Group to raise money for student veterans

February 26, 2014 

Christie Fierro, a communications professor at the Gig Harbor campus of Tacoma Community College, reminded me that my column covered the activities of another group of TCC youngsters who were creating movie magic at the campus and about town a few weeks ago.

We were there for both the creativity phase and the show of the ultimate product at the Galaxy Theaters at the Uptown Gig Harbor Shopping Center. Impressive!

Some of them participated in this tale as well.

This quarter, students in TCC’s multicultural communication course are organizing service learning projects. Their goal is to be “bridge figures” in the community by connecting two cultures together.

The group studied the idea of what the Support Our Troops slogan means.

“We live in a caring community that wants to show its appreciation to veterans,” Fierro said. “Our students are providing an opportunity for the community to show support by helping raise funds for veteran students in need.”

Participating students coordinated with Spiro’s restaurant in downtown Gig Harbor to set up a takeover event from 4 to 9 p.m. March 10. They have arranged for live music to be provided by Michael Goodwin.

Spiro’s will donate 10 percent of the sales that evening and 100 percent of any additional donations to the cause. The money will go to the Tacoma Community College Foundation Bill Harrington Fund, which supports student veterans who are in need of relief or assistance with paying for rent, utilities, groceries or gas.

Jack Schweitzer of Gig Harbor chose to do the project because he’s always wanted to show his gratitude for veterans but didn’t know how.

“When this topic came up in my multicultural communication class, I instantly knew that it would be a great opportunity to be able to show my personal thanks to the veterans and an offering of a chance to the public to do the same,” Schweitzer said.

Student Richard Edwardson of Tacoma is also is working on the project.

“It is difficult to show appreciation to veterans because, to me, a simple thank you is just not enough,” Edwardson said. “This project enables me, as well as my other group members, to show my appreciation by raising awareness of veteran pride as well as money to support veteran students.

The students will bus tables at Spiro’s and help servers in any way they can.

“We acquired Michael Goodwin, a local Gig Harbor band, to play in Spiro’s lounge, and have been promoting the event in many ways,” Edwardson said.

Three other students — Brandon Barker, Nick Zornes and Jacob Heitz, all from Gig Harbor — are participating in the fundraiser.

Please support this worthy cause.

Bon appetite!

Hugh McMillan is a longtime freelance writer for The Peninsula Gateway. He can be reached at 253-884-3319 or by email at

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