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​Volunteers at FUSION 2012 worked at Providence's Corliss Park.

Friars to Refurbish City Parks in FUSION, Other Projects

Volunteers from Providence College will roll up their sleeves to revamp a city park on Saturday, April 20 — just one of a number of outdoor service projects planned for that day.

For the seventh year, about 70 volunteers from PC and community residents are partnering with the City of Providence as part of Friars United for Service in Our Neighborhood (FUSION). They will be installing fiber mulch, painting a toddler swing set and other structures, and installing a new entrance sign at Fargnoli Park, at the corner of Smith and Jastram streets. College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. ’80 and Providence City Councilman David Salvatore are among those planning to attend.

FUSION was developed by the College’s Providence President’s Council and was launched in 2007 as part of a 10-year agreement with the city. The council is a leadership group that serves in an advisory capacity to the president. It is composed of senior executives from many of Rhode Island’s most prominent employers.

FUSION’s primary objective is to bring together volunteers from the College with Parks Department and other community representatives to improve the physical condition of historic landmarks and community parks. College volunteers include President’s Council members, students, alumni, faculty, and staff members.

During the event, current students are paired with alumni volunteers and employers for informal networking, said Paul Calle ’12, alumni relations coordinator. “It gives them a great chance to have one-on-one time,” he said.

This is also the second consecutive year that PC’s regional alumni clubs will host service projects in their own communities during April. For example, on April 20, the New London/Washington County Area Club will be cleaning up the roads at Norwest Marine in Pawcatuck, Conn. On April 27, the Hartford, Conn., club will work with Rebuilding Together Hartford, Inc., a nonprofit volunteer organization that helps low-income homeowners with home renovation and repairs.

In addition to FUSION, volunteers will work with teen members of YouthRAP as well as Smith Hill residents to clean up Candace Hill Park and surrounding streets on April 20. Volunteers also have been invited to plant pines that day at Providence’s Neutaconkanut Park with the Neutaconkanut Conservancy.

“It’s just a testament to how much service is happening all the time at Providence College,” said Richard Lumley, campus minister and chair of the President’s Standing Committee on Service.

— Liz F. Kay


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