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MCDI And SC To Serve Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner

November 8, 2004

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 8, 2004 -- In the spirit of the first Thanksgiving, the Massachusetts Career Development Institute (MCDI) and Springfield College will serve holiday dinner free of charge on Tues., Nov. 16, 2004, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., in MCDI’s dining room, 140 Wilbraham Ave.

The community Thanksgiving dinner is open to all Springfield residents and parking is free. MCDI and the college anticipate that more than 600 members of the Upper Hill, Old Hill, Mason Square, and Springfield College communities will attend. The event originated in 1997 and has been an annual celebration since 1999.

Aramark, the college’s food service, and MCDI staff will prepare traditional roast turkey, seasonal vegetables and desserts. Working together, 85 volunteers from the college, MCDI and the community will decorate the dining room, welcome guests, serve dinner, and cleanup.

Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn, Mayor Charles Ryan, and MCDI Executive Director James Morton will offer Thanksgiving greetings, clergy members from the college and the community will give benediction, and Springfield College Singers will perform throughout the evening.

The event will culminate weeks of collaboration among MCDI, neighborhood councils, and the college to involve community organizations and area residents. It extends a partnership between MCDI and the college, whose students serve as interns and perform services at MCDI throughout the year. Students’ service often is related to their studies in health sciences, social work, education, and other fields.

MCDI serves persons 18 to 60 years of age through an alternative high school, welfare-to-work programs, services for dislocated workers and more. Annually, it assists about 900 persons to enter the work force, including many whom it placed in internships in area companies.

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