Toll Day: Hundreds of students to perform community service in Schenectady

Publication Date

Hundreds of Union students will spread out across Schenectady and the surrounding region Saturday, Oct. 7, for the College’s largest day of community service.

Representing Greek life, athletics, clubs and organizations and others, as many as 500 students will be joined by faculty, staff and alumni to clean up parks and public spaces and provide other help as needed.

Students trimming some overgrown  hedges

John Calvin Toll Day last fall. Union's largest day of community service, Toll Day features hundreds of students who fan out across Schenectady and the region to clean up parks and public spaces and provide other help as needed.

Started in 1996, the event has been known as John Calvin Toll Day since 2001. It is coordinated by the College’s Kenney Community Center.

“We could not be more pumped about this year’s event,” said Kevin Trigonis, director of Community Engagement and Outreach. “We are looking forward to students, faculty and staff engaging with the local community and continuing to create long-lasting connections and relationships.”

The day kicks off with a Fall Food Festival at Memorial Fieldhouse for participants before they head off to sites beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Among the organizations or places volunteers will visit:

  • Cards for Hospitalized Kids
  • Central Park Rose Garden
  • City Mission
  • City of Schenectady Parks Department
  • Goose Hill Neighborhood Association
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Walk
  • Schenectady City School District – Community Schools
  • Schenectady Urban Farms
  • Schenectady Public Library
  • Schenectady ARC

The event is part of the U Journey Experience. Also, in partnership with Athletics, Toll Day shirts will be white with the new Bolt-U logo in support of White Out game day for the women’s volleyball, field hockey, soccer and ice hockey home contests.

John Calvin Toll was a member of Union’s first graduating class in 1799. He was the great-great-grandfather of Al Hill ’46, a retired attorney from Buffalo who died in 2007.

The community service project is supported by a gift from Hill and his wife, Perrie. The Hills created the fund to encourage Union students to undertake volunteer service.

“We believe that the experiences from this activity will carry over beyond graduation and enrich not only those they serve but also the volunteers,” said Hill in announcing the gift.