August 10, 2007
By MEGAN JAMES
ADDISON COUNTY — Eight brand new Middlebury College freshmen scraped at the pale blue paint on Lori and Mike Wallace’s Vergennes house on Labor Day weekend. The Wallaces had their hearts set on a new look: granite grey with pink trim.
“It’s unusual, I know, but it’s what we wanted,” Lori said.
The trouble was, both are disabled. Mike broke his neck and Lori suffered a brain hemorrhage a few years ago. So getting out there on ladders wasn’t really an option for them.
Luckily, through the Champlain Valley Agency on Ageing (CVAA) the couple was paired up with 10 eager college students — two upperclassmen led the group — looking for some way to get to know the community before diving into their first semester.
The students, who started classes on Monday, were part of Middlebury Outdoor Orientation (MOO), a 20-year-old program that this year drew more than 200 of the 645 incoming freshmen. MOO is designed to give new students a feel for the environment surrounding the college while offering them an opportunity to bond with each other.