*A letter from our Executive Director, Eric Lambert, regarding Hurricane Harvey and our Fall South Central Campus Activities Planning Conference in Houston, TX*
First and foremost, we at APCA wish to express our sincere support and concern for all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Literally half of the APCA staff hails from the state of Texas, and we feel this issue very deeply. APCA encourages you to donate to the charity of your choice to help those impacted by this event. We’ve also been getting a lot of calls asking whether or not the recent flooding in Houston will impact the APCA South Central Regional Conference, scheduled to be held there on October 27-29, 2017. The answer is YES and NO.
NO, we will not be cancelling our conference at the Houston Westchase Marriott Hotel. The decision to keep the event at this location has been influenced by the logistics of the situation, the opportunity to encourage students to experience civic engagement of being involved in the actual recovery effort, and the need for loyalty to our schools affected by the flooding.
The facility is undamaged and secure, and the immediate area of the conference was largely unaffected by the flooding. It is safe and is indeed, having been recently renovated, a very comfortable and affordable site for the event. The economic benefit to the city is also sorely needed at this time.
YES, we will take advantage of this opportunity to teach our students how to react to crisis. The conference on Friday and Saturday will go on as scheduled, with great training, showcasing and of course huge savings on programming novelties and talent for your events. More importantly, this is an opportunity to immerse our students in civic engagement in a productive and positive way.
Leadership requires the ability to react to difficult situations with competency and resilience. We feel the best example we can make to our future community leaders is to empower them to participate in the recovery with some hands-on service efforts in Houston. With that in mind, APCA will host APCA Serves Houston, a day of service for the community on Thursday, October 26th , the day before the official conference begins.
The day of service will be optional, and will provide alternatives for either onsite projects or an off-property community service project. All service projects will be supervised by APCA staff and volunteers, and in conjunction with local recovery officials. In addition to the service projects, APCA is hosting a welcome event on that Thursday evening for all the students participating in the effort, which will be held onsite. We will be making more announcements regarding the event soon.
APCA has an opportunity to be the example of leadership we hope to inspire in our students, and we will rise to the occasion. Join us in Houston to program your campus activities and train your board in a way that influences their perspective. Help us to teach these students how to lead in a functional and impactful way. Register your school at www.apca.com or contact us at (865) 429-9123 to be a part of this effort.
Eric Lambert, Executive Director