Celtics and Optum Host Volunteer Day of Service
CAMBRIDGE – The Celtics and Optum joined forces for the second time in a year as they spearheaded a volunteer day of service on Thursday at the Kennedy Longfellow School.
Last spring, the Celtics and Optum renovated the gym at the school. The court floor was sanded down, polished and repainted. The walls were repainted and new graphics were installed.
Following that renovation, a volunteer group of 100 people spent Thursday beautifying more of the school. The day began with a school-wide pep rally. Celtics and Optum VIPs addressed the youth, including Celtics Team President Rich Gotham, Optum Chief Growth Officer Mike Matteo, Celtics Legend Dana Barros, Celtics mascot Lucky and Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis.
“I love seeing all the green in the crowd,” remarked Gotham. “You all are just as excited as we are to be here today. The gym looks great and we can’t wait to get to work brightening more of your school because you all deserve it!”
Volunteers dispersed to their respective projects following the pep rally. Service projects ranged from painting murals to building outdoor benches.
One of the projects received special help from Celtics players and Kennedy Longfellow students. Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Kris Humphries and Kelly Olynyk greeted the student ambassadors at the side entrance of the school. Together the group painted a ‘Welcome’ sign above the double-door and inspirational words on the sides of the doors. Most of the students enter the school through that entrance and to see it surrounded by school colors and inspirational words will help to start their school days off on the right foot.
In addition to beautifying the school, select volunteers read in 15 of the classrooms ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade.
As the service day came to a close, volunteers toured the project sites to see all the work that had been accomplished during the day. Students were leaving school as well and eagerly showed their joy at the renovated outdoor spaces.
“I am so proud to be a part of the Celtics Team for many reasons but especially because I get to help out at events like today,” reflected Olynyk. “It’s all about teamwork whether you are on the court or off and today we made a difference in these kids' lives for the better, which makes me feel good.”