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Bearkat All-Paws-In branches out of Texas

Associate Editor

Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014 01:02

BAPI

Jessica Gomez | The Houstonian

Last years BAPI volunteers

Community service will be done not only in Huntsville but across the nation March 1 thanks to Student Government Association’s Bearkat All Paws In and some dedicated alumni.

Student Body President Ramiro Jaime, Jr., announced Tuesday that Sam Houston State University alumni, including BAPI’s founder Mariel Kanene, will participate in this year’s banner event and exemplify SHSU’s motto, “a measure of a life is its service.”

“We’re doing our duties of fulfilling the motto [of SHSU],” Jaime said. “The motto doesn’t say ‘a measure of your college career,’ it says ‘a measure of a life’.”

With SHSU alumni scattered around the world, Kanene said BAPI is a time to unite them in a day of service. He currently works in Washington, D.C., and expects a “handful” of Bearkat alumni in the D.C. area to participate.

Kanene said he and his fellow alumni will be tending to non-profit Common Good City Farmin D.C., an urban farm and education center geared towards low-income individuals.

“What they do is they grow organic, local food,” Kanene said. “I thought it’d be a fun thing to do on a Saturday.”

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the project, and Kanene said continuing the tradition across state borders brings SHSU into the limelight of its motto.

“Being the founder of All Paws In, I always go back to it and it refreshes me to know that BAPI continues to be relevant… and grow bigger and bigger every year,” he said.

Jaime said Bearkats of the Woods, a student advancement group in The Woodlands, and SHSU’s Young Alumni and Friends Club in Houston will be serving in their respective communities in the spirit of BAPI.

According to Precinct 4 Commissioner Tim Paulsel, who serves on the Walker County Proud commission, BAPI is working in coordination with the commission’s event called Trash Bash. The city of Huntsville is also working in coordination with SGA, making the implementation of community service more effective by reducing duplicative work.

Jaime said he’s glad to finally line up the dates for the each entity’s respective community service project.

“What’s happened in the past is that their event is just like All Paws In, except it’s for citizens of Huntsville,” he said. “Well, the problem is theirs is before ours, and it’s always a week or two before ours. When it comes time for BAPI, there’s nothing left to do.”

The event’s growth combined with Huntsville’s earlier service project would have left BAPI volunteers with nothing to do. Now that Huntsville’s event is held alongside All Paws In, all SGA has to worry about is having enough projects for volunteers.

Sophomore political science major Ariel Traub is Huntsville’s Main Street Program assistant and said the city contacted SGA first about combining the events.

“I actually came to him with the idea, because we usually do a ‘spring cleaning,’ and we wanted to combine with the university,” Traub said. “We’re going to be working together. The city is working with our parks and recreation department to get things together for volunteers of Bearkat All Paws In not to do just around Main Street and downtown, but around all of Huntsville and the state and local parks.”

Thursday is the deadline to register for Bearkat All Paws In. For more information and to register, visit http://www.shsu.edu/~org_sga/bapi.

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