UPTON, Mass. - As a national discourse on gun control and the availability of mental- health services springs from the horrific incident at Connecticut elementary school, members of the Friends of Rachel Club at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School continue to focus their response to the tragedy by promoting kindness and compassion.
The club hosts a series of monthly dinners to raise funds for a variety of charitable organizations.
To date, monthly dinners in September, October, November, and December have raised more than $1,500.
As a result, donations have been forwarded to Be Like Brit, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Southwest Asia Veterans Riders, The Hole in the Wall Gang, Joyful Heart Foundation, the International Dyslexia Association, UNICEF, Helpguide.org, and the American Humane Association. The roast pork dinner on Jan.10 will benefit the Shriners’ Burn Unit and The Jimmy Fund.
Club members have also assisted the Hopedale Senior Center by supplying pastries for monthly meetings, calling bingo, and helping with their holiday party. They provided registration support for a Saddle Up and Walk fund-raiser, and made gift donations to the Stuart Mowry Applebey Self Esteem Foundation.
All dinners take place in the student-run Three Seasons Restaurant at the school’s 65 Pleasant St. campus in Upton. Seats are limited and reservations are required by contacting Dawn Dubois at 508-529-7758, extension 2143. These meals are all-you-can-eat and are $12 for adults and $8 for children under the age of 12. Members of the Friends of Rachel Club will serve at all seatings, which are at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., or 6:30 p.m.
The remaining schedule, which includes a re-scheduled March date, is as follows:
- Feb. 14, an oven-roasted chicken dinner benefiting Stuart Mowry Applebey Self Esteem Foundation;
- March 21, a corned beef and cabbage dinner benefiting the My One Wish & Multiple Sclerosis Society;
- April 11, a fish and chips dinner benefiting Autism Speaks & Special Olympics;
- May 9, a porketta dinner benefiting Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation & St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The Friends of Rachel Club is a group of students who were inspired by a Rachel’s Challenge presentation at the school during a previous school year. That program is named after Rachel Scott, who was killed in the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999. Her acts of kindness and compassion have become the foundation for the inspirational program which had a profound effect on Valley Tech students, who seek to perpetuate the program’s positive message.
Blackstone Valley Tech serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton, and Uxbridge.