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SUNY Plattsburgh Alumni Service Day 2013 Named for Philanthropic Alumnus

Alumni will raise hammers, rakes and paint brushes once again this spring during the newly renamed Dr. Richard Semmler ’68 Alumni Service Day.

The second annual day of community service Saturday, April 20, will feature teams of alumni volunteering at nonprofit sites in New York City, Vermont and Virginia.

Richard Semmler made his first donation in 1970 — $25 to SUNY Plattsburgh — because he was grateful for help he had received funding his college education. Since then, the associate professor of mathematics at Northern Virginia Community College has given more than $1.2 million to charitable organizations including Habitat for Humanity, for which he has funded or helped build more than 18 homes.

Habitat for Humanity

Semmler, himself, will host and volunteer at the Virginia event, Habitat’s “A Brush with Kindness.” That project includes removing debris and replacing a fence at a home in Herndon, Va., and is limited to 20 volunteers on a first-come, first-served basis.

Vermont Event: Park Cleanup

In Vermont, up to 15 volunteers are needed as Heather Winther ’09 hosts cleanup efforts in the Winooski Valley Park District. There, volunteers will landscape and pick up trash along the trails.

New York City Events: Food Distribution and Landscaping

Meanwhile, in New York City, Bruce McDonald ’94 will host efforts at two sites — the City Harvest Mobile Market in Staten Island and Carroll Park in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Fifteen to 20 volunteers are needed at the Mobile Market, where they will distribute fresh produce to eligible market goers. Up to 12 volunteers are needed in Carroll Park to help with landscaping, painting, clean up and collecting donations for a food drive.

The Plattsburgh Tradition

“Service is part of the Plattsburgh tradition,” said Joanne Nelson, director of alumni relations. “And I’d like to give kudos to the Alumni Board of Directors, voting on behalf of the Alumni Association, for naming the event after this great alumnus who gives of himself throughout the year.”

For more information on the 2013 Dr. Richard Semmler ’68 Alumni Service Day, contact the Office of Alumni Relations, (800) 964-1889 or email [email protected]. Register for the Virginia, New York City and Vermont events by April 12.

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