The lighting of the Christmas tree in front of the Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building at The University of Southern Mississippi does more than just illuminate the front of campus.
Students and families from around the Pine Belt enjoyed USM’s annual Lighting the Way charity event on Nov. 30.
Lighting the Way is held annually by Southern Miss’ Student Government Association to raise money for different local charitable organizations.
Each year, lanterns are sold to the student organizations on campus, and the proceeds are given to a charity.
Abby Anderson, a sophomore accounting major at Southern Miss, served as the director of Lighting the Way. She explained why SGA chose the Boys and Girls Club as the charity to receive the proceeds from Lighting the Way.
“We chose the Boys and Girls Club, and we just really think what they do is so great,” Anderson said. “We wanted to give to an organization that serves the community so well. We saw a need and aimed to help.”
The Boys and Girls Club of America is a national organization which provides programs and activities in communities to encourage young people to stay in school and discourage the use of drugs and alcohol.
Lighting the Way featured a variety of activities. Guests took pictures with Santa, decorated sugar cookies, and even made their own reindeer food.
Miss University of Southern Mississippi Macy Mitchell, Miss Black Forrest County Imani Harris, local singer Ty Trehern, TOP Praise Band, the USM Jazz Band and the Steel Pan Band all provided entertainment for guests attending Lighting the Way.
“Lighting the Way is an amazing tradition that USM and the Hattiesburg community has the opportunity to experience each year,” SGA Vice President McKenna Stone said. “As Vice President of SGA, I was overwhelmed with pride for Hattiesburg and Southern Miss. I am proud to serve such a generous and supportive community, proud to attend this diverse and inclusive University, and proud to continue this rich tradition with the hardworking students in SGA.”
To end the night of food and fun, the Christmas tree on campus was illuminated, bringing the Christmas spirit to campus.
Lighting the Way is Southern Miss’ newest tradition and is enjoyed by the entire Hattiesburg community.
To learn more about upcoming events hosted by Southern Miss SGA, visit their website at http://www.southernmisssga.org/.