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Mary Nelson's Youth BBQ 2014

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Published on Aug 29, 2014

Thousands of Syracuse children and their families are ready for the new school year, thanks to Upstate employee Mary Nelson, her Team Upstate colleagues, and many volunteers from the local community who coordinated school supplies and backpacks during the Annual Youth Day Barbecue held on Saturday, August 16 on the corner of South Salina and Wood Ave in Syracuse. Nelson, an Upstate Radiology employee, started the barbeque 13 years ago to encourage young people to stay in school.

Upstate students and staff, John Riggleman, Emergency room; Alexis Jones, adult ICU; Terri Shuler, preadmission testing; Renae Rockiki, Office of the President; Nadya Dillion, Alex Rodriguez, Michael Enechukwu, Thomas Kartika, medical students; Lesley Baker, doctoral student (pharmacology), Joyce Freeman, anesthesiology, Aldrine Armah Ashong-Katai, 2014 Presidential Intern, and Kristin Thompson, Marketing and University Communications. They distributed back packs and school supplies; helped with set up and clean up; served food; passed out giveaways and staffed a face painting table, led by Susan Keeter - creative services director, that was free for all who attended.




In preparation for the annual BBQ, Upstate held a month-long backpack and school supplies drive that generated hundreds of items to be donated to the BBQ. In addition to receiving backpacks and school supplies, attendees are treated to food, music, activities and an all around good time.

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