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MIAA Hosts 2nd Annual Community Service Showcase

by Phil Napolitano
May 18, 2019

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) hosted its 2nd Annual Community Service Showcase on Friday, May 3, 2019 at the MIAA office in Franklin, MA. 

The Community Service Showcase provides student leaders throughout the Commonwealth a platform to highlight service projects that they completed which supported their school, community or a designated cause. A total of 24 schools and over 95 students participated in this year’s showcase.  Examples of exhibits included students from the Westfield High School Boys Hockey and Golf teams who visit the Holyoke Soldiers Home once a year for conversations, ice cream and karaoke. "The conversations really make their day," said Liam Webster, who is on both the hockey and the golf teams. "They gave their freedom for our freedom," he said, and the ambassadors enjoy giving back through these visits. "We enjoy giving back to them," said Aidan Fitzgerald, who is also on both teams. "A little bit goes a long way." 

Students from Dennis-Yarmouth High School talked about the ‘Dolphin Dash’ which is a 5K road race to raise funds to reduce athletic user fees for student-athletes at Dennis-Yarmouth High School.  This is the fourth year that student ambassadors helped organize this fundraiser.  Proceeds from this event have helped reduce student fees which were around $200 per student four years ago to a current $25 per student allowing for more participation in athletics.  Geoffrey Jamiel said, “This is a good thing, brings the community together with all the student-athletes and the coaches.  We love it.”

In addition to the service project, student leaders were challenged to collect toiletry donations at their schools and in their communities over the course of the month leading up to the MIAA Community Service Showcase.  At the event, the students participated in a “service hour” where they organized all of the toiletries and created care packages for homeless Veterans and Veterans in need.  Each care package was also accompanied by a hand written thank you note.  Through the students efforts, over 500 individual care packages were donated to Veterans Inc. in Worcester.

Erin Stelmach, the Media Relations and Community Outreach Coordinated for Veterans Inc. was on site and spoke to the students about the organization and the impact the students service efforts will have on the Veterans in need. She stated, “The items Veterans Inc. has received through the efforts of MIAA will have an impact on the lives of many veterans in need. It was great to see that there were packages made for female veterans as well. Often, their needs are overlooked, but not in this case. We are extremely grateful for the generosity shown through this amazing event.” There was an increase of over 150 packages donated to the Veterans this year from the initial project inception in 2018.

To learn more about Veterans Inc., please visit this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddrwrlwkDFo

 

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