Approximately 3,500 Air Force Academy cadets will perform volunteer work for 43 community organizations along the Front Range Friday.
Worksites for cadets will range in location from downtown Colorado Springs to Black Forest and Woodland Park. Start times vary depending on the distance the work location is from the Air Force Academy, with cadets arriving at most El Paso County sites by 8 a.m., and 9 a.m. for other locations. Work will continue until 4 p.m., or until all work at each site is completed.
Organizations the cadets will be working for include:
* American Red Cross, Southeastern Colorado Chapter, testing, repairing and/or installing fire alarms in at risk homes across the region
* Coalition for the Upper South Platte, thinning overgrown trees and brush, to be used as firewood for the needy, and a second project performing erosion mitigation on the Waldo Canyon burn scar.
* Black Forest Together, helping with fire recovery and mitigation work at several homes within the area still dealing with the after-effects of the Black Forest wildfire.
* Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, performing trail maintenance
* City of Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department, plant 300 sage plants along camp creek at Garden of the Gods, and maintenance at several parks locations.
* Ellicott Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, performing upkeep at the center.
* Colorado Springs Therapeutic Riding Center, cleaning up stables and painting fences
Rocky Mountain Field Institute, hiking up Bear Creek to refurbish the area, to protect its scarce trout population.
* Care and Share food bank, sorting and distributing food.
* The Salvation Army in downtown Colorado Springs, cleaning and painting its red kettles, preparing and cooking food, grounds work and moving furniture.
Other organizations the cadets will work with include: The Marian House, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Crawford House, and several elementary schools across the region.
This cadet volunteer work is organized by the Air Force Academy's Center for Character and Leadership Development center, via its Cadet Service Leadership program, which connects community organizations with cadet volunteers. Cadets performed more than 30,000 hours of community service during the previous academic year. Academy cadets have averaged more than 30,000 hours of community service work each academic year, for the past decade.
Organizations that wish to request cadet volunteers for future community service efforts can request cadet volunteers online at: http://www.usafa.edu/Commandant/cwc/cwcx/csl/csl_inputform.cfm?catname=csl