Students eat, shop, socialize at First Monday

Students had plenty to do at First Monday -- such as testing their Frisbee accuracy.
Meghan Mellinger liked the way First Monday started the week for students.

Photos by Zachary BonDurant Slideshow

Prescott Field at Grand Canyon University was lined with students eagerly waiting to enter and swipe, tap or scan their credit cards. Rows of student merchandise were before them, including homemade jewelry, thrifted clothing, upcycled clothing, coffee, stickers and baked goods.

Canyon Activities Board’s First Monday, a market where students can set up and sell merchandise for other students, was a success in its first year as part of Welcome Week.

“A lot of the things we do are, of course, for students, but it is fun that our students are doing things for other students — they are the main focus and emphasis,” said CAB Student Activities Manager Meghan Mellinger. “I’m hoping this is a fun new Welcome Week tradition.”

A selection of skee-ball, cornhole and a dance video game created even more of a buzz alongside the free food and refreshments available for those attending the event.

For Josh Toney, First Monday was an opportunity to spread the message of God.

Toney’s apparel brand, Joshua 1, is adorned with graphic designs and Scripture.

Josh Toney's apparel brand, Joshua 1, is Scripture-oriented.

“It’s really focused on being bold and being proud of it. It is a reminder for me and everyone who sees my clothing that I’m living for God,” he said.

A graphic design combined with Matthew 17:20 -- “Mustard seed-sized faith can move mountains” --- is one of many examples he uses to show the power of Scripture.

The bold statement does not go unnoticed by others -- the brand is meant to raise questions to people who may not know God.

“So many people come up and ask about it, and we end up having conversations,” said Toney. “That is really what the Gospel is all about.”

Ryan Anger sold cookies at First Monday to raise money for a mission trip.

Similarly, Ryan Anger sought out a vender spot at First Monday to raise money for a mission trip, the Alaska Mission for Christ, which centers around 1 John 4:19: “We love because He first loved us.”

His bright orange tablecloth was covered with a variety of homemade cookies, including chocolate chip, peanut butter and oatmeal raisin. The process flipped his residence hall room into a bakery.

“Baking started Friday and ended Sunday night,” Anger said. “My dorm-mates don’t like how warm the room gets with the oven on, but you have to do what you have to do.”

It’s worth the trouble.

The event featured something else students appreciate -- free food.

During the mission trip last summer, he traveled to Alaska with a group of contractors and renovated a youth camp. This year, he is hoping to contribute to the renovation of villages.

Toney and Anger were among dozens to lure the big crowd.

Mellinger was pleasantly surprised with the outcome, which set the tone for the rest of the week.

“CAB is putting on other events throughout Welcome Week and this is only the first night,” she said. “So, we thought it would be a little smaller as opposed to our other events throughout Welcome Week – but it looks like we have most of the campus here.”

Contact staff writer Lydia P. Robles at 602-639-7665 or [email protected].

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