Enjoy your Labor Day weekend at the “Labor of Love” fundraiser by helping shape future global citizens.

Art’s Table and the Verge family is inviting the Santa Monica community to participate in the fundraiser from Sept. 2 – 5 on the southeast corner of 10th and Montana Avenue.

The restaurant will serve special entrees over the weekend to honor Dr. Art Verge and to help Santa Monica College students learn and explore the beauty and history of South Africa.

Dr. Verge is a popular and longtime SMC history professor and late father of Mark Verge. He helped pioneer SMC’s Study Abroad program due to love for people, culture and travel. The program is now opening minds of young adults, allowing them to travel and experience the world.

In honor of Dr. Verge and his legacy the Art’s Table and the Verge family are in partnership with the SMC Foundation, which created the Art Verge Study Abroad Scholarship in 2014.

Mark said “My dad was a huge supporter of traveling and exploring different cultures, he loved leading groups of SMC students to new places, new experiences, and broader perspectives of the world. He worked hard to help make SMC’s Study Abroad Program one of the best ones out there and ensure that, as many students as possible were open to the opportunity.”

This weekend’s proceeds will help eligible students with a scholarship toward the cost of the South Africa program. The scholarship is now providing students $500 to help offset the cost of travel participating in SMC’s South Africa Winter Study Abroad programs in 2017.

“The continued generosity of Art’s Table in making these life-changing opportunities possible for SMC students is a testament to the legacy of Art Verge,” said Lizzy Moore, SMC Interim Dean of Institutional Advancement. “Study Abroad experiences are not only transformative for our students, but also has proven to motivate them to persist in their academic journey. We are grateful to everyone who makes these scholarships possible.”

Professor Delphine Broccard who led the trip last year and is leading again this year is thrilled and thankful for actions put forth by Art’s Table to financially help the SMC students.

She said, “If it weren’t for scholarships, most of our students would not have a chance to go abroad. These study abroad opportunities are, for some of our students, their first exposure to the world beyond the United States. Most of our students come back with a greater love for humanity, in that they recognize that their life is more meaningful when it is focused on serving others. For some students, studying abroad changed their career trajectory, while others have been active in seeking out opportunities to give back locally in Los Angeles.”

Interested students are invited to apply and join SMC professors Delphine Broccard and Wilfred Doucet to learn more about the rich history of South Africa during the 2017 winter session. The program highlights taking classes at University of Cape Town, a safari in Kruger National Park, townships tour, and visiting cultural sites such as Robben Island where Nelson Mandela along with other political prisoners were incarcerated.

For more information about the Art Verge Study Abroad Scholarship Fund, visit www.smc.edu/studyabroad.com. For more information about the Art Verge Study Abroad Scholarship Fund, please contact the Santa Monica College Foundation at (310) 434-4215. Visit www.ArtsTableSM.com for reservations.

By Marina Andalon