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Letter to the Editor: Mansfield Leaf Raking Program

The following was submitted to Mansfield Patch by Mansfield resident Donna Harrington.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank many people from the Mansfield community for helping out with the Leaf Raking Project on November 12, 2012.  It is without hesitation that I say I am so proud to be part of this community and the wonderful people who live and thrive in this town.  This yearly collaboration between the schools, DPW, Police Department and landscapers in town runs so smoothly now because of the dedicated volunteers who each year come out and support this program. It not only helped out the seniors in Mansfield but gave the students a chance to recognize the value of community service and see first hand what their contribution can do in someone’s life.

Each year I am dumb founded by the selfless act of our police department and landscapers who not only step up and help out but then continue to ask “do you need anything else.”  I find so many times I am at a loss of words to truly express my gratitude to so many.

Parent volunteers once again came out in droves to support our students. I think their actions speak volumes to the wonderful community we live in.

The homes of senior citizens were raked by students of the Mansfield Public School with the assistance of parents and staff from the schools along with volunteers from the Mansfield Police Department.  The return of landscapers: Kevin Guerrini, Sean Flynn, and Pete Presentato, helped make the event much easier for the students. The yards were done in no time.

I cannot begin to name the many people who helped to make this year a success with over 400 students contributing but I would like to give a special thank you to Lt. James Seekell, Lt Samuel F. Thompson Jr, Sgt. Tracey A. Juda, Sgt. Ray Maigret,  Det. Kenneth Wright,  Officers David Kinehan, Anthony Lattanzio, and Robert Pierce who volunteered their time with the students.  I know their presence makes a huge impression with the students.

I would also like to thank the Council on Aging Gale Farrugia along with DPW’s Mark Cook for their assistance with scheduling the seniors’ homes and scheduling with the green for the landscapers.

Along with the students who volunteered, coaches from some of the high schools sports teams helped out which include: Cross Country’s Girls coach and Jordan Jackson teacher Derek Ellis, Boys Soccer Coach Steve Sheridan, Assistant Coach Jamie Harrington, JV Coach Bruce Bouck and Freshmen Coach and Qualters Middle School Teacher Kevin Vartian, Girls Soccer and high school faculty member Kevin Smith and Freshmen Girls Coach and Qualters Middle School teacher Sarah Duporte.

A big thank you to Scott Brigante who took terrific pictures of the event.

Again I would like to bring attention to the many parents who also helped in this worthy project:   Kevin Kemp, Kristin Harrington, John Harrington, Erin Diceenzio and Tammy Walden, Fadia Brangwynne, Claire Cole, Diane Nugent, Gina Fitzpatrick, Andy Sternburg,  and Matthew King.

Special thank you to Jordan Briseno whose tremendous assistance with getting the word out lead to a wonderful turnout of students and adult volunteers.

I pray I did not leave anyone out and if I did, please please forgive me. But as you can see there are so many wonderful people to thank for volunteering their time and making the project a huge success including Melissa Suriani, Theresa Nyhan, Mike Redding, Kerri Sankey, and Athletic Director Joe Russo, whose groups responded.

Regards,

Donna Harrington
Leaf Raking Coordinator
Mansfield   MA   02048

Marie Eckler December 21, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I think it is a wonderful community service provided to elders. I also would like to know, however, why the gatekeepers of the service insist that one must be on an aid program like SSI, Disability, Food Stamps in order to have the service provided....I had requested several times over since I am 65 with a bad fused spine living with an 86 year old bed/wheelchair bound elderly mother and was told I would be on a waiting list since I am not "assistance"....For 43 years I worked and just left work to be a caregiver and am trying to hang onto our home on Social Security...Something just doesn't sit right with the gatekeeping of this project! rerecns@comcast.net

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