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Springfield College, MCDI to Serve Community Thanksgiving Dinner

November 17, 2009

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 17, 2009-- Springfield College and The Massachusetts Career Development Institute (MCDI) will serve holiday dinner to neighbors free of charge on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., in MCDI’s dining room, 140 Wilbraham Ave., Springfield. The community Thanksgiving dinner is open to Springfield residents and parking is free.

MCDI and the college anticipate that more than 500 members of the Upper Hill, Old Hill, Mason Square, and Springfield College communities will attend. The event, originated in 1997, has been an annual celebration since 1999.

Hosting the event will be Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn and MCDI Executive Director Timothy L. Sneed. Aramark, the college’s food service, and MCDI staff will prepare traditional roast turkey with gravy and stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, carrot cake and pumpkin pie.

Decorating the dining room with their hand-made work will be students from the William N. DeBerry and Elias Brookings elementary schools and their Springfield College mentors in the Partners Program. Altogether, more than 50 volunteers from the college, MCDI and the community will work on the event, including about 25 students in the Springfield College AmeriCorps program.

David L. C. McMahon, Springfield College director of United Campus Ministry and Spiritual Life, will give a blessing over the meal. Josh Schupack, AmeriCorps VISTA member at Springfield College, will play the violin.

The community holiday dinner will culminate weeks of collaboration between MCDI and the college to involve local residents. The event 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.

The community Thanksgiving dinner is one event among many exemplifying Springfield College’s commitment to community engagement. Annually, the college’s students perform more than 133,000 hours of service, and many of the college’s academic courses involve learning through service. The college also conducts on-campus educational and leadership development programs that have served thousands of local children.

During the past year, Springfield College was named to the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the honor roll of Best Neighbor Colleges and Universities in the United States, and also earned the community engagement classification of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

MCDI, which was established in 1979, is committed to providing educational and vocational training opportunities and to offering supportive services that prepare individuals for personal growth and economic self-sufficiency. MCDI has an up-to-date physical plant, a large and dedicated professional staff, and the capability to train 1,800 students each year, satisfying a wide variety of educational and career-preparation needs. It has trained more than 31,000 Western Massachusetts residents and is committed to the needs of many thousands more over the next decade.

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