Caring Coast to Coast
You could really see the difference at the end of the day,
Krissy Pisanelli '97 reported after the Washington, D.C. Catamounts Care
event on May 7. Alumni, parents, and friends joined forces to clean-up,
paint, and do grounds work at an elementary school in D.C.'s Anacostia
neighborhood. And so it went across the country during the first annual
Catamounts Care Service Project as fellow UVMers set out to make their
own differences at the end of the day.
Back in Burlington, Alumni Association President Frank Cioffi '77 rallied
a large group of volunteers around the fountain on the UVM Green. Cioffi
made special note of the late Ellie McNamara '58, who worked with Linda
Drumheller '76 and Jerry Heller '59 to get Catamounts Care off the ground.
Ellie was a driving force for getting UVM involved in all of our
communities, Cioffi said. Then volunteers grouped up, plastic bags
in hand, to fan out across Burlington and take part in Vermont's annual
Green Up Day.
A strong showing of UVM students joined the alumni volunteering for the
day. Many varsity teams were in the mix, including the skiing, hockey,
field hockey, and lacrosse squads, among others. Think Colchester Avenue
looks tidy? Thank a cluster of graduate students from the Rubenstein School
of Environment and Natural Resources. They kept themselves entertained
during the trash collection by imagining the intricate GIS maps that could
be created to document distribution of tossed cigarette butts and Dunkin
Donuts cups. Call it whistling while you work grad-student style.
That same spirit of fun and camaraderie combined with service to make
for great days throughout the country.
Time passes quickly among friends, even when faced with sorting a semi-trailer
packed with produce. Dana Demas '98 and Sam Jung '84 combined to organize
the day of repackaging food for distribution to hunger agencies. Demas
reels off the contents - onions, potatoes, celery, peanuts, lettuce, apples,
beets, ginger root; well, you get the idea. Though it was three hours
of hard work, she says it only seemed like an hour or so, and participants
left satisfied with work well done and eager for future Chicago events.
UVMers have helped out annually for the past several years at Boston's
Pine Street Inn agency for the homeless, where alumna Lyndia Downie '82
heads up the operation. Linking that annual event with Catamounts Care
upped the participation to a new high, says Jon Burke '80, who helped
organize the Boston event. Some 30 UVM alumni, parents, and families turned
out to put in a good four hours.
It wouldn't be the Pacific Northwest without some concern about the rain,
but Kathy Biscardi '88 reports that showers cleared up and all registered
volunteers turned out for a day of working at Marra Farm, which grows
fresh produce for distribution to food shelves. Like many sites nationwide,
Seattle included a number of alumni with their kids in tow, and the extra
hands made quick work of the weeding chores.
New York City
Some 20 NYC-area alums shared their professional experience at a career
planning forum with students from three high schools in the Bronx connected
with the University through innovative urban partnership programs. For
almost 3 hours, alums talked about how to evaluate career options, how
to land that first summer job and how a formal education starting
freshman year will affect the process, Ken Mazer 85
reports. He adds that the event was a success for both students and alums
and plans are already on to do it again next year.
For a complete recap and photos from all the sites, please visit alumni.uvm.edu/catamounts_care.