On November 2, a beautiful Sunday, HWS students gathered to work with the youngest members of the Geneva community for the Kids’ Service Festival. This was the last day of the Colleges’ three-day, Days of Service initiative.
In his opening remarks, Colleges President Mark D. Gearan gave a most sincere thank you to the students for participating in the day of service, which welcomed Geneva residents to HWS as neighbors.
Part of the festival took place in the barn, where there were a variety of activities planned for parents and children 8-years-old or younger. There were snacks, T-shirts and tables with numerous arts and crafts projects, including creating Thanksgiving cards, hand turkeys, water bottle animals and bookmarks, as well as activities in Spanish.
“I’m giving back to the community; it’s a good feeling,” said Days of Service Co-Chair Jillian Petrella ’09. Children and students worked to create bookmarks that would be donated to the Geneva Public Library. “The kids also have a sense of giving back to their community by creating these bookmarks and leaving them behind for their library,” said fellow Days of Service Co-Chair Katie Taylor ’09.
In addition to the crafts and activities in the barn, there were sports clinics run by Hobart and William Smith athletics teams. Members of William Smith squash, William Smith lacrosse, Hobart lacrosse, and William Smith field hockey teams each paired up with a child for one-on-one practice sessions.
“I think it’s really important to teach kids sports now,” said Chelsea Snyder ’11. “Geneva doesn’t have a field hockey program so they get the opportunity to learn through us.”
Lacrosse player Kim Armani ’11 agreed the event was important because it, “Is a good opportunity for the athletic teams to get involved in the community.”
Parents were impressed with the huge turnout of HWS students and both parents and students agreed that the event was a fun thing to do with the kids. “I am once again impressed with the Days of Service and Sports Clinic for Youth,” said Carol McCormack. ” I have been bringing my daughter to this community event for the last couple of years. The HWS teams and students did a great job. This year, my daughter had the chance to play field hockey – she really liked that a lot. We look forward to many more events like this.”