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Neighborhood Block Party to Celebrate Year’s Progress

August 19, 2009

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Aug. 19, 2009 – Residents of the Old Hill and Upper Hill communities will celebrate a year of progress at an old-fashioned neighborhood block party and barbecue, on Thursday, Aug. 20, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Springfield College Rugby Field, at the corner of Alden Street and Eastern Avenue. Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, State Senator Stephen Buoniconti, and State Representative Benjamin Swan will address the crowd at 5:20 p.m.

Along with the live music of Billy Arnold & Friends, the block party will also feature a resource fair with information about neighborhood homeownership opportunities and educational and community services. For children, there will be a bounce house, face painting and balloons.

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, HAP, Inc., Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services (SNHS), Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity, and other community partners. Also supporting the block party will be MassMutual Financial Group, Baystate Health, TD Bank, Bank of America, Western Massachusetts Electric Company, and the Massachusetts Career Development Institute.

The block party will celebrate the ongoing transformation of State Street and acknowledge PROHill for progress on its goal to build or rehabilitate 100 homes in Old Hill by 2011. SNHS will have information available on three new modular homes under construction on Pendleton Ave., which are green-built and Energy Star rated. They will be sold next month by lottery with SNHS offering mortgages.

Also recognized will be MassMutual’s new Curb Appeal Program, administered by SNHS, which provides grants to improve the exterior appearances of homes in neighborhoods along the State Street corridor. William N. DeBerry School will note the planned opening of its new outdoor classroom next month.

Springfield College will announce that its 12th annual Humanics in Action Day will be on Oct. 1. The college will suspend usual activity, and about 2,000 of its students and members of the faculty and staff will perform about 80 projects in a day of concentrated service.

The college will also pledge to continue its thousands of hours of annual community service. Its students, faculty and staff tutor and mentor in local schools, serve as counselors and case managers for local families, conduct youth leadership programs and sports clinics, perform internships and field work at community agencies, and more.

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