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‘Hey, kids, let’s put on a show!’

Greenfield Gardens youths raise money for cancer research

Nicole Desnoyers, left, Youth Supervisor at Greenfield Gardens in Greenfield, and her charges practice for an upcoming talent show at The Shea Theater on August 30th from 7-9pm.  Recorder/Paul Franz

Nicole Desnoyers, left, Youth Supervisor at Greenfield Gardens in Greenfield, and her charges practice for an upcoming talent show at The Shea Theater on August 30th from 7-9pm. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

GREENFIELD — Rather than relaxing by the pool, a group of Greenfield teens spent their summer cleaning parks throughout town from Hillside Park to the Green River School park to the Poet’s Seat Tower area.

The teenagers from Greenfield Gardens, a section 8 apartment complex off Colrain Street, also spent the last two months raising money for cancer research.

In all, the 32 kids raised $700 for the American Cancer Society and $300 for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office through a car wash and fundraising walk.

On Aug. 30, the Greenfield Gardens’ youth program is hosting a talent show at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for the community to raise money for St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.

The event is open to all residents and will include dancing, singing and other performances.

Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh Jr. will be one of the guest judges, organizers say.

“Throughout the years I’ve worked here, we haven’t done anything like this,” said Destiny Torres, 16. “It’s exciting to do something different and help others.”

The Greenfield Gardens’ youth program for 12- to 16-year-olds has been running for three years to give kids in the community work opportunities. But this is the first year the program has incorporated community service.

“I thought it was good to teach them work ethics and to build character,” said Supervisor Nicole Desnoyers.

The Homesavers Council of Greenfield Gardens Inc., a nonprofit, oversees the program along with the tenant-owned complex.

During the school year, the Salvation Army provides after-school programs for the teens.

The working teens were able to choose which causes they’d like to donate to.

“Most of us have family or had family that died from cancer so we chose the American Cancer Society,” Kayonia Gary, 14, said.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268 On Twitter, follow @RecorderKatMcK

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