You can’t keep a good tradition down.
Despite chilly temperatures and rainy weather on Sunday, scores of volunteers turned out to tackle community-improvement projects during the 24th annual Celebrate Service… Celebrate Yates event.
Organized by a team from Keuka College and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce, along with community members, CSCY is a day of volunteering to help non-profit organizations, agencies, and citizens throughout Yates County.
Nearly 140 members of the College and local communities were spread out across the county to complete springtime tasks at 17 non-profit sites. Volunteers trimmed branches, laid down mulch, painted furniture, cleared weeds, and helped with general cleanup at various locations including summer camps, cemeteries, and churches.
“This is great for the community and its non-profit businesses,” said Jessica Bacher, president and CEO of the Yates County Chamber of Commerce. “These tasks are vital for these businesses as they open up for the season, and the volunteers truly make an impact.”
Jeanne Wiltberger, marketing director for Keuka Spring Winery, agreed.
“It’s a very nice thing to give back to our community,” she said.
Sharing those thoughts were several College students, including Boyan Wang ’23, a management major from Jimei, China.
“This is very meaningful to me to be able to help others in my new community,” said Boyan, who pitched in at the First Baptist Church in Penn Yan. “This is my first time participating, so it lets me get to know the culture of Penn Yan and I am glad to help.”
Lauren Michels ’24, Chloe Skutt ’25, and Elizabeth Sission ’24 all echoed Boyan’s sentiments, with Elizabeth saying, “It feels good to help others.”
Volunteers ranged in age from elementary school students to octagenarians. There were also a variety of community groups represented, including the Yates County 4-H, the Penn Yan Academy Lady Mustangs lacrosse team, and Lyons National Bank.
“Celebrate Service...Celebrates Yates would not be the success it has been for the past 24 years without each of you,” said Kathy Waye, the College’s director of the Field Period® program and community relations. “We are very lucky to have an opportunity like this for the College and community to work together to make the area we live in a better place.”
Envisioned in 1997 by Keuka College student Tracy Swem Morgan ’98 as a way to demonstrate a literal joining of hands across Yates County, CSCY fosters stronger relationships between members of the Keuka College community and its neighbors.
Save the date! The 25th anniversary of Celebrate Service… Celebrate Yates, is set for Sunday, April 21, 2024.