NFA Junior ROTC Cadets Help Beautify Newburgh's Downing Park
Recently, Newburgh Free Academy Junior ROTC students participated in a community service initiative at Downing Park in Newburgh. The twenty-five year long tradition, to help keep the park clean, involves cadets participating in one cleanup event in the fall and one in the spring. For each clean-up, cadets volunteer their time to help beautify the park and clean a portion of the vast 35-acre landscape.
According to NFA's JROTC Advisor Ed Seward, Col, USAF (Ret.), cadets are required to establish six goals for themselves, with two focusing on the community, beginning each year as per the Air Force. Each year, it has become the goal of the cadets to contribute a certain number of community service hours to the Newburgh area. For the past four years, NFA's Junior ROTC Detachment has reached or exceeded 2,000 hours of service.
According to Col. Seward, each year the group strives to build upon the initiatives from the previous year. "This year the cadets helped oversee the Project Hope Thanksgiving Food Drive and a Christmas gift drive for NFA. We also helped decorate, wrap presents and serve food for the Winona Lake Fire House Christmas Dinner for senior citizens. During the holiday season, we served food at the Ebenezer Baptist Church Christmas Dinner, and had over 50 cadets ringing bells for the Salvation Army at local retail establishments," he explained.
In addition, members of the NFA Junior ROTC also participated in four events at local veterans hospitals, mentor Temple Hill Elementary students during the school year, and volunteer their time to the Habitat for Humanity Annual Walk for Housing.