On Thursday, June 8th the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce held a J1 Dinner Orientation for the J1 Students that will be working in Yarmouth establishments this summer. The event was organized in partnership with the Hello Summer J1 program located in Dennis. “The intent of the event was to provide the students with pertinent information to be sure that they are safe and knowledgeable about Yarmouth while they are here”, said Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary Vilbon.
Over 121 students attended the hour and a half program where students learned about bike safety, healthcare, opening a bank account, that police are their friends, contacting their sponsor and J1 success stories. There are many cultural differences for the students to learn while they are here. “The students think that the American drivers are crazy. And they want to see the approaching traffic so they can get out-of-the-way”, stated Matt Boyle of Hello Summer J1.
While the event was meant to be educational there was plenty of fun things for the students to do. The students met new friends, took pictures with the Yarmouth Police, and wore silly costumes thanks to Cape Capture Photo Booth, ate popcorn from Route 28 Diner, and all the ladies in attendance received flowers donated by Trader Joes. The Yarmouth Chamber provided welcome bags to all the participants which included front and back bike “blinker lights”, sunglasses with Yarmouth Cape Cod on them, sunscreen, Steamship Authority baseball caps, bike safety information, and coupons to local businesses.
“We are extremely happy with the success of this event and hope to make this an annual program for our J1 students”, said Vilbon. “This was a true partnership with many organizations working towards the same goal; MassBike, Yarmouth Police Department, Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce, Hello Summer J1, and supporting businesses.
A special thank you to Stop & Shop for providing the dinner to the students and Anchor Ace Hardware for providing bike safety lights. This event was funded in part by the Town of Yarmouth Tourism Revenue Preservation Fund.