Newark Community Day brings together residents, students
Gallery: Newark Community Day (Emily Morgan/The Review)
On Sept. 16, The Green turned into an exposition of all the Newark community has to offer. Now in its 47th year, the event run by the Parks and Recreation Department brings together nonprofits, campaigns, local businesses, food vendors, government agencies, artists, university groups and more.
“I think this is a good event that not only recognizes the variety of businesses and organizations in Newark, but also things like the university and Christina School District,” Paula Martinson Ennis, the deputy director of Newark Parks and Recreation Department, says. “It opens to everyone what’s in the community as well as the students to see what Newark is all about.”
Local business owners like Denise Beltran of MJ Bell jewelry boutique use this event as a point of entry to engage new customers.
“This is my first time out at an event like this as a business, and it’s been great. There are a lot of people here. The set-up is great and everything is so versatile,” Beltran said.
YWCA Delaware was at the event to expose the community to the direct services available at their Newark and Wilmington locations. The organization promoted their work in transitional housing, economic empowerment, sexual assault, domestic violence, entrepreneurship, youth development and racial and social justice for overall well-being.
“In order to access our services, the community needs to know about them,” YWCA director Troy Farmer said. “We’ve enjoyed connecting with individuals, potential clients and [the] University of Delaware so we’re really happy for this rich experience.”
The event engages students not necessarily from the Newark community. Junior student Danielle Trongone is from New Jersey, but has been coming to Community Day for all three years she has been at the university. As a club softball player, her team volunteers at community events as they use Newark facilities for practice and games.
“As a student coming here, it’s easy to forget there’s people living in Newark outside of campus,” Trongone said. “It’s so nice seeing everyone come together.”
Other students attended the event to promote their organizations beyond the student body context. Alexa Georgetown, fundraising chair for Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, was at a table to advocate for their philanthropy Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and promote a 5K they have coming up.
Senior Sarah Harlan was there representing WVUD, trying to promote both student and community involvement in the radio station.
“I think as students our role could be a lot stronger in the community than it is,” Harlan said. “Our club is community and student-based. It would be cool if students could be more community-based since UD is such a huge part of the city.”
The Parks and Recreation Department puts on several events throughout the year, both on campus and around the city, such as the upcoming drive-in movie night on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the university Athletic Complex.
“Community events provide information, education, knowledge and share the valuable community experience,” Farmer said. “People have an opportunity for whatever background they’re from to come together, which is what a community is made up of: diversity as well as eclectic and collective thoughts.”