For over 140 years, all 50 states and countries around the world have celebrated Arbor Day – a day set aside for the planting of trees and promoting the importance of forestry conservation.
Thanks to the generosity of the Randolph Garden Club in Massachusetts, May Institute had the opportunity to commemorate this special tradition with its own celebration that brought together club members, neighbors, Randolph town officials, children and adults served at May Institute, and staff.
For the past three years, the Club has chosen an organization in the community as the beneficiary of a tree of its choice. This year, May Institute was awarded that honor and selected a beautiful flowering plum tree to welcome visitors to one of the sites that comprise its corporate headquarters in Randolph.
“We like to shine a light on organizations in Randolph that are making a real difference in our community,” says Sheila Swanwick, President of the Randolph Garden Club and co-host of the event. “Just by being here today and visiting with folks, we have already learned so much more about the May Institute and the incredible work that they are doing right here in our own backyard.”
Set against the backdrop of a picture-perfect spring day, the sentiment was mutual. “May Institute has been the grateful beneficiary of many supporters over the years, but today represents a first, and one that is very special to us – not only because of its environmental significance, but because we get this wonderful opportunity to meet and spend time getting to know more of our neighbors,” says Ralph Sperry, Ph.D., ABPP, Chief Operating Officer at May Institute and co-host for the event.
In addition to the tree-planting ceremony and dedication to Mary Hennessey – one of the original founders of the Randolph Garden Club who recently passed away – guests were treated to an art display and presentation of “thank you” gifts created especially for the celebration. The display and gifts featured original artwork created by students who attend the May Center school, thanks to the school’s Art Instructor Crystal Kimmett.
One of the founding Club members Barbara Seigel performed the National Anthem, while May Institute’s own Kathi Barry recited a poem by Candika Niada, and Mark Kittredge recited a poem written by Howard Johnson. At the close of the ceremony, Michelle and Eli, students at the May Center school, took turns tending to the newly planted tree by giving it a good soak with their new watering cans.
The event took place on the front lawn of the Institute’s property at 14 Pacella Park Drive. This portion of the Randolph campus houses corporate offices, an Adult Day Habilitation Program, and the new Todd Fournier Center for Employment Training and Community Inclusion. Guests toured the Fournier Center following the festivities.