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Keuka College to Mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day With a Day of Service

From right: Students Justin Hess, Tyler Hoosier, and Justin Napolitano are coordinating the Fourth Annual MLK Day of Service

Social responsibility has long been part of the Keuka College fabric, particularly as it pertains to the local community.

For example, Keuka students, staff, and faculty participate in Make a Difference Day, the Angel Tree Project, and Celebrate Service…Celebrate Yates. Members of the College community also volunteer their time and talents at such places as Milly’s Pantry, the Humane Society of Yates County, and Clinton Crest Manor, among others.

Four years ago, Keuka began a new tradition of service to the local community–one that honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Three Keuka students—seniors Tyler Hoosier, Justin Hess and Justin Napolitano— have organized a community day of service Monday, Jan. 21 to mark the federal holiday. The event is designed to benefit local non-profit organizations.

“Justin, Tyler, and Justin are helping coordinate site locations, activities, volunteers, food for the volunteers, and the basketball clinic that will be held that day,” said Chevy DeVaney, director of multicultural affairs, who is supervising Keuka’s MLK Day of Service.

“I have participated in the MLK Day of Service for the last three years and wanted to be more involved this year,” said Hoosier, a management major from Saratoga Springs.

So did Napolitano, a Syracuse resident.

“I participated in the basketball clinic with my teammates one year, and helped paint the campus safety office last year,” said Napolitano, a management major. “This year, I have the opportunity to help organize the event.”

This is Hess’ first time participating in the MLK Day of Service.

“I respect Dr. King’s dreams, visions, and goals, and now I have the opportunity to match my words with action,” said the political science/history major from North Rose.

“Participating in the MLK Day of Service will give me a different outlook on people who may be struggling,” said Napolitano. “Performing community service not only helps others, but it’s the right thing to do.”

Hoosier agrees.

“By helping organize the MLK Day of Service, I am helping others and getting first-hand experience of what it’s like to plan events, which is something I am considering for a career,” he said.

Volunteers will gather at Penn Yan Baptist Church at 9 a.m. and be placed into groups. After a welcome from DeVaney, volunteers will head to various sites, including Clinton Crest Manor, the ARC of Yates, Yates County Arts Center, American Legion, and Finger Lakes Community Health.

“Volunteers should expect to do anything from Wii bowling and painting fingernails to clearing debris from construction worksites and painting,” said DeVaney.

In addition, members of Keuka’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will conduct a hoop clinic at Penn Yan Middle School.

Lunch and a reflection of the day for all volunteers will be at 11:30 a.m. at the church. Lunch for the children who participate in the basketball clinic will be held at the school after the clinic.

The fourth annual event at Keuka comes three months before Celebrate Service… Celebrate Yates, a day of community service organized by Keuka students and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce. It has helped dozens of non-profit organizations and agencies enhance the quality of life in the region for the past 15 years.

Dr. King and Keuka College have a connection dating back nearly 40 years. He delivered the baccalaureate address and received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree June 16, 1963. He was accompanied to Keuka Park by his wife, Coretta Scott King.

To volunteer, or for more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at [email protected] or call (315) 279-5225.