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Veterans’ Inc. in Shrewsbury Gets a Hand

Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School help out during vacation.

Mikayla Bradford, Marlborough, begins the salad preparation for the pasta dinner served at Assabet Valley Family Fun Day. Courtesy
Mikayla Bradford, Marlborough, begins the salad preparation for the pasta dinner served at Assabet Valley Family Fun Day. Courtesy

The February vacation at Assabet Valley was anything but down time for a group of the students and staff members as they gathered to spread a few smiles and a lot of good will. 

Starting off at Veterans’ Inc. in Shrewsbury, the students, along with Principal Mark Hollick, science teacher Anna Conrad, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Alyssia Berghaus, and Administrative Assistant-Technical Programs, Mary May-Lucchese, cleaned and organized a storage area, scrubbed floors, prepared and served dinner, and primed a Toddler Room, and then spent the night. The next day, they continued more of the same, as well as baked cookies for the children, painted the Toddler Room, and organized cabinets. Members of the school’s House Carpentry department stopped by to install a bookshelf the school had made for the playroom.  The students and staff finished at Veterans’ Inc. by preparing and serving lunch.

The group returned to Assabet and began setting up for the first ever Assabet Valley Family Fun Day, benefitting Friends and Families in Transition. The joy the staff and students brought to these families was deeply moving. LPN adult students made short work of replacing lost pacifiers or missing socks with a quick trip to Wal-Mart. Craft tables were filled with beads, stickers and creative little hands. Students, led by Assabet’s own Chef Ernie Sena, offered a food presentation that would rival Emeril Lagasse, turning out an amazing pasta dinner consumed very quickly by hungry families, staff and students. Parents were eager to have their resumes critiqued and questions answered about interviewing tips. The gym was filled with very active toddlers, students and staff. One parent expressed his appreciation for giving his energetic son an opportunity to run around for a few hours, as the hotels don’t have much play room.

“I’m truly grateful to be part of such a giving community of students and staff. This was just so rewarding for all of us!” said Mary May-Lucchese, Administrative Assistant - Technical Programs.

The students who volunteered so readily were the following:  Natalie Robles, Kristi Rublesky and Rayanne Silva, all from Clinton; Mikayla Bradford, Ryan Keane, Jaimie Shepherd and Jason Slocum, all from Marlborough; Molly Manganaro from Maynard; Hannah Pollan from Northborough;  Andrew Prentiss from Shrewsbury; and Jennelle Gadowski and Alex Morais from West Boylston.

The next event scheduled for a Learn and Serve team will be a return trip to the Maine Seacoast Mission with staff members Maki Faria, Melissa Couture, Bill Italiano, John Allard and retired Assabet coach Jerry Pastner. 

Submitted by Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School.

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