While the average person was drinking their sorrows away during Block Party, Bloomsburg Husky John Thomas had other plans. Thomas, a junior Criminal Justice major, decided to take advantage of this day to do something good for the community.
It all started with a little bit of inspiration. Thomas attended an awards ceremony, and while representing Bloomsburg University he met Cleve Hummel, a lawyer and landlord of properties on Fetterman Avenue, who was receiving an award. Thomas approached Hummel, aware that he raised money at block party for something different every year, to ask him what the theme was for this year. Hummel told Thomas about his idea of renting out several porta-potties for the students to use if they decided to buy a ticket. He came up with this idea for different reasons.
Hummel expressed to Thomas that in the past years of Block Party weekend, students in and out of town were urinating on his properties. He also was thinking of an alternative way for students to use the bathroom without receiving a public indecency citation.
Hummel ordered the porta potties ahead of time so they would be delivered days prior to the weekend. He set them up on Fetterman Avenue, where he knew there would be plenty of foot traffic. As we all know, Block Party festivities center around Fetterman Avenue.
On the day of Block Party, Thomas, Hummel, Kathy Hummel and Mark Morrow set up tables in front of the porta potties, ready for the day. At the table, students could purchase an all-day wristband for $5. If students did not want to pay for the all-day wristband, they could buy a ticket for one use at the porta potty for $1.
Though most was successful, some problems did arise. Some students would take off their bands to give to their friends to use. Thomas says that the moment he saw a student approaching the table with a torn band on, he would ask them to buy a new one.
This was the only speed bump to their day, Thomas explains.
Thomas explains that the location of the table and porta potties were set up in a way where he had a good view of everything. This means no one could sneak in to use the receptacle without purchasing a ticket. At the table, they also sold donuts and slices of pizza, because food is the best remedy for a drunken student.
Thomas, Hummel, Kathy and Mark were all at the stands from 9 a.m. till 7 p.m. With the purchases of the tickets, all-day passes and food, they raised a total of $1,100. All of the net proceeds were donated to the Bloomsburg Town Park, which provides rental services, athletic fields and more. Now, it will have a nice donation to support its beauty and upkeep.
Last year, Hummel donated the earnings to install new trash receptacles on Light Street Road.
To be able to take time out of your day to benefit the community is not an easy task, especially in the midst of inebriated college students. It is a wonderful thing Hummel has done and is continuing to do. Students like Thomas can show others to not think of only yourself, but for others as well. A story like this inspires everyone to make a difference in our community.