Reprinted with permission from Corey Fecteau at Alfred University
Celebrate Service, Celebrate Allegany is Allegany County’s annual fall day of service tradition. Since 2012, Celebrate Service, Celebrate Allegany (CSCA) has been observed by Alfred State College, Alfred University, and Houghton College on national Make A Difference Day, the fourth Saturday in October. This event has indeed made a difference for Allegany County: more than 2400 students from all three institutions of higher education have contributed over 11,000 hours of service to county organizations and community projects. Leadership Allegany participants originally had a vision for a collaborative service day to build relationships and meet community needs, a vision that has been realized over the last 8 years.
Each year, this unique collaborative effort receives financial and in-kind support from all three institutions, as well as county businesses, non-profits, and civic organizations. For 2019, CSCA is supported by Alfred State College; Alfred University; Houghton College; the Greater Allegany Chamber of Commerce, Inc.; the Allegany County Area Foundation; Otis Eastern Service, LLC of Wellsville, NY; Leadership Allegany; and ACES: Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Services. T-shirts were printed by Hot Silk Screen Printing of Alfred, NY.
As this tradition enters its eighth year, administrators from all three campuses decided to broaden the reach of CSCA by adding additional dates for service projects, extending the celebration over the course of four weeks. The 2019 version will begin with Alfred University’s day of service on Saturday, September 28, which is also National Good Neighbor Day. Projects on Good Neighbor Day will include the Alfred, Alfred Station, and Almond communities.
Houghton College will then start its celebration on October 21, kicking off a week of service and community-building projects. Houghton College’s Alumni and Community Engagement Director Phyllis Gaerte noted, “in addition to the service projects, Houghton’s Student Government Association (SGA) is scheduling their annual 5k Turkey Trot for the morning of October 26, inviting the broader community to participate. All proceeds provide Thanksgiving meals to Allegany County residents.” Houghton students will focus their volunteer efforts in the northern and western communities of Allegany County.
On Saturday, October 26, Alfred State College students will conclude the collaborative month-long service celebration with volunteer service projects in the southern and eastern communities of Allegany County. Alfred State College Director of Civic Engagement Jonathan Hilsher stated, “students look forward to this opportunity each year to build relationships and help members of their adopted community. We expect to engage in projects from supporting community events to fall clean-up and other activities.”
Students from all three campuses will volunteer during the month-long celebration, as both individual students and student organization groups continue to serve community organizations and support Allegany County communities. Alfred University Service Learning Coordinator Corey Fecteau commented, “our decision to expand Celebrate Service, Celebrate Allegany reflects the ongoing service and volunteer contributions of each campus to our beautiful county. We have been able to accomplish a lot for local organizations during a single fall day of service, but growing our celebration allows us to also grow our impact, as well as provide greater flexibility for our community partners.”
While Alfred University’s Celebrate Service, Celebrate Allegany/Good Neighbor Day celebration for September 28 is already planned, projects are still needed for Houghton College and Alfred State College’s celebrations in October. Allegany County community organizations interested in hosting volunteers later in October should contact the campus event coordinator of their choosing for more information on the service event, as well as the project submission link.
Follow Celebrate Service, Celebrate Allegany 2019 on the event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CelebrateService/