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Harvard Pilgrim, Red Claws Hold Day of Service at Riverton

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Harvard Pilgrim, Red Claws Hold Day of Service at Riverton
Posted on 09/25/2015
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More than 40 volunteers from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England and the Maine Red Claws joined together on Sept. 24 for a day of service at Riverton Elementary School. Volunteers worked on building an outdoor soda-bottle greenhouse, painting murals in the gymnasium and on the playground, and hosted Living Healthy Clinics for Riverton students. 

“Creating a healthy environment for students to learn and play is at the core of our Maine service day as volunteers within our community come together, give of their time, and work to achieve the same goal,” said Ed Kane, Vice President, Maine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. “We can make a big difference by giving back and working to make our communities more vibrant and more engaged.”

Portland Public Schools Interim Superintendent Jeanne Crocker and Portland Mayor Michael Brennan were among those speaking at the event.

Crocker asked students to shout out their thanks for the volunteers and applaud them. After the students did that, Crocker said, “Thank you for joining me in thanking these wonderful people for helping make Riverton an even more wonderful place.”

Brennan talked about how the day’s volunteerism mirrored the city’s goal of showing compassion to all its residents. He told students that everyone’s focus should be on “how we’re kind to each other; how we treat each other well.”

To get the students moving, the Red Claw’s mascot Crusher led students in a physical training exercise as part of its Living Healthy Clinic designed to get the students geared up for a day of learning.

Students learned that professional athletes drink water instead of soda and avoid fast foods if they want to play well.

“We are so thankful to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care for this exceptional day of service, working on projects we might not otherwise have achieved this year,” said Jeanne Malia, Riverton principal. “With the support of Maine Red Claws, together we can all promote the health and well-being of our students and make a significant impact on the Portland community.”

In addition to the service projects, the Good Food Bus, a newly launched mobile farmers market based in Lewiston/Auburn, was on the site and Harvard Pilgrim provided $500 in vouchers for staff, families and volunteers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation is a founding partner of the mobile market, it’s fourth in a fleet of mobile markets across the region helping to increase access to fresh, healthy food.

The service day reflected the foundation’s broad-based commitment to building healthy communities by promoting healthy living and wellness, especially to school-age children.

The Portland Public Schools and Harvard Pilgrim have worked together for four years now to implement an annual day of service day across the school district. Previously, Harvard Pilgrim and local organizations, such as the Maine Red Claws and Maine Medical, came together to create an outdoor classroom at the Presumpscot Elementary School. Harvard Pilgrim also completed impactful projects at Deering High School and Longfellow Elementary School.
Harvard Pilgrim employee and Riverton students  Volunteer pix