Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Westfield State students give a HOOT


  • Welcome Ceremony – Tuesday, September 1 from 8:15-8:30 a.m. City of Westfield Green
  • WSKB 89.5 Westfield State Community Radio will broadcast live from Green

  Westfield State University (WSU) will kick off the school year by presenting its sixth annual Helping Out Our Town (HOOT) Day on Tuesday, September 1. More than 150 students (mainly first-year) are expected to participate. Students will be actively working throughout Westfield at local businesses painting, cleaning, gardening, and performing other volunteer activities between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

HOOT Day began in fall 2010 as a Circle K community service program. The program was designed to bring together Westfield State students and the City of Westfield as well as provide students with a way to learn about their new home for the next four years. The opportunity to participate was offered to first-year students during their orientation in the summer. Multiple offices were instrumental in getting this program underway including: Westfield State’s offices of Residential Life, Student Affairs, President’s Office and Advancement, Alumni and University Relations, and the City of Westfield School Department.

HOOT Day volunteers will be working at various locations including the Amelia Park Children’s Museum, the Amelia Park Ice Rink, the Athenaeum, the Boys and Girls Club, the City of Westfield Planning Department, Cost Cutters, DOMUS, Grandmother’s Garden, Stanley Park, the Tavern, Westfield Parks and Recreation, the Westfield News Group, Westfield Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS), Westfield Whip Manufacturing Company, and the YMCA of Greater Westfield.

“As a nonprofit with a small staff, having Westfield State student volunteers lend a few extra hands is a really big help for us,” said Carole Appleton, executive director of Amelia Park Ice Arena and Garden.

Circle K President Morgan Leake ’16 said HOOT Day is an important part of the first-year experience.

“HOOT Day provides a common bonding experience for our first-year students. It also allows them to learn more about themselves as young adults contributing to their community as well as about the city itself,” said Leake.

Leake said there are many benefits to student volunteering, especially on HOOT Day.

“It is important for students to give back to their community because it helps build character and provides students a chance to make a difference for someone else,” Leake said. “It’s also an opportunity to learn more about what Circle K does and a chance to join an amazing club.”

Westfield State University’s Community Radio 89.5 WSKB will be broadcasting live from the Green. To kick off HOOT Day, there will be a brief ceremony to welcome students and commemorate the first anniversary of Community Radio programming beginning at 8:15 a.m. Launched last June, Community Radio is now broadcast from 6 a.m. to noon and 4-6 p.m. Monday- Saturday with additional programming on Sunday from 6 a.m.- noon.

Circle K is a Kiwanis-affiliated organization of university students. Circle K is a community service group led by Ken Magarian, director of Advancement and University Relations. Students organize a number of fundraisers and community events each year including the annual Breakfast with Santa and the Words with Friends city-wide spelling bee.

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