensure that each team had only 48 hours to work on its film, the teams were given three requirements to incorporate into the film two days before the deadline for submission. This year's requirements called for each film to contain a slingshot, a character as a teacher and the line, "Your life will never be the same."

    The experience is known to be grueling and demanding. With only two days to work, the teams utilize every available minute to script, shoot and edit the film. The students walk into the festival with developed films and a sense of accomplishment. In the short 48-hour period, they work as members of a production team and experienc a true professional setting where each member of the film project uses his or her skills. Long hours and almost no sleep may appear to be a high price, but to many students the hard work is well worth it, especially when it yields a quality product and a valuable learning experience.  

    For the first time, the films presented during the festival represented the work of only UVF students, whereas during the past two years other institutions participated. Additionally, the first faculty/staff short film was submitted. Furthermore, two new award categories, Most Captivating Newcomer and Most Captivating Performance, were added to this year's film festival. Four student films and one faculty/staff film were presented during the award ceremony.

    The following films won under these "Most Captivating" categories:
    Screenplay - Nico Giampietro/"Geyser"
    Editing - Zach Harvey/"Before Tomorrow"
    Cinematography - Ethan Holmes/"Before Tomorrow"
    Sound Design - Roger Erdvig/"Before Tomorrow"
    Production Design - Erin O'Shea and Samantha Gendi/"Before Tomorrow"
    Director - Tim Jackson/"Before Tomorrow"
    Performance - Bryn Harvey/"Before Tomorrow"
    Newcomer - "Humor Me"
    Short Film - "Before Tomorrow"

    The film "Before Tomorrow," was the evening's biggest winner, taking home seven awards. Sophomore Nick DePasquale, who was part of the film's crew, explained the premise saying, "'Before Tomorrow' follows Rachel Bennett, a mother who breaks away from the normalcy of her life while her son remains on life support in the hospital. It centers around the inner conflict of Rachel's mind, as she struggles to find solace in a restless place, as well as the outward struggle of finding a way back into the real world."

    The film festival more than demonstrated the abilities and talents behind the student body at the university. DePasquale added, "Personally, I can say without a doubt that being surrounded by people who each have their own niche, their own talents, their own ability has enabled me to see an entirely new perspective on even the most arbitrary of tasks on a film set."

  • Community Service Day 2015

    April 29, 2015
    CSD 2015
    On April 22, 2015, University of Valley Forge (UVF) students, faculty and staff spent their day serving the town of Phoenixville by volunteering in projects such as restoring local parks, cleaning residents’ homes and yards and painting public property features. The 13th annual Community Service Day, which this year coincidentally  fell on Earth Day, began at 8 am as all of the volunteers gathered in Flower Chapel.

    Pennsylvania Senator Andrew Dinniman, spoke to the campus participants before the groups dispersed for the day. Dinniman is one of the Community Service Day sponsors. He said, “What you are reminding the people is that you as students, faculty and staff at Valley Forge understand the importance of civic responsibility.” He continued, “This has made a real difference in the relationship with the community. I think it’s because service can change people and it can change a community.”

    Two of the 15 groups went to Reservoir Park. One of these groups, led by sophomore Jordon Diaz, spread mulch on the park’s playground area, cleared vines from the fence surrounding the park, washed the white fence next to the playground, raked leaves, and then visited four homes in the area whose owners had contacted UVF for assistance with their yard projects. The other group at Reservoir Park, known as the "Hoops Team," worked to paint the basketball backboards and court lines. Freshman Brandon Summers said, “Today shows that we care about the community with our actions, not just our words,” as he meticulously painted white court lines on the pavement.

    Another student group served at the Joe Rowan Memorial Park. Students picked weeds, raked leaves, mulched and collected trash they found in and near the park. While at this park, a Phoenixville property owner approached the students and asked for help to clean up an area on his street, a block away. Without hesitation, student leader and freshman Melenis Velez, offered to send three UVF students with the property owner to help with his request. Other groups that cleaned up and beautified borough parks and streets had collected more than 20 trash bags of tree and vine debris, litter and broken glass from each of the work areas. Other students painted the gazebo at Reeves Park and visited residential homeowners who had previously contacted the university for help. 

    Another Community Service Day sponsor, Charles Benz, from the Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust visited the assigned locations where students were serving. Benz has been a sponsor of UVF's Community Service Day since the first one in 2001. “I think this is great for the students. It teaches them value and the importance of serving the community,” he said. Benz also commented on the progress of the event over the past 14 years. “The first year, the students painted fire hydrants and light poles,” he said. “There are bigger undertakings every year. The students, over the years, do more and more.” For the past eight Community Service Days, Benz and Meyer have together visited the assigned locations where students serve to talk with and encourage them.  

    Community Service Day also provided an opportunity for students to use their skills to serve the community. The event provided an opportunity for students to lead and motivate other students and set goals for the teams. Students also learn more about the community they live in, and meet other UVF students outside of their classes and campus activities.  

    The effort this year was made possible through 14 sponsorships that provided the financial support to make UVF's Community Service Day 2015 a success.


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June 04, 2015 June 04, 2015 - June 04, 2015

Patriot Classic 2015

The 13th Annual Patriot Classic will be held on Thursday, June 4, 2015 at the Kimberton Golf Club.

The University of Valley Forge is pleased to celebrate the 13th Anniversary of the Patriot Classic Golf Tournament. For the past 13 years, golfers, churches, organizations and businesses have come together to raise over $90,000 in scholarships for deserving UVF students. Because of such generous support, these students were able to successfully complete their degrees and are now serving as leaders all over the world. As the Patriot Classic tradition continues, so does the eternal impact of your gift. Each registration and sponsorship does not just pay for a round of golf or an awards dinner; it is a significant investment into the lives of students who will, in a few short years, make a lasting difference in our communities. Thank you for choosing to be part of this memorable event as you join with us in preparing individuals for a life of service and leadership in the church and in the world.

11:00 am -
Registration & Lunch
11:45 pm - Line-up
12:00 pm - Shotgun Start
5:30 pm - Awards Dinner at UVF

Individual golfers are welcome. Non-golfers are welcome to attend the Awards Dinner for $25 per person.

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