Students in culinary arts program dedicate their time and talents to a worthwhile endeavor
There’s nothing new about Branford Springfield’s culinary arts students displaying their skills at a nearby charity event. Branford students have been known to volunteer at several community events throughout each term. But on May 31st, these culinary specialists found a way to give back in a very admirable way.
The students volunteered to help prepare and cook food for a barbecue that was held at the Polish American Club in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. The occasion? A local fundraiser for Team Alex – an organization dedicated to helping pay down the escalating medical bills of Alex Scafuri.
Alex is a 16-year-old from Agawam, Massachusetts. In early March of this year the Springfield-area teen was struck – and immediately paralyzed – by a drunk driver while riding his skateboard home from an area volleyball tryout.
Out of tragedy, relief
If there is any upside to Alex’s situation, it can be found within the power of community. In the days and weeks following Scafuri’s incident, various friends and neighbors banded themselves together for the cause. Their fundraising efforts in conjunction with Team Alex have proven instrumental in accomplishing three goals:
- Minimizing the burden of Alex Scafuri’s overwhelming medical expenses
- Allowing the Scafuris to send Alex to an Atlanta treatment facility where he’s been receiving expert paralysis care, and
- Raising regional awareness about the evils of drunk driving.
In addition, Team Alex coordinated a hero’s welcome for Scafuri upon his return trip from Atlanta. With the Scafuris’ permission, Alex was escorted from the airport by a motorcade. His police escort arrived along the Agawam streets to widespread recognition and applause.
Being in a position to help
Taking part in local events like the Team Alex fundraiser represents a win-win for Branford Springfield’s culinary arts program. Not only do the students receive an opportunity to sharpen their skills, they’re also in a position to meet and network with the local business community.
Beyond that, Branford students are receiving an opportunity to lend their support. Given all the academic focus regularly associated with career training programs, it’s important to remember that there are also several unspoken advantages of having acquired an in-demand skill.