MANKATO — Juli Eigenheer volunteers at Relay for Life every year in Mankato.
Part of the reason is personal. She lost her father to melanoma, and helping with the event each year keeps him in her heart and her thoughts all day long, she said, even more than usual.
The other part has to do with who she is as a person. “I like to help people,” said the Rasmussen College nursing faculty member.
That's why Eigenheer volunteers every year, not only with American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Blue Earth County but also with Rasmussen's annual Community Service Day. Past years have included volunteering with the MRCI thrift store or picking up trash along the highway.
“We help wherever we can,” she said.
Eigenheer was excited that this year's Community Service Day coincided with Relay for Life. She and various other staff and students were at Erlandson Park Friday morning doing whatever they could to help — putting out signs, filling bags with sand to weigh down the luminaria and setting up tables, among other things.
“People don't realize how much work it takes to get this put up,” Eigenheer said.
Volunteers from Rasmussen came in shifts to Erlandson to help Friday. Others, including Mankato Campus Director Kathy Sanger, picked up trash at Highway 22 and County Road 90 in the afternoon.
Sanger said she and others enjoy volunteering each year during the Rasmussen event, which included more than 550 employees and students from the eight Minnesota campuses. This year the group put in about 1,600 hours of volunteer time across the state.