MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

November 8, 2014

Cometeers bring personal service to life

A student group that was founded last year is bringing Mayville State’s tradition of personal service to life. The Cometeers aim to promote volunteer service of Mayville State University students by reaching out to communities near and far. The group has been organized for only a short time, but already they’ve made a big impact at the campus, in the community, and beyond.

Mayville State students Jacob Allam and Brady Eichelberger were visiting during dinner one night and Brady mentioned his involvement at with the Larson Leadership program at the university. He told Jacob that he’d been encouraged to get involved with a group or organization and to get into a leadership role. Brady said that he was interested in starting a new volunteer organization at Mayville State. The idea was intriguing to Jacob and through their discussion that evening, they had formed a good basis for their plan.

The next day, the two spoke to Mayville State personnel and learned how they could proceed in establishing an official campus organization. They drafted a constitution and put together a list of prospective members. In addition, they visited with community businesses and organizations, such as the Luther Memorial Home, Sanford Health Mayville, GST in Portland, and others, to gauge the need for a volunteer organization such as the one they had envisioned. They learned that there is a great need in the community. After several weeks of preliminary work, Jacob and Brady brought their idea to the Mayville State Student Senate, which unanimously accepted Cometeers as an official organization of the university. Founders Brady and Jacob are president and vice president for the organization. Their faculty co-advisors are Rhonda Nelson and Ann Willeson.

The purpose of Cometeers is to enrich personality, responsibility, attitude, and appreciation toward the members, community, and life in general. Members and other students provide volunteer service throughout the surrounding communities, the university, and the general public by offering their time and efforts to help others in many facets of life, in order to better those communities and its individuals. Members gain useful skills and knowledge that will assist them during their college years and throughout their professional lives. The organization encourages all Mayville State University students to become involved in volunteer service.

Some of the volunteer projects the Cometeers have been involved with include Rainbow Garden and Highway 200 clean-up, Summerfest, the May-Port CG PTA carnival, the May-Port CG prom, May-Port Food Pantry, Farmers Bowl, MSU homecoming festivities, fundraisers for people in need, and more. The group is willing to take on any event that is considered a community service, and they have made themselves available to be on call, even when the call for help is last-minute.

Cometeers have made a big impact with middle school students at May-Port CG through their involvement in Common Time. Several Cometeers volunteer their time every afternoon during the last half hour of the school day. They help students with their homework and with any subjects in which they may need a little extra one-on-one assistance.

Last spring, five Cometeers joined students from across the state and nation in spending their spring break lending their assistance in a “Pay It Forward” trip that took them to several locations in the southern United States. This trip aligned the members’ goal to have an effect on populations far beyond their own lives. They do not limit themselves within any borders, and they seek to help anywhere and in any way that they can.

The Cometeers are currently conducting a food drive for the May-Port Food Pantry. Donations can be made at the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse and near the Mailroom at Mayville State, and at Miller’s Fresh Foods and The Goose River Bank in Mayville. Donations will be collected throughout the month of November. I encourage you to join the group in their efforts to make a difference for those in need.

I am extremely proud and grateful to the Cometeers student founders, Jacob Allam, Seattle, Wash., who is majoring in elementary education and social science; and Brady Eichelberger, an English major from Lakota, N.D. These young men have taken it upon themselves to make a difference in the lives of others, and in so doing, I am confident they will also benefit.

If you have a project and would like some help from the Cometeers, you may contact Brady at or 701-247-3650; or Jacob at or 253-486-9319. Like the Cometeers Volunteer Organization on Facebook.