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Volunteer Spotlight: Cape Cod Community Leaders

We talked to  Dick, E’63, ME’65, and Sandy Blaha, CPS’65, about why they volunteer.

Husband and wife alumni team, Dick and Sandy Blaha were determined to make their Northeastern alumni meetings more than just an on-the-side thing. “We were a group of alumni who met every so often for an event and then left without really knowing each other.” For about ten years, the Cape Cod couple met with several NU staff members, in hopes of finding an Alumni program that worked and most importantly, stuck. Their motivation to volunteer for this community is simple, “Wherever you spend time and effort working with an organization, relationships will build.” The Blaha’s dedication to volunteer put them to where they are now, as the Northeastern Leaders of the Cape Cod Community.

Last year, the new leaders decided to start the Northeastern University Cape Cod Breakfast Club. During the four quiet winter months, where Cape Cod locals can catch their breath until vacation season, the community would eat their way through Cape Cod at different restaurants. The objective? Finally an informal setting for alumni to enjoy each other and actually get to know one another.

The couple describes the Breakfast Club, “[it] has exceeded our expectations…we now come to Northeastern events as friends and not as strangers.” Through their once a month meetings, the Cape Cod community has become more connected. Relationships have been established, and with every pancake/waffle/lobster roll they continue to grow.

These relationships have even formed into new opportunities for the Northeastern Alumni at Cape Cod. “Some alumni shared their common musical abilities and play together in a band led by an NU alum. Another alumnus (with his wife) treated the breakfast club to a personal tour of WHOI, Woods Hole Oceanic Institution.” The club started with twenty-six alumni and are now over fifty, thanks to many alumni talking up the breakfast group and inviting their friends and acquaintances who also went to Northeastern. The club has even attracted alumni from Plymouth, who drive the extra miles for the conversation and networking. The Blaha’s are hoping this breakfast club idea will be contagious and Plymouth will soon start an alumni community to have combined events.

Some words of advice for Huskies interested in getting more involved? “Just do it. Northeastern is a great organization to work with and getting involved is a great way to give back to the university that gave us so much, even though we didn’t think so at the time.”

published March 2017