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AIC volunteering at new Union Station opening gala

Outside+the+newly-renovated+Union+Station+in+downtown+Springfield.
Outside the newly-renovated Union Station in downtown Springfield.

Outside the newly-renovated Union Station in downtown Springfield.

Nadia Ciubotaru

Nadia Ciubotaru

Outside the newly-renovated Union Station in downtown Springfield.

Nadia Ciubotaru, Staff Writer

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At a press event at the renovated Union Station, Judy Matt, president of the Spirit of Springfield, announced a gala celebration to open the new station on Saturday, June 24, from 6-11 p.m.

AIC students will have an opportunity of a lifetime to witness and be part of history.

30 AIC Student Volunteers (15 Male/15 Female) are needed for the June 24 Gala and the June 25 Open House to greet and guide guests and distribute souvenir brochures. Students that are local, charming, smart and dependable are welcome to volunteer for this event.

Nadia Ciubotaru
Inside the new Union Station.

The gala is expected to have about 550 people, and will be held in the main hall of the station.

Along with Matt of the Spirit of Springfield, other speakers at the press conference included Congressman Richard E. Neal; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; business investor and President of MGM Springfield Michael Mathis; owner of the Springfield Sheraton Paul Picknelly; President and GM of WWLP-22News William Pepin; and President/CEO of Health New England Maura McCaffrey.

Picknelly is taking part in the opening of the new Union Station, as the Sheraton hotel will be catering the Gala.

Congressman Neal – a Massachusetts member of the US House of Representatives and a former mayor of Springfield – had a big part in helping Union Station alive again. He even quoted Frank Sinatra during the event, saying that “the best is yet to come.”

On June 23, 1977, Neal announced his candidacy for the Springfield City Council on the steps of Union Station, promising to reopen and revitalize the station.

Now, 40 years later, Neal finally has helped reach his promise, as his dream of seeing the doors to the Union Station open once more has been reached.

Union Station in Springfield was originally built in 1926. The station was once a critical center of transportation and commerce in central Massachusetts. It once saw about 130 trains in one day.

The 91 year-old building has not been open in almost 50 years. In 1970, the station was forced to shut its doors due to the drop in number of rail passengers, and an increase in other modes of transportation.

After decades of standing still, the abandoned Union Station is finally having its big break through. The renovation project cost about $100 million, a part of a $3.3 billion public and private economic development project in the city of Springfield.

It’s a 220,000 square-foot station with three-story main terminal.

In volunteering for the gala, AIC students will have a very unique opportunity to meet some of the leaders of our community as well as develop new contacts for future jobs and internships.

“That is a great networking opportunity,” says Carol de Carlo, an AIC adjunct professor and a former Marketing director for WGGB. This opportunity is great for any major.

Candy Lash
L-R: Mary Ellen Lowney, Richard Neal, Annie Norton, Nadia Ciubotaru, Carol de Carlo, Domenic Sarno

The girls will be wearing Gatsby dresses provided by the Spirit of Springfield, and the boys will be provided with tailored tuxedos.

The new Union Station is a gateway for people to come and enjoy what Springfield has to offer, and AIC students have the chance to be part of this historic re-opening.

Any students interested should contact Candy Lash at (413) 205-3231 or at [email protected], by Thursday April 27.

 

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AIC volunteering at new Union Station opening gala