Cans Across the Conference


Austin Anderson , Staff Reporter

For the eighth year in a row, Lakeland College participated in the annual Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Cans Across the Conference food drive. For the second time, Lakeland came in second place behind Alverno College.

“I’m proud of our efforts,” says Lindsey Vande Hoef, head coach of women’s basketball at Lakeland. “Hopefully next year we can take the trophy for the Cans Across the Conference home.”

Lakeland’s can drive has been growing in recent years. In 2010, Lakeland only collected 1,225 cans. With $1 donations, which equaled two cans donated, Lakeland collected 13,442 can. In can drop offs, Lakeland students, alumni and faculty dropped off 12,568 cans.

“It was more than what I expected,” said Vande Hoef.

In order to collect more cans, students went door to door, trick-or-treat style, and asked local residents for a donation for those in need. A big part of the can drive this year was the “Canstruction” event, which took place on campus in the fieldhouse. The competition consisted of 16 teams, which included several athletic groups, student clubs and employees.

At the Canstruction event, many students used their imaginations and put together interesting collages of cans and boxed food to create recognizable images. Some impressive pieces were Musko Muskie (Lakeland’s fierce fighting fish mascot), the Nike swoosh logo and the Olympic Games rings.

The men’s volleyball team created a large volleyball court with a net and bleachers. A. Chappa Construction of Sheboygan judged the event and donated money to the cause. 5,000 non-perishable food items were donated through the Canstruction event.

After the event, the cans were sent out to 12 local food pantries for families in need. Students boxed cans into crates and loaded them into a truck that was borrowed from St. Vincent De Paul in Plymouth.

Dave Majerus, president of the food pantry in Plymouth, and Jerry Preder, vice president of the food pantry in Plymouth, assisted in loading the van with cans.

“This is a lot,” said Majerus as he pulled a dolly of cans up the ramp to the van’s cargo box.

Among those lending a hand to the distribution of cans to Sheboygan County were Lakeland’s baseball coaches, Zeta Chi and Student Life members. Sheboygan County food pantries were most grateful for Lakeland’s contribution to the community.