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SCC’s Honor Society and Local DAR Partner to Help SCC Alumna

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Surry Community College’s Alpha Xi Tau chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society partnered with the James Hunter Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) to help an SCC alumna adopt a medical alert dog.

Ten years ago, Sarah Soetermans, was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. Complicated by other health factors, her blood sugar would swing dangerously high and low with little warning. Seeking a reliable way of detecting these swings, Soetermans contacted Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Paws (EENP), a nonprofit organization that trains Medical Alert Service Dogs.

Soetermans applied to adopt one of these dogs and was accepted. To help her offset the cost of her service dog and training, Soetermans began fundraising. SCC’s Honor Society and the James Hunter Chapter of NSDAR partnered to help. Together they raffled a basket full of beauty supplies and make-up, worth over $50 and raised $260 to help Soetermans reach her goal.

The lucky winner of the basket was Melissa Smith of the SCC Pilot Center in Pilot Mountain. “I was thrilled to learn I won the raffle. The basket was filled with wonderful beauty products and other items. It was a great prize benefiting a worthy cause,” Smith said.

lady holding basket
Melissa Smith was the winner of the Beauty Basket Raffle. The raffle raised $260 to help Soetermans with adopting Professor.

On February 24, Soetermans and her new service dog, Professor, officially graduated from the EENP training program.

Soetermans states, “I am truly honored and so grateful to have received support from Surry Community College’s PTK Honor Society and the James Hunter Chapter of NSDAR for my service dog fundraising campaign. Professor has already been making large impacts on my daily life. He is trained to alert me for changes in blood sugars, retrieve snacks, and get help for me if needed. Our matching would not have been possible without the generosity and support of our local communities.”

PTK Advisor and DAR Chapter Regent, Dr. Kathleen D. Fowler states, “As soon as our members heard about Sarah and about the EENP, they wanted to help. The Beauty Basket Raffle was a way for everyone to work together to make this adoption possible.”

Soetermans and Professor stopped by SCC’s Pilot Center to say thank you. “It was wonderful to see them together. We even got a chance to see Professor in action. They truly make a great team,” stated Fowler.

EENP is a non-profit organization located in Hillsborough. They teach inmates to train assistance dogs that they then partner with people who have disabilities. EENP is an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with nearly 1,300 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates, and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 3.8 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with over 250,000 active members annually.

The James Hunter Chapter is part of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), one of the largest women’s lineage-based, patriotic nonprofits in the world, with 185,000 members and approximately 3,000 local chapters in the United States and abroad. Since their founding in 1890, close to one million members have carried out their mission to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism.

For more information about Phi Theta Kappa and their projects, contact PTK's faculty co-advisors Dr. Kathleen Fowler at (336) 386-3560 or fowlerk@surry.edu or Kayla Forrest at (336) 386-3315 or forrestkm@surry.edu. For additional information, you may also visit www.ptk.org.

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