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Ryan Piurek
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Gridiron rivals team up for community service effort

Oct. 18, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Students from Indiana and Ohio State universities have agreed to set aside their football rivalry this weekend (at least for a few hours) and team up for a volunteer project that benefits the local community.

Their collaboration is part of national Make a Difference Day, an annual community service event sponsored by USA Weekend. This year's Make a Difference Day will take place on Saturday (Oct. 22), which is also when IU's football squad hosts Ohio State in a Big Ten clash at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 11:10 a.m. CDT.

Prior to the game, approximately 85 students from the Volunteer Students Bureau at IU Bloomington and 100 Ohio State students will work together to coordinate, stuff and distribute more than 2,500 emergency preparedness guidebooks to homes surrounding the Bloomington campus. The guidebooks are designed to help the local community prepare for disasters such as tornadoes, flooding and severe winter weather. They were prepared by volunteers from the Monroe Country Citizen Corps with a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"Make a Difference Day offers an extraordinary opportunity for students from two rival Big Ten schools to come together to support the Monroe County Citizen Corps mission of creating a safe and prepared community," said Mark Brostoff, chair of the Monroe County Citizen Corps.

"It's a great way for us to meet our Ohio State peers, help prepare our community, and engage in an activity that will strengthen our local community," said Catie Eggert, co-president of the Volunteer Students Bureau.

Ohio State has been involved in the national Make a Difference Day since 1998, traveling each year to Big Ten schools where its football team plays. School officials created the "rivals on the field, partners in the community" concept to benefit community agencies and build collaborations with host institutions. Typically, students arrive at the host university the day before the game, perform community service alongside students from the host school the next morning and, following a substance-free tailgate party/mini pep rally, attend the game.

The Ohio State student volunteers are expected to arrive in Bloomington on Friday afternoon (Oct. 21). On Saturday (Oct. 22), they and their IUB peers will be transported downtown, where they will divide into groups and head into various Bloomington neighborhoods to deliver packets to homes. They will then return to campus for a pre-game tailgate celebration at Memorial Stadium.

Students interested in learning more about the Make a Difference Day event or other volunteer opportunities on campus can contact the Volunteer Students Bureau at 812-855-8290 or visit the bureau's Web page at

Reporters or photographers interested in joining the student volunteers on Saturday morning should contact Ryan Piurek, IU Media Relations, at 812-855-5393 or