Music Worcester programs music and dance performances throughout most of the year, but it categorizes itself as "the oldest music festival in the United States." Indeed, the breadth and reach of its concerts are akin to those of a major classical music or dance festival, drawing in innovative groups and performers from around the world.
Many of these decidedly modern events blossom amid the elegant vaulted ceilings, intricate archways, and grand pipe organ of Mechanics Hall. The space’s finely calibrated acoustics show off the sounds of classical concerts, ballets, and popular music, and its near-perfect aural qualities have made it a favorite destination for recording and echo-making competitions.
Join a throbbing throng of hoops fanatics in the intimate but imposing Hart Center, where the men's team has won more than 70% of its basket-aiming contests and the women's team has won more than 80%. Basketball novices and avid three-point-percentage analysts can marvel at the mechanics of second-team All-Patriot League selection Andrew Keister when the men's team, which returned four starters from last year’s squad, squares off against the St. Joseph's Hawks, the Yale Bulldogs, and the Lafayette Investment Bankers. Fans can also don a concoction of Crusader purple and catch the competitive women's team, which has won 10 of the last 18 Patriot League titles, as the ladies lace up to play Army and Bucknell.
Since its inception, Wheelchair Recycler has supplied more than 500 refurbished power wheelchairs to people with disabilities, increasing their mobility, independence, and self-confidence. For this campaign, Wheelchair Recycler will supply one power wheelchair for a child returning to school, whether to use as a secondary chair or as a replacement for an outgrown one. Donations will also go toward specially modifying a wheelchair for a second child who plays wheelchair soccer, thus bolstering his or her ability to engage in social and physical activities.
Animal Rescue Front (ARF) was founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as a first-responder animal-rescue team that helped save the lives of cats and dogs that survived the disaster. Focusing on one affected community in Mississippi, the organization transported more than 1,100 animals to homes and shelters that wouldn't euthanize them at locations across the country. The effort reduced the kill rate from 80 percent to zero for the first 12 months after the hurricane.
Now, ARF continues to fulfill its mission: “Until there are none save one.” The organization works to prevent companion animals from being euthanized through spay/neuter initiatives, adoption services, and educational programs. Teams in Louisiana and Mississippi also rescue animals directly from shelters that are at full capacity, and then place the animals in foster homes to socialize them and provide medical care and prepare them for adoption.
After a minimum of six months of separation from their abusers, survivors of domestic violence are eligible to apply for a Self-Sufficiency Grant from Web of Benefit, which funds comprehensive services necessary to help women meet their goals, including funds for housing, legal assistance, and transportation to attend school or job training. A T pass from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ensures that women in the program have guaranteed transportation for one month, and allows them to travel to school, work, job training, or job interviews.