Matt Sullivan
The Big Event Executive Team chair, 308.708.0053

The Big Event, a day of community service provided by University of Nebraska at Kearney students, faculty and staff, will take place on Saturday, April 1, at locations throughout the Kearney area.

The Big Event will open with a kick-off celebration beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Cushing Coliseum on the campus. Volunteers will gather together before scattering out across the city to do their projects.

On the national level, The Big Event is one of the largest student-run community service efforts, an annual event at more than 70 universities across the country. Last year, one of the sponsors of The Big Event, the University of Oklahoma, organized 5,000 volunteers across 162 project sites.

Volunteers for The Big Event at UNK will participate in service projects that benefit nonprofit organizations and individuals in the Kearney area. Whether it is landscaping at a city park, or painting a fence for a senior citizen, volunteers will engage in a wide variety of community service projects.

Citizens interested in having a project completed for their organization, or for themselves, should contact The Big Event Executive Team for a project request form.

Matt Sullivan, a sports administration major from Central City , chairs The Big Event Executive Team at UNK. He said that while volunteers for The Big Event would like to help every individual in the Kearney area with a service project, the executive team requests that only nonprofit organizations, or individuals who are physically unable to complete a project at their homes, request volunteers for The Big Event. Additionally, he recommended that the projects that are submitted be projects that can be finished in a day, or least show substantial work being accomplished, such as starting a Habitat for Humanity house.

Sullivan said he wants to establish this day of community service as an annual activity and has invited other Nebraska colleges to participate to solidify the event in the state.

“The Big Event is not just one project,” he said. “It’s a group of projects throughout the community. Projects aren’t limited to student volunteers, either. Faculty and staff can participate, and a department could even take on a project.”

Other members of The Big Event’s Executive Team include Tom Schlund, a business administration major from Ravenna;  Josh Dethlefsen, a political science major from Sutherland ; Brad Bohn, a pre-med and exercise science major from Ravenna ; Elizabeth Obermeier, a business administration and economics major from Aurora ; and Amanda Mollet, a political science and organizational communication major from North  Platte . Schlund and Dethlefsen are co-directors of sponsorship, and Obermeier and Bohn are co-directors of community recruitment, while Mollet is the lone director of campus recruitment.

“Having The Big Event every year at UNK would show the Kearney community how much we appreciate all the support that they continually give to the university,” said Brad Bohn, UNK Student Body president and member of The Big Event Executive Team.

Sullivan said that most of the fraternities, sororities and residence halls have already pledged to help. Forms for registering project sites for The Big Event can be downloaded from, picked up at the student government office in the Nebraskan Student Union or mailed to individuals on request. To request a form, call Sullivan at (308) 708-0053

To learn more about The Big Event at UNK, or provide any support to the project, visit, e-mail the Executive Team at or call (308) 708-0053 for more information.