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Old Hill Block Party To Celebrate Year’s Improvements

August 18, 2008

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Aug. 18, 2008 – Residents of Old Hill and Upper Hill will celebrate a year of improvements and special events at an old-fashioned neighborhood block party and barbecue, on Thursday, Aug. 21, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Springfield College Rugby Field, at the corner of Alden Street and Eastern Avenue. Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray and Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno will address the crowd at 5:20 p.m.

Along with the live music of Billy Arnold & Friends, the “Block Party and BBQ on the Hill” will also feature a resource fair with information about neighborhood homeownership opportunities and many educational and community services. For children, there will be a bounce house and face painting.

Sponsoring the event will be the Partnership for the Renewal of Old Hill (PROHill), which includes Springfield College, the City of Springfield, the Old Hill Neighborhood Council, Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity, HAP, Inc., and other community partners. Also supporting the block party will be MassMutual, Baystate Health, and TD Banknorth.

This summer, PROHill will mark completion of 22 homes built or rehabilitated, 10 being developed, and 10 properties under consideration. The City of Springfield has reconstructed streets and sidewalks, improved parks, and planted trees. St. John’s Congregational Church cleared ground to build a new house of worship.

Planning continues for new education and recreation facilities for William N. DeBerry School, including an outdoor classroom, and for expansion of Square One’s preschool on King Street.

Mason Square’s Weed and Seed Community Coalition continues to support expanded youth programs in the neighborhood.

The neighborhood marked the second annual Springfield Youth Olympics, a fun-filled array of track, field and tennis competition for Greater Springfield residents, Aug. 1 and 2, at Springfield College. Participation doubled over last year to more than 500 competitors aged five through 22.

On its annual Humanics in Action Day each September, Springfield College cancels classes to send hundreds of volunteers into the neighborhood for a day of community service. Throughout the year, hundreds of the college’s students, faculty and staff perform service projects in the neighborhoods and beyond.

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