Students take time to serve zoo

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    Despite busy college lives, students said they’re still making time in their schedules to volunteer at the 15th annual Boo at the Zoo. Nicole Barendt, senior economics major, said about 15 Alpha Phi Omega members planned on attending the Fort Worth Zoo event.

    “Its a fun way to get community service hours,” said Barendt, service vice president of Alpha Phi Omega, a community service fraternity.

    The Fort Worth Zoo festival provides fun that’s not too scary for children, said Lyndsay Nantz, the Zoo’s public relations and development director.

    About 150 volunteers a night, including 20 to 50 are TCU students, help out at the event, said Dennis Myrick, assistant human resources director of the Fort Worth Zoo.

    Barendt said the event promotes safe trick-or-treating for children.

    “It’s great for kids to get candy in a safe place,” Barendt said. “Parents know that their kids are safe because the volunteers are TCU students.”

    Barendt said student volunteers have duties including passing out candy to children, dressing up in costumes, or greeting visitors at the front gate.

    Heather Hurford, a senior nursing major, said she was surprised at the amount of support for the event.

    “An overwhelming number of volunteers was available to help, and they ended up turning people away,” Hurford said. “We got there at 4:50 p.m., the registration was from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., and we just missed the cutoff.”

    Hurford said APO has been involved in the program ever since Boo at the Zoo’s inception. She also said this year’s event was an improvement from previous years.

    “Every year they do it, the word gets out to the community,” Hurford said. “They had a ton of people there this year. There were hundreds of kids there.”

    Some of the other service organizations at Boo at the Zoo from TCU include Greek organizations and Circle K International, a service organization sponsored by Kiwanis International.