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Super 60 Returns

After a two-year hiatus, the Springfield Regional Chamber celebrated its Super 60 on Nov. 10 at the MassMutual Center.

keynote speaker Myke Connolly of Stand Out Truck shares the story of his entrepreneurial journey

keynote speaker Myke Connolly of Stand Out Truck shares the story of his entrepreneurial journey

 

attendees take in the annual celebration of the region’s top companies for total revenue and revenue growth

attendees take in the annual celebration of the region’s top companies for total revenue and revenue growth

 

from left, Springfield Thunderbirds President Nate Costa, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield co-owner Peter Wirth, Thunderbirds Managing Partner Paul Picknelly, Mercedes-Benz co-owner Michelle Wirth, and Thunderbirds Director of Business Development Matthew McRobbie

from left, Springfield Thunderbirds President Nate Costa, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield co-owner Peter Wirth, Thunderbirds Managing Partner Paul Picknelly, Mercedes-Benz co-owner Michelle Wirth, and Thunderbirds Director of Business Development Matthew McRobbie

 

Appleton Corp. President Matt Flink (center) and his team

Appleton Corp. President Matt Flink (center) and his team

 

chamber President Diana Szynal with Dave Fontaine Jr., CEO of Fontaine Brothers.

chamber President Diana Szynal with Dave Fontaine Jr., CEO of Fontaine Brothers.

 

 

Bringing Jobs to Springfield

On Nov. 10, DUC-PAC, a specialty producer of aluminum, copper, and other metal ductwork, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new manufacturing and warehouse space in Springfield. After being located in East Longmeadow for decades, DUC-PAC chose Springfield as its new home, refurbishing 1125 Page Blvd., which once housed four separate businesses. DUC-PAC brought 58 existing employees to the city and have added eight more.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan, Deputy Director Brian Connors, and East Springfield Neighborhood Council President Kathy Brown joined DUC-PAC owners Greg and Heidi Merchant for the ceremonies and a tour.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan, Deputy Director Brian Connors, and East Springfield Neighborhood Council President Kathy Brown joined DUC-PAC owners Greg and Heidi Merchant for the ceremonies and a tour.

 

Load Up the Van

On Nov. 15, Rachel’s Table unveiled its first refrigerated van, made possible by a $75,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds. Rachel’s Table also announced a new food-rescue partnership with MGM Springfield and that it would receive an additional $75,000 from the FY23 state budget to support the program’s food-rescue work.

Pictured, from left: Armando Oliveras from state Sen. Adam Gomez’s office, state Reps. Jacob Oliveira and Carlos Gonzalez, Rachel’s Table Director Jodi Falk, Lesser, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, MGM Springfield Executive Director of Hospitality Chris Smigel, and MGM Springfield President Chris Kelley.

Pictured, from left: Armando Oliveras from state Sen. Adam Gomez’s office, state Reps. Jacob Oliveira and Carlos Gonzalez, Rachel’s Table Director Jodi Falk, Lesser, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, MGM Springfield Executive Director of Hospitality Chris Smigel, and MGM Springfield President Chris Kelley.

 

Honoring Historic Preservation

On Nov. 10, Home City Development Inc. (HCDI) received an award from the Springfield Preservation Trust for historic preservation of the Elias Brookings Apartments. HCDI hosted the Springfield Preservation Trust’s annual preservation awards ceremony in the community room at the Elias Brookings Apartments, where a total of 15 individuals and organizations (including HCDI) were recognized.

Pictured, from left: Thomas Kegelman, HCDI executive director; Derek Strahan, Springfield Preservation Trust president; and Peter Serafino, HCDI director of Real Estate Development.

Pictured, from left: Thomas Kegelman, HCDI executive director; Derek Strahan, Springfield Preservation Trust president; and Peter Serafino, HCDI director of Real Estate Development.

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Historic Transformation

Collins Electric Co. in Chicopee was recently recognized by the National Electrical Contractors Assoc. with a Project Excellence Award in Education in the over $1 million category for Smith College Neilson Library. The project involved 150,000 square feet with 5,000 LED, energy-efficient light fixtures; glass skylights; dimming; and window-shade controls. Strict attention was paid to controlling temperature and humidity, as well as tight security, for the library’s rare-books collection.

Collins Electric Co

Pictured, from left: Larry Eagan, president and CEO; Andrew Collins, vice president of Operations; Patrick Egan, vice president of Finance; and Mike Blaxland, project manager

 

Serving Up a Milestone

As part of its 50th-anniversary celebration, Greater Springfield Senior Services (GSSSI) recently hosted a luncheon for its staff, providers, local politicians, and community partners at the Carriage House at the Barney Estate in Springfield. The event featured speeches by Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno and GSSSI Executive Director Jill Keough, and a letter of recognition from U.S. Rep. Richard Neal.

Greater Springfield Senior Services

Pictured, from left: state Reps. Jacob Oliviera and Carlos Gonzalez, and GSSSI’s Nilsa Cintron, Keough, and Magy Ramos.

 

 

Meeting a Growing Need

Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford, Conn. recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and blessing to celebrate the opening of the new, 15-bed Lillian “Dolly” Santilli Geriatric Wellness Pavilion, as part of efforts to expand the hospital’s array of behavioral-health services.

 

Dr. Robert Roose

Pictured: Dr. Robert Roose, chief administrative officer of Johnson Memorial Hospital and Mercy Medical Center, addresses the gathering as Stuart Rosenberg, president of Johnson Memorial Hospital, looks on.

 

Johnson Memorial Hospital administrators

Donors Diane Lerz and Larry Santilli (center) join Johnson Memorial Hospital administrators, board members, and colleagues as they prepare to cut the ribbon.

 

 

Answering the Call

Representatives from PeoplesBank recently visited the Gray House to present the agency with a donation to cover the cost of replacement doors and frames that were damaged last May during a robbery. “I take great comfort in knowing that we live in a community that truly cares,” McClintock said.

Johnson Memorial Hospital

Pictured, from left: PeoplesBank’s Jaimee Guerra, banking center assistant manager (center), and Monica Borges, banking center senior specialist (right), present Gray House Executive Director Kristen McClintock (left) with the donation.

 

 

 

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Community Effort

Freedom Credit Union

Pictured, from left: Freedom Credit Union’s Stephen Phillips, Facilities Maintenance; Kara Herman, vice president, Retail Administration; and David Chase, vice president, Member Business Lending, get ready to deliver food

 

For 100 days, from Memorial Day until Labor Day, Freedom Credit Union accepted cash and non-perishable food donations at all its branch locations as part of its year-long 100th-anniversary celebration. Donations from members, staff, and the community totaled more than $4,100 for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and 930 pounds of food for the Gray House in Springfield.

 

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Funding the Fun

Funding the Fun

Pictured: Adriano dos Santos (right), Monson Savings Bank’s Hampden branch manager, delivers the $1,450 donation to Wendy Cowles, outreach coordinator for the Hampden Senior Center

Monson Savings Bank recently donated $1,450 to the Hampden Senior Center in support of the facility’s many fun events it hosts throughout the year. The donation will help offset the cost of the center’s Alzheimer’s Association Dinner, Grandparents Day, Halloween Luncheon, Thanksgiving Grab and Go Lunch, and Holiday Luncheon.

 

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Meeting of the Minds

The accounting and tax firm Meyers Brothers Kalicka hosted a gathering for emerging leaders from across the area on Oct. 20 in the parking lot outside its offices in Holyoke. Leaders from Western Mass. and Northern Conn. gathered for networking, local brews, pub fare, trivia, games, and good conversation.

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Jazzing Things Up

The annual Northampton Jazz Festival filled the streets, parks, bars, restaurants, and other downtown venues with free jazz performances on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

(Ron Carter photo by Ricard Torres; other photos by Julian Parker-Burns)

bassist and cellist Ron Carter

the Ron Carter Quartet, led by noted bassist and cellist Ron Carter (pictured), close out the two-day event with a ticketed performance at the Academy of Music

 

Ashley Pezzotti sings at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence

Ashley Pezzotti sings at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence

 

Eh La Bas, led by trumpeter Bria Skonberg, a quintet of Canadian-born musicians that came together exclusively for the Northampton Jazz Festival, close out the free daytime performances at Pulaski Park on Oct. 1;

Eh La Bas, led by trumpeter Bria Skonberg, a quintet of Canadian-born musicians that came together exclusively for the Northampton Jazz Festival, close out the free daytime performances at Pulaski Park on Oct. 1;

 

78rpm DJ Matthew “Fat Cat” Rivera (left) holds a record he just played alongside the great nephew of W.C. Handy, known as “the father of the blues,” at Pulaski Park.

78rpm DJ Matthew “Fat Cat” Rivera (left) holds a record he just played alongside the great nephew of W.C. Handy, known as “the father of the blues,” at Pulaski Park.

 

 

 

Teaming Up for Child Safety

 

Baystate Health and Rocky’s Ace Hardware recently joined forces with Square One on the issue of electrical-outlet safety. UMass Chan Medical School – Baystate student Kendall Burdick initiated the idea to provide electrical-outlet safety plugs to all Square One households, and Rocky’s stepped in to donate thousands of outlet plugs to support the safety initiative.

Pictured, from left: Melissa Blissett of Square One; Burdick; Yolanda Marrow of Baystate Health; Jonathan Cosenzi, Rocco Falcone, and Caitlin Petrone of Rocky’s Ace Hardware; Kristine Allard of Square One; Ida Konderwicz of Baystate Health; and Dawn DiStefano of Square One.

Pictured, from left: Melissa Blissett of Square One; Burdick; Yolanda Marrow of Baystate Health; Jonathan Cosenzi, Rocco Falcone, and Caitlin Petrone of Rocky’s Ace Hardware; Kristine Allard of Square One; Ida Konderwicz of Baystate Health; and Dawn DiStefano of Square One.

 

 

 

Fore the Kids

 

 

Professional Drywall Construction Inc. (PDC), a commercial drywall company headquartered in Springfield, raised $45,500 for Baystate Children’s Hospital at its sixth annual PDC Charity Golf Tournament on Sept. 8 at Southampton Country Club. The tournament featured an 18-hole round of golf, lunch, and a dinner reception. A total of 108 golfers participated in the tournament, and nearly 40 sponsors helped PDC surpass its fundraising goals.

Pictured: PDC Owners Nick Shaink and Ron Perry with representatives from Baystate Children’s Hospital. (Photo by Market Mentors)

Pictured: PDC Owners Nick Shaink and Ron Perry with representatives from Baystate Children’s Hospital. (Photo by Market Mentors)

 

 

 

 

 

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Supporting Latino-owned Businesses

State Sen. John Velis and state Rep. Pat Duffy recently presented $150,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to Partners for Community Inc. for a grant program that will support Latino-owned businesses in the city of Holyoke. Velis and Duffy filed and secured $100,000 and $50,000, respectively, in the recent ARPA legislation. The presentation was held at Fiesta Café, the first recipient of grant funding from Partners for Community.

Pictured, from left: Veronica Garcia of Partners for Community, Duffy, Velis, Fiesta Café owner Juan Montano, and Jordan Hart, executive director of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce

Pictured, from left: Veronica Garcia of Partners for Community, Duffy, Velis, Fiesta Café owner Juan Montano, and Jordan Hart, executive director of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce

 

 


 

Another Branch on the Giving Tree

bankESB recently made a $5,000 donation to Behavioral Health Network Inc. toward the Katherine B. Wilson Staff Excellence Fund to support the career and professional development of the organization’s workforce. The donation was made as part of the bank’s charitable giving program, the Giving Tree.

Sue deVillier, vice president and Agawam branch officer at bankESB

Pictured, from left: Sue deVillier, vice president and Agawam branch officer at bankESB; Steve Winn, BHN president and CEO; and Melissa Soto, vice president of Commercial Lending for bankESB.

 

 


 

Joining Forces

Allied Flooring, Paint and Design, located at 350 Main St. in Agawam, announced it has acquired neighboring Budget Cabinet Sales. Budget Cabinet, located at 300 Main St., will keep its name and be managed by Jill Stefanik (pictured at center), who has been promoted from her position as a sales and design associate at Allied. The previous owners of Budget Cabinet Sales, the Lloyd family, will remain part of the business, along with the other store employees. While Jorge Morgado (left) and Mario Tedeschi (right) now own both Allied and Budget Cabinet, they will operate them as separate entities.

 

Jorge Morgado (left) and Mario Tedeschi (right)

Jorge Morgado (left), Jill Stefanik (pictured at center) and Mario Tedeschi (right)

 

 


 

Opening Bell

 

Representatives of Easthampton Public Schools, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), and Caolo & Bieniek Architects were among those on hand to cut the ribbon on Maple Elementary School, a new, modern school serving pre-kindergarten through grade 8.

Pictured, from left: Jack McCarthy, MSBA executive director; Bertram Gardner IV, project architect at Caolo & Bieniek; Allison LeClair, Easthampton superintendent; and James MacDonald, MSBA CEO.

Pictured, from left: Jack McCarthy, MSBA executive director; Bertram Gardner IV, project architect at Caolo & Bieniek; Allison LeClair, Easthampton superintendent; and James MacDonald, MSBA CEO.

 

 


 

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Messages of Inclusion

Florence Bank has launched a new brand commercial featuring more than a dozen local residents of all ages, abilities, and ethnicities to raise awareness about access and inclusion and to inspire and encourage community members to overcome barriers. Among the featured individuals are Samantha Bertini, a ninth-grade wrestler at Ludlow High School, who competes in the boys’ division even though she weighs in at 97 pounds and is a few inches shy of five feet; and Emma Boyer-Martinez, a 7-year-old from Holyoke who lives with disabilities that make some activities more difficult for her, but loves horses and riding and takes part in therapeutic lessons that help her build strength and balance.

Samantha Bertini, a ninth-grade wrestler at Ludlow High School, who competes in the boys’ division even though she weighs in at 97 pounds and is a few inches shy of five feet

Samantha Bertini, a ninth-grade wrestler at Ludlow High School, who competes in the boys’ division even though she weighs in at 97 pounds and is a few inches shy of five feet

 

Emma Boyer-Martinez, a 7-year-old from Holyoke who lives with disabilities that make some activities more difficult for her, but loves horses and riding and takes part in therapeutic lessons that help her build strength and balance

Emma Boyer-Martinez, a 7-year-old from Holyoke who lives with disabilities that make some activities more difficult for her, but loves horses and riding and takes part in therapeutic lessons that help her build strength and balance

 

 


 

Friendly Flag Football Game

On Aug. 23, state Sen. John Velis spent time with the Agawam Youth Football Assoc., which included a friendly game of flag football at Kirk Parker Field. “I had an absolute blast running routes and getting to know the coaches, volunteers, and players on the team,” Velis said. “Thank you to the kids for taking it easy on us. If you see any of your elected officials limping around town, you now know why.” He added, “whether it is football, hockey, softball, or anything else, youth sports are one of the best ways for kids to learn team-building skills while bringing our community together.”

On Aug. 23, state Sen. John Velis spent time with the Agawam Youth Football Assoc

On Aug. 23, state Sen. John Velis spent time with the Agawam Youth Football Assoc

 


 

Supporting Healthy Kids

For the second consecutive year, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation has awarded funding to support Square One’s Campaign for Healthy Kids. This year’s gift totaled more than $14,000. Last summer, Enterprise Holdings launched its inaugural local ROAD Forward grants to nearly 700 nonprofits, addressing social and racial equity gaps facing youth and families in local communities.

Pictured: Shawn Fleming, group Human Resources manager at Enterprise Holdings, presents the check to Square One President and CEO Dawn DiStefano (left) and Kristine Allard, vice president of Development & Communication.

Pictured: Shawn Fleming, group Human Resources manager at Enterprise Holdings, presents the check to Square One President and CEO Dawn DiStefano (left) and Kristine Allard, vice president of Development & Communication.

 

 

 

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Critical Improvements

Sen. John Velis recently presented American Rescue Plan Act earmark funding of $50,000 to American Legion Post 185, to fund much-needed maintenance and improvements to its existing building in Feeding Hills. Velis was joined at American Legion Post 185 by Post Commander Wayne Keating, City Counselor Anthony Russo, members of American Legion Post 185, and members of the greater Agawam community. With the funding secured, Post 185 will move forward with plans for a new roof and insulation, among other improvements to the facility.

Sen. John Velis recently presented American Rescue Plan Act earmark funding of $50,000 to American Legion Post 185, to fund much-needed maintenance and improvements to its existing building in Feeding Hills.

Sen. John Velis recently presented American Rescue Plan Act earmark funding of $50,000 to American Legion Post 185, to fund much-needed maintenance and improvements to its existing building in Feeding Hills.

 


 

Need a Lift?

Baystate Wing Hospital and Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp. recently announced the funding of a new Quaboag Connector van dedicated to providing transportation to convenient-care and primary-care services for area residents. The curb-to-curb service will provide non-emergency medical transportation, allowing patients to request rides to and from medical appointments at Baystate Wing Hospital facilities.

Pictured, from left: Jan Mayforth, chief financial officer, Baystate Wing Hospita; Molly Gray, president and chief administrative officer, Baystate Wing Hospital;  Stuart Beckley, Ware town manager; and Melissa Fales, Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp.

Pictured, from left: Jan Mayforth, chief financial officer, Baystate Wing Hospita; Molly Gray, president and chief administrative officer, Baystate Wing Hospital;  Stuart Beckley, Ware town manager; and Melissa Fales, Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp.

 

 


 

 

Jazz & Roots Festival

Springfield’s Jazz & Roots Festival brought some great music, large crowds, and a great amount of energy to the Stearns Square area on August 12 and 13. The festival, staged in front of a new mural facing the square, featured a number of local and regional acts, including FAT, Mitch Chakour & Friends Band, Janet Ryan & Straight Up, The Buddy McEarns Band, & Shor’ty Billups.

 

 

 


 

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Giving Back

Monson Savings Bank has been emphasizing its culture of philanthropy and giving back to local communities during its 150th-anniversary year, including these three recent donations.

bank President and CEO Dan Moriarty (right) and Dina Merwin, the bank’s senior vice president, chief risk and senior compliance officer (center), visit Leo Williams, president and CEO of Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services, to present his organization with a $5,000 donation.

Bank President and CEO Dan Moriarty (right) and Dina Merwin, the bank’s senior vice president, chief risk and senior compliance officer (center), visit Leo Williams, president and CEO of Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services, to present his organization with a $5,000 donation.

 

Moriarty presents Laurie Flynn, president and CEO of Link to Libraries, with a $1,500 donation as a part of the bank’s Community Giving Initiative

Moriarty presents Laurie Flynn, president and CEO of Link to Libraries, with a $1,500 donation as a part of the bank’s Community Giving Initiative

 

Moriarty visits Shriners Children’s Hospital in Springfield to present Stacey Perlmutter, the hospital’s director of Development, with a $2,250 donation, also part of the Community Giving Initiative

Moriarty visits Shriners Children’s Hospital in Springfield to present Stacey Perlmutter, the hospital’s director of Development, with a $2,250 donation, also part of the Community Giving Initiative

 

 


 

Service Above Self

 

Rotary Club of Amherst recently prepared its annual donation of 150 stuffed backpacks with the help of UMass Hockey volunteers at the Inn on Boltwood. This is the Rotary’s 12th year supporting the Amherst Regional Public Schools’ Project Backpack. Organizers included Ellen Carey of Davis Financial Group and Anna Holhut of Amherst Insurance Agency, with the support of Rotary Club of Amherst members and President Claudia Pazmany.

(Photos by Thaddeus Dabrowski)

 


 

Strengthening Wellness and Family

bankESB recently donated $5,000 to the Hampshire Regional YMCA to help fund continued wellness programming and family services in Hampshire County. This brings the bank’s total contributions to the organization over t he past two years to more than $20,000. Pictured, from left: Nancy Lapointe, bankESB senior vice president of Retail Banking; Natalie Didonna, bankESB assistant vice president and branch officer of the Northampton Street branch in Easthampton, as well as a Hampshire Regional YMCA board member; and Julie Bianco, CEO of Hampshire Regional YMCA.

Nancy Lapointe, bankESB senior vice president of Retail Banking; Natalie Didonna, bankESB assistant vice president and branch officer of the Northampton Street branch in Easthampton, as well as a Hampshire Regional YMCA board member; and Julie Bianco, CEO of Hampshire Regional YMCA.

Nancy Lapointe, bankESB senior vice president of Retail Banking; Natalie Didonna, bankESB assistant vice president and branch officer of the Northampton Street branch in Easthampton, as well as a Hampshire Regional YMCA board member; and Julie Bianco, CEO of Hampshire Regional YMCA.

 

 


 

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Achieving the Dream

Gateway to College at Holyoke Community College (HCC), an alternative high-school program for dropouts and students at risk for dropping out, has been recognized with a national award for its outstanding graduation rate. The award recognizes institutions that exceed Gateway’s national graduation benchmark of 50%. HCC’s three-year graduation rate was 88%, while the network average was 68%.

Pictured, from left

Pictured, from left: Gateway’s former Special Programs Coordinator Julissa Colon (now director of HCC’s El Centro program), Gateway to College Director Vivian Ostrowski, and Shannon Glenn, Gateway’s resource specialist.

 


 

Moment of Gratitude

In a fast-paced work environment and especially over the last few months, the leadership of A Better Life Homecare feel it is important to recognize their workforce’s perseverance and loyalty. To that end, on May 11, A Better Life Homecare honored employees’ dedication by providing them with a dinner at Dewey’s Jazz Lounge in Springfield. The evening served as a time to acknowledge the post-pandemic struggles faced within the healthcare field, as well as celebrating the agency’s ability to overcome obstacles by excelling in communication and unity. Employees shared anecdotes, laughed, and enjoyed the evening together.

A Better Life Homecare honored employees’ dedication by providing them with a dinner at Dewey’s Jazz Lounge in Springfield

A Better Life Homecare honored employees’ dedication by providing them with a dinner at Dewey’s Jazz Lounge in Springfield

 


 

Stepping Up for Fitness

Employees at Monson Savings Bank (MSB) outstepped a team of town of Monson employees to win the Monson Step-Up Fitness Challenge, a walking competition run by Health New England. From June 1-21, MSB’s team of 56 employees walked, on average, four and a half miles per day compared with town of Monson employees, who walked approximately three miles per day. In honor of their win, Health New England is donating $500 to Educare of Springfield, the bank’s chosen charity.

Pictured, from left: bank employees Caitlin O’Connor, Dodie Carpentier, Carla Carnevale, and Kandy Tranghese.

Pictured, from left: bank employees Caitlin O’Connor, Dodie Carpentier, Carla Carnevale, and Kandy Tranghese.

 


 

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Sharing the Wealth

Berkshire Bank recently presented a total of $205,000 in funding last month to Springfield nonprofit organizations, including $75,000 to the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, $25,000 to Revitalize CDC, $5,000 to Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence, and $100,000 to Common Capital, a subsidiary of Way Finders (pictured).

Berkshire Bank

From left: Jason Niles, My Banker team lead at Berkshire Bank; Nitin Mhatre, CEO of Berkshire Bank; Raymond Lanza-Weil, president of Common Capital; Callie Niezgoda, vice president of Lending at Common Capital; Keith Fairey, CEO of Way Finders; and Ellen Stenfield and Rosemary Morin of Berkshire Bank.
Photo courtesy of Berkshire Bank.


 

Community Support

Florence Bank announced that it recently donated $50,000 to the Easthampton Community Center through its Florence Savings Easthampton Branch Charitable Foundation Inc.

Florence Savings

Pictured, from left: Robin Bialecki, executive director of the Easthampton Community Center; Nancy LaBombard, Florence Savings Easthampton Branch Charitable Foundation board member; Anita Sedlak, vice president and branch manager of Florence Bank’s Easthampton office and a foundation board member; and Virginia Smith, also a board member.

 


 

Preserving a Moment in Time

 

As part of an ongoing commemoration of Monson Bank’s 150th anniversary, employees joined together to bury a time capsule that will be excavated and opened in 25 years at the bank’s 175th anniversary in 2047. Some of the items included were photos, business cards, brochures, a piggy bank, letters, deposit slips, 150th-anniversary articles, and, of course, Monson Savings branded masks and hand sanitizer.

Monson Savings Bank

Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank (pictured), led the crew to the time capsule burial location for a brief ceremony.

 


 

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Marking the Spot

To memorialize its 150th anniversary, Monson Savings Bank Bank recently unveiled a historical marker at the original location of the bank in Monson. The event took place on June 1, a day chosen since it was the first day Monson Savings Bank accepted deposits in 1872. Guests gathered nearby the Monson Town Offices, where the original granite building stood that housed Monson Savings Bank at its incorporation in 1872. A granite block from the original building reading “BANK” was expertly placed at the base of the historical bronze plaque marker located on a pole. Surrounding the display was a new landscaped area.

Seen with the plaque are Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of MSB, left, and Michael Rouette, executive vice president and COO.

Seen with the plaque are Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of MSB, left, and Michael Rouette, executive vice president and COO.

 


United Way Awards

Berkshire United Way (BUW) recently presented Jewish Family Service of Western Mass. with the Robert K. Agar Jr. Volunteerism Award and Shirley Edgerton with the Daniel C. Dillon Helping Hands, Caring Heart Award during its LIVE UNITED Community Celebration at Berkshire Money Management in Dalton.

Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts CEO Maxine Stein

Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts CEO Maxine Stein, second from left, and Gabriela Sheehan, Berkshires Resettlement Coordinator, with Mike Stoddard, BUW Board Chair, left, and BUW President and CEO Tom Bernard.

 

Stoddard and Bernard with Edgerton

Stoddard and Bernard with Edgerton

 


Sign of the Times

American International College president Hubert Benitez and Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal sign an articulation agreement formally establishing a close academic relationship between the two-year college and the four-year institution. The accord between AIC and HCC aligns academic programs that enhance the seamless transition of HCC graduates and qualified candidates from HCC, and promotes a smooth, successful transfer to AIC.

American International College president Hubert Benitez and Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal

American International College president Hubert Benitez and Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal

 

 


 

 

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Celebrating Andy Yee

State and local officials, leaders at Mercy Medical Center, and friends and family of the late Andy Yee gathered at the medical center on June 14 for the announcement of plans to create a palliative care unit that will bear Yee’s name. The unit, which is expected to open before the end of the year, will be located on the fifth floor of Mercy Medical Center and will be overseen by Dr. Philip Glynn, medical director of the Mercy’s Sister Mary Caritas Cancer Center, and Laurie Loiacono, M.D., Chief of Critical Care. The unit will be designed to provide an inviting, soothing space for end-of-life care for patients and families, as well as patients with chronic illnesses requiring pain and symptom management. All clinical staff involved in caring for patients and family members on the new unit will receive specialized training that focuses on palliative care.

 

Gov. Charlie Baker addresses those gathered while Deborah Bitsoli, president of Mercy Medical Center, looks on

 

Glynn offers some remarks as Bitsoli, Baker, and Yee’s wife, Sarah Yee, look on

Glynn offers some remarks as Bitsoli, Baker, and Yee’s wife, Sarah Yee, look on

 


 

Supporting Way Finders

Community Bank recently supported Way Finders’ first-time homebuyers class with a $5,000 donation. Way Finders works to strengthen housing stability and economic mobility, and to build thriving neighborhoods in communities throughout Western Massachusetts, including Hampden and Hampshire counties.

From left, Community Bank Branch Manager Gilbert Nieves, Mortgage Loan Officer Sandra Desautels and Way Finders Homeownership & Financial Education Manager Araceli Rivera.

From left, Community Bank Branch Manager Gilbert Nieves, Mortgage Loan Officer Sandra Desautels and Way Finders Homeownership & Financial Education Manager Araceli Rivera.

 


 

United Way Celebration

United Way of Pioneer Valley recently staged a luncheon in honor of its 100th anniversary year, with special guest Chirlane McCray, the former first lady of New York City and native of Springfield, Massachusetts. To celebrate reaching this milestone, the agency recognized several companies and individuals with awards.

McCray is introduced by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno

McCray is introduced by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno

 


 

Another Leap Year

Mercy Medical Center colleagues gathered on June 16 to celebrate the hospital’s fourth consecutive “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade for spring 2022. This national distinction recognizes Mercy Medical Center’s achievements in protecting patients from preventable harm and error in the hospital. Members of Mercy Executive Leadership team and board of directors congratulated colleagues and medical staff on the achievement. Colleagues also received commemorative tee-shirts and enjoyed ice cream treats from a Ben & Jerry’s food truck.

Sister Mary Caritas, SP; Sister Ruth McGoldrick, SP; and Deborah Bitsoli, president of Mercy Medical Center and Trinity Health of New England Medical Group.

Sister Mary Caritas, SP; Sister Ruth McGoldrick, SP; and Deborah Bitsoli, president of Mercy Medical Center and Trinity Health of New England Medical Group.

 

Dr. Robert Roose, chief administrative officer and chief medical officer; and Bradley Harmon, Executive Director of Mission Integration

Dr. Robert Roose, chief administrative officer and chief medical officer; and Bradley Harmon, Executive Director of Mission Integration

 


 

DeBerry

BusinessWest Magazine, the long-time sponsor of Springfield’s DeBerry Elementary School through Link to Libraries’ Community Book Link Program, recently presented ‘Most-improved Reader’ awards to two fourth-graders at the school. The students, Christopher Vega and Eliany Martinez, were presented bicycles by BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien and Bob Charland, creator of the nonprofit Pedal Through Youth, which provides bicycles and other items to those in need. In addition, each student received a book to read over the summer. At right, O’Brien center, right) and Charland present the bikes to Elainy and Chrstopher and gathered family members. At right, the fourth graders show off their books.

The fourth graders show off their books

The fourth graders show off their books

 

O’Brien center, right) and Charland

O’Brien center, right) and Charland present the bikes to Elainy and Chrstopher and gathered family members

 


 

 

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Customers’ Choice Grants

Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program gala

Jim Gipe / Pivot Media

Florence Bank recently celebrated its 20th annual Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program gala, awarding $100,000 to 45 nonprofits across the Valley. At the close of the event, president and CEO Kevin Day drew cheers from the audience of nonprofit leaders, announcing that giving will increase to $125,000. Here, Day raises a glass to celebrate the program with nonprofit leaders.

 


 

Sign of the Times

American International College President Hubert Benitez, left, and Springfield Technical Community College President John Cook

American International College President Hubert Benitez, left, and Springfield Technical Community College President John Cook sign an articulation agreement formally establishing a close academic relationship between the two-year college and the four-year institution. The accord between AIC and STCC aligns academic programs that enhance the seamless transition of STCC graduates and qualified candidates from STCC, and promote a smooth, successful transfer to AIC. The articulation agreement offers time and cost savings for students by recognizing the coursework pursued at the community college and demonstrates the ongoing commitment of both AIC and STCC to the community and its students, by ensuring that educational pathways are created for all those who wish to consider a degree in higher education.

 


 

To a Higher Gear

Monson Savings Bank team members deliver bicycles to the YWCA of Western Massachusetts

Monson Savings Bank team members deliver bicycles to the YWCA of Western Massachusetts as a part of its 150 Build-a-Bike Campaign, a component of the bank’s 150th birthday celebration. From left: Diana Guzman, YWCA director of Human Resources; Asia Bradford, YWCA director of Adult Residential Programs; Dalila Cardona, YWCA clinical director; Rob Chateauneuf, Monson Savings Bank senior vice president and senior commercial loan officer; Michael Rouette, Monson Savings Bank executive vice presisdent & COO;  Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president & CEO;  Elizabeth Dineen, YWCA of Western Massachusetts executive director; Ray Plouffe, Family Bike Shop owner; Monika Konopko, YWCA chief financial officer; Yhissa Ocasio, YWCA director of Youth, HIV, and Court Support Programs; Terri Fox, Monson Savings Bank senior vice president and chief retail officer; and Corinne Sawyer, Monson Savings Bank vice president and director of Business & Municipal Banking.

 


 

Donation to CDH

Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB

Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB, recently announced that the bank has made a $500,000 challenge grant to support the Emergency Department at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. The funds will be used to support Transforming Emergency Care: Campaign for the Cooley Dickinson Emergency Department, a $19.76 million expansion, reconfiguration, and renovation effort to allow Cooley Dickinson to meet the ever-evolving emergency medicine needs of all members of the community, from infants to older adults. From left: Nancy Lapointe, bankESB senior vice president, retail banking; Dr. Lynnette Watkins, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Hospital; Sosik; and Karen Craig, assistant vice president, branch officer for bankESB’s King St., Northampton office

 


 

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Square One Derby Party

The Annual Square One Derby Party made a triumphant return on May 7 at The Armory at MGM Springfield after being on placed on pause for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 200 guests who attended, all dressed in classically exuberant and colorful Kentucky Derby attire, enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres while watching the heartwarming win of dark-horse (pun intended) Rich Strike unfold in an exhilarating race played out on giant screens at the Armory. Square One raised nearly $50,000 to help the children and families served by the agency from ticket sales and the generosity of event sponsors: PeoplesBank, Alekman Ditusa LLC, and USI Insurance Services.

attendees cheer on their favorite as the horses head for the finish line

Attendees cheer on their favorite as the horses head for the finish line

 

Dawn DiStefano, president and CEO of Square One

Dawn DiStefano, president and CEO of Square One, addresses those gathered for the party

 

Tammy Bordeaux, regional manager and vice president

Tammy Bordeaux, regional manager and vice president of PeoplesBank, offers remarks

 

get together before the race

From left, Andrea Hickson-Martin, chair of the Square One board of directors, Robyn Newhouse, vice president of The Republican, and Crystal Neuhauser, vice president of Institutional Advancement at Bay Path University, get together before the race

 

Brenda Cuoco & Associates Real Estate Brokerage

The Brenda Cuoco & Associates Real Estate Brokerage team poses for a photo

 


 

Celebrating 75 Years

Holyoke Community College celebrated its 75th anniversary on May 5 with a range of lively festivities. The food was prepared by HCC Culinary Arts students and chefs from MGM Springfield, and beverages were provided by White Lion Brewing and Arcpoint Brewing. Live music was performed by HCC music students and faculty, which led to dancing and contributed to the fun party atmosphere. Open houses and tours were held so visitors could explore the Commonwealth’s oldest community college and see the types of work students have been accomplishing this year. Panel discussions were also held over Zoom to include virtual options for this otherwise in-person event. The festivities concluded with a community reception at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. The celebration was free and open to the public.

Clockwise, from top left, HCC President Christina Royal offers remarks; HCC Culinary Arts students prepare hors d’oeuvres; attendees of the early education open house pose for a photo; from left, David Bartley, former HCC president and Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Royal, and Will Puello, Holyoke city councilor, pose for a photo after HCC was presented with an official resolution from the City Council.

HCC President Christina Royal offers remarks

HCC President Christina Royal offers remarks

 

HCC Culinary Arts students prepare hors d’oeuvres

HCC Culinary Arts students prepare hors d’oeuvres

 

early education open house

Attendees of the early education open house pose for a photo

 

HCC was presented with an official resolution from the City Council

From left, David Bartley, former HCC president and Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Royal, and Will Puello, Holyoke city councilor, pose for a photo after HCC was presented with an official resolution from the City Council

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Common Threads

 

Dress for Success Western Mass. staged its annual fundraising event, Common Threads, on April 25 at the Sheraton in Springfield. More than 300 people turned out for the event, which featured inspirational stories from women who were helped by the agency in their efforts to find employment in a field where they can build a career, a keynote address from Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal, and the presentation of several awards, including the Distinguished Alumna award to Kassandra Carrasquillo; the Volunteer of the Year award to Bridget Haley; and the Outstanding Contributor Award to Dawn Creighton.

 

audience members take in the proceedings

audience members take in the proceedings

 

Briceyda Landaverde, of Western Mass News, serves as emcee for the evening

Briceyda Landaverde, of Western Mass News, serves as emcee for the evening

 

posing for a selfie are Creighton, Jennifer Metsch, Royal, Ramona Reno, and Karen MacGeorge

posing for a selfie are Creighton, Jennifer Metsch, Royal, Ramona Reno, and Karen MacGeorge

 

Delphine Kabatesi, left, and Jill Schibelli, Margaret Fitzgerald Mentoring Program participants

Delphine Kabatesi, left, and Jill Schibelli, Margaret Fitzgerald Mentoring Program participants

 

Royal delivers her talk, which focused on mentors in her life

Royal delivers her talk, which focused on mentors in her life

 


 

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150th Anniversary Reception

To commemorate Monson Savings Bank’s incorporation on March 27, 1872, the bank recently invited members of the community to attend a 150th Anniversary Reception at the Monson branch. Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank, along with MSB team members, welcomed guests as they joined the celebration. Dignitaries, including local professionals, government officials, and community members attended the reception to show their support for the institution.

State Sen. Anne Gobi and Rep. Brian Ashe (right), seen with Moriarty, presented Monson Savings Bank with citations, and commended the bank for reaching the momentous anniversary

 

From left, Michael Rouette, MSB’s executive vice president and COO; Laurel Peck, MSB Retail Operations specialist; Sandra Letendre, veteran MSB employee; and Moriarty

 

Moriarty, left, with past president Neil Marshall, center, and past president (and now chairman of the board) Steve Lowell

 


 

Soofa Wraps

Business and civic leaders gathered in downtown Amherst recently for the unveiling of new ‘Soofa signs,’ 100% solar-powered electronic displays placed in the downtown area to better communicate local events and resources, and to help promote local businesses. The signs will communicate COVID-19 updates, public health guidelines, town updates, and local business offerings. The initiative was sponsored by UMass Five College Credit Union.

From left: Claudia Pazmany, executive director, Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce; UMass Five College Credit Union team members: Taylor Robbins, Cash Management specialist; Craig Boivin, vice president of Marketing; and Rich Kump, President & CEO; Dave Ziomek, Assistant town manager/director of Conservation & Development, Town of Amherst; state Rep. Mindy Domb; and Jeff Simpson, chief Commercial Officer and vice president of Commercial Lending of UMass Five. (Missing are Gabrielle Gould, president of the Amherst Business Improvement District, and Brianna Sunryd, Communications manager and Community Participation officer for the Town of Amherst — partners who made the initiative possible).

 


 

Urban League Donation

Balise Toyota and Balise Lexus donated to the Urban League of Springfield and nominated the organization for additional funds through the Toyota Dealer Match Program, resulting in a total donation of $30,000. The funds will be used to support new development and improvements at the league’s historic Camp Atwater, with youth development activities and facilities upgrades as the primary objectives.

From left, Ken Maffia, general manager of Balise Toyota; Henry Thomas III, president and CEO of the Urban League of Springfield; Alex Balise, director of Marketing for Balise Auto Group; Dee Thomas; and Tim Cardillo, general manager of Balise Lexus.


 

Celebrating 125 Years

 

Bay Path University celebrated its 125th anniversary and the inauguration of its sixth president, Sandra Doran, on April 8. An evening gala at the MassMutual Center followed earlier inauguration ceremonies at Symphony Hall.

A wide view of the inauguration

 

At the ‘Presentation of Symbols’ are, from left, Jonathan Besse, chairman of the Bay Path board of trustees, Doran, retired Bay Path President Carol Leary

 

Later at the ball … clockwise, from left, with Doran, second from left, are Madeline Landrau, Relationship Manager at MassMutual, Judy Matt, president of the Spirit of Springfield, and Kathy Tobin, director of Annual Giving and Events at Baystate Health

 

Michelle and Peter Wirth, co-owners of Mercedes Benz of Springfield, rally the audience during the fund-raising segment of the program

 

Ruth Carter, Academy Award winner for Best Costume Design, addresses the audience

 


 

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Winning Team

Florence Bank recently completed a five-year, $100,000 donation to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to support its multi-phase, multi-year renovation. In addition, Florence Bank customers using their debit card will get 50% admission discounts to the Hall during school vacation week, April 18-22. The collaboration between the bank and museum began roughly a decade ago and has grown to support programming of all kinds. Pictured: Florence Bank President and CEO Kevin Day and John Doleva, president and CEO of the Hall of Fame.

 


 

Long-distance Partnership

Representatives from Elms College and Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) allowing qualified students at Yarmouk to complete their master’s degree in biotechnology via Elms College’s online learning platform. Pictured, from left: Elms College President Harry Dumay; Sudad Saman, assistant professor of biology at Elms College; Almuthanna Khalaf Ahmad Alkaraki, head of the Biological Sciences department at Yarmouk University, and Khalid Al-Batayneh, dean of the College of Sciences at Yarmouk University, both on screen via Zoom; Janet Williams, professor of Biology at Elms College; and Walter Breau, vice president of Academic Affairs at Elms College.

 


 

Gyro-ic Return

Le Greque celebrated a grand reopening at Tower Square on March 25, the date the Greek restaurant opened 40 years ago. Husband-and-wife team Kyriakos ‘Kyri’ and Diana Varypatakis started dishing up gyros and other Greek specialties for the first time in two years since closing at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured: Diana Varypatakis with the framed cash from the eatery’s first sale on March 25, 1982.

 

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Messages of Solidarity

Messages of Solidarity

The day Russia invaded Ukraine, the College Radio Foundation issued a call for solidarity for Ukraine’s students. Over the next 24 hours, about 50 college stations on three continents responded, and the foundation compiled the audio clips into a 37-minute file that was sent to the National University of Ostroh Academy in Ostroh, Ukraine, then posted on SoundCloud and distributed to universities around Ukraine. Stevie Converse, an adjunct professor of communications at Holyoke Community College and adviser to the HCC Radio Club (pictured), recorded HCC’s contribution. “We are the students from 103.5 WCCH in Holyoke, a city in Western Massachusetts in the USA,” he said. “We stand with you in Ostroh and all across Ukraine. Please know we are in solidarity with the the Ukrainian people, and we wish you safety, unity, and eventual peace for you and your homeland.”

 


 

Supporting Mental Health

Supporting Mental Health

A $15,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, will help the Mental Health Assoc. (MHA) expand programming and resources for its Grow, Reimagine, Inspire, Transform (GRIT) program that provides residential rehabilitation for individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ in recovery with substance-use and mental-health disorders. Services offered at GRIT include recovery-based group therapy, how to cope mindfully with traumatic stress, and 24/7 individual support.

 


 

Hit the Road

Hit the Road

Senator Velis Presents $75,000 in ARPA funding to the Agawam Senior Center State Sen. John Velis recently presented earmark funding of $75,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to the Agawam Senior Center, to assist the center in acquiring a new van, which will increase mobility for local seniors by making transportation more accessible. Velis (center) was joined by Agawam Mayor William Sapelli (left), Agawam Senior Center Executive Director Michael Squindo (right), and members of the community.

 


 

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Meeting a Critical Need

Baystate Health and Kindred Behavioral Health, a division of LifePoint Health, broke ground on March 8 in Holyoke on a new, state-of-the-art behavioral-health hospital. Baystate Behavioral Health Hospital will be located on 45 Lower Westfield Road and will feature 120 semi-private rooms and 30 private rooms for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. The 23,230-square-foot, four-story facility will feature a wide range of programs to meet patients’ varying treatment needs, as well as large activity and therapy rooms, a gym for therapy services, multiple courtyards, and outdoor recreation spaces where patients can interact with each other and their family members. The $72 million project is estimated to take 16 months to complete, with an expected opening in August 2023.

 


 

Grand Opening

Amherst welcomed the newest player in cannabis retail with a grand opening and ribbon cutting at Pleasantrees, located at 422 Amity St., on March 5. Pictured, from left: Paul Bockelman, Amherst town administrator; Zach Wilson, director of Retail at Pleasantrees; Koby Gardner-Levine from U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern’s office; Pleasantrees employees Nasya Dobbins and Kimmy Burlak; and Claudia Pazmany, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce.

 


 

Campus Tour

State legislators visited Greenfield Community College on Feb. 28, to tour the campus and learn how support from lawmakers can help GCC continue to provide quality, affordable education and workforce development. Visiting lawmakers included state Sens. Jo Comerford and Adam Hinds and state Reps. Lindsay Sabadosa, Natalie Blais, Susannah Whipps, Mindy Domb, and Paul Mark. The contingent explored the GCC campus, discussing the evolution of the college during the COVID-19 pandemic and changes the college is making to better prepare students for the workforce.

 


 

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211 Day

 

The United Way of Pioneer Valley hosted the grand opening of its new Springfield Community Service Center, sponsored by Balise Auto Group, on Feb. 11, a day declared as ‘211 Day’ in the Commonwealth. Municipal and business leaders gathered at ceremonies at 1441 Main St., the location of the new center, for a ribbon cutting that followed comments from several speakers on the services provided by Mass211 and the importance of this program to the region. Ceremonies were held simultaneously in Framingham and the Mass211 headquarters there. Among those speaking were Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno (pictured at the podium); Paul Mina, president and CEO of the United Way of Pioneer Valley; and many others.

 


 

Recognizing Support for Community Colleges

 

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal was awarded the 2022 National Education Service Award during the Assoc. of Community College Trustees’ (ACCT) Community College National Legislative Summit. Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal was on hand to make the presentation. Pictured, from left: Richard Rhodes, American Assoc. of Community Colleges board chair; Neal; Royal; James Cooksey, ACCT board chair; and Jee Hang Lee, ACCT president and CEO.

 


 

Home Sweeter Home

 

In September, Purple Heart Homes (PHH), a veterans-services agency that focuses on housing solutions, and Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity collaborated on a home-preservation project for Peter, a retired Army National Guard staff sergeant, and his wife, Beth. They purchased a duplex in Monson three years ago and live in one unit, while Beth’s daughter and young son live in the other residence. The project fixed a moss-spotted roof, a broken water heater in the daughter’s unit, and damaged exterior doors at both dwellings.

 

 


 

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Trees of Hope

Ronald McDonald House of Springfield and partnering sponsor Gary Rome Hyundai surpassed their fundraising goal for the inaugural Trees of Hope event held in November. The effort raised $126,823 and included a total of 46 trees and displays. Gary Rome plans to host Trees of Hope at the dealership each year, including Nov. 4-18, 2022. “We are going to make this event bigger and better every year and be able to help so many families stay close while their children are receiving medical care,” Rome said.

 


 

Quick Results

Baystate Noble Hospital was able to purchase a portable X-ray machine (pictured, with X-ray tech Katie Unsderfer), thanks to funds raised through the 2021 Baystate Noble Ball. Now, rather than patients being transported to another area of the hospital and waiting for results, the portable X-ray machine brings the technology to the patient’s bedside, providing a high-quality image immediately, so the attending physician can read it and provide guidance on the patient’s course of care quickly.

 


 

Special Delivery

Advanced Vein Care Center in Springfield recently donated 33,000 medical-grade face masks to schools in Western Mass. The Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee school systems, as well as Veritas Prep Charter School in Springfield, received the masks to distribute to students and staff. Pictured: Advanced Vein Care Center Medical Director Dr. K. Francis Lee delivers boxes of masks to Nicole Gauthier, director of special projects at Veritas Prep Charter School.

 


 

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Investing in the Future

Pictured, from left: Mandy Pappas, care coordinator at BHN; Kathleen Cordier, family partner at BHN; Steve Winn, BHN president and CEO; and Jodie Gerulaitis, vice president of Community Relations at Country Bank.

Behavioral Health Network Inc. (BHN) recently received a $25,000 donation from Country Bank to benefit the Katherine B. Wilson Staff Excellence Fund. BHN established the fund to support the career and professional development of the organization’s workforce and assist in achieving social-justice objectives.

 


 

Taking Pride in Supporting Families

Pictured, from left: Pride’s Tara Lashway; Geoffrey Hoyt, chief Development officer at Mercy Medical Center; Pride Stores CEO Bob Bolduc; Pride’s Jeremy Skiba; Dr. Edna Rodriguez, director of Behavioral Health at Mercy Medical Center; Pride’s Shannon Cooley; and Pride Stores President Marsha Medina.

For 41 years, the Brightside Angel Campaign has directly benefited those served by the programs and services of Brightside for Families and Children. As in years past, the Brightside paper angels were available in all 31 Pride Stores throughout the local area, and that effort raised $7,500.

 


 

Answering the Call

Pictured: Second Chance Medical Director Dr. Ashley Raymond examines a dog during a Homebound to the Rescue visit to the Holyoke Senior Center.

Second Chance Animal Services is thanking the 900 supporters who made more than $30,000 in gifts in honor of the late Betty White, a noted animal advocate. All donations to Second Chance made through the Betty White Challenge will help keep pets and people together through the nonprofit’s Homebound to the Rescue program that brings veterinary services directly to low-income senior communities at no cost.

 


 

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In Support of Excellence

Pictured, from left: Matt Bannister, senior vice president, Marketing and Corporate Responsibility at PeoplesBank; Kerry Pepin, vice president, portfolio manager at PeoplesBank; Steve Winn, BHN President and CEO; and Vicky Crouse, senior vice president, Commercial Lending, PeoplesBank.

Behavioral Health Network, Inc. recently received a $25,000 donation from PeoplesBank to benefit the Katherine B. Wilson Staff Excellence Fund, which supports the career and professional development of BHN’s workforce and assists in achieving social-justice objectives.

 

 


 

Top Student Investors

Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM) recently held its annual Stock Market Competition at the Cedars Banquet Facility in Springfield. Taking home the top prize this year in the live event was the Raiders team from Hampshire Regional High School (pictured). JAWM later held a virtual competition for students who could not attend the live event, at which students from Putnam Vocational Technical High School took first and third place. Teams of middle- and high-school students at the event are ‘given’ $1 million to invest in more than 50 fictitious stocks, aiming to build the highest portfolio net worth.

 


 

Boosting Food Security

Pictured: Community Bank Branch Manager Gilbert Nieves (left) and Open Pantry Community Services Agency Director Terry Maxey.

Community Bank recently donated $6,500 to support Open Pantry Community Services, which aims to increase food security for families in the surrounding community through its Emergency Food Bank, Loaves and Fishes Community Kitchen, and Holiday Meals programs. It further supports those in need by providing Teen Parent and Open Door Social Services programs, as well as permanent housing for homeless single women recovering from substance abuse.

 


 

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Joining the Fight Against Cancer

Employees of UMassFive College Federal Credit Union raised more than $16,000 for the UMass Cancer Center through participation in the 23rd annual UMass Cancer Walk and Run at Polar Park in Worcester. UMassFive employees join together annually as Team UMassFive to raise funds for the cause, both personally and in branch locations. In 2021, fundraising efforts included the Hadley branch hosting its annual Crafting for a Cure Boutique. Other branch efforts included raffle baskets, bake sales, candy sales, and jewelry sales.

 


Supporting Care for Children

A three-state fundraising effort and matching company contribution by City Tire and Auto Centers recently netted Baystate Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Springfield donations of $10,000 each. The company raised the funds through contributions on specific auto services for the past six months. Pictured at the Shriners check presentation, from left: Peter Greenberg and Daniel Greenberg, president and vice president, respectively, of City Tire; and Stacey Perlmutter and Lee Kirk, the hospital’s director of Development and administrator, respectively.

 


Tackling Food Insecurity

State Sen. Eric Lesser was recently joined by state Rep. Bud Williams and Jodi Manning, manager of the Farmers’ Market at Forest Park, to announce $75,000 in funding secured to support staffing, website development, outreach, and education for the Farmers’ Market. Lesser acted as lead sponsor in the Senate, securing this state funding in the ARPA spending bill signed into law last month.

 

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Delivering Holiday Cheer

American Eagle Financial Credit Union celebrated the season of giving by delivering baskets of holiday cheer to Hampden County families with loved ones who faced challenges from the pandemic or illness this past year. AEFCU representatives presented baskets filled with holiday treats, gifts, and Bright Nights tickets to special-education teachers at West Springfield High School, families staying at Ronald McDonald House of Springfield, and patient-care staff at Baystate Children’s Hospital. In addition, Bright Nights tickets and gift cards were delivered by Springfield radio stations on the credit union’s behalf to Shriners Children’s New England and the Boys & Girls Club of Springfield.

AEFCU representatives

AEFCU representatives presented baskets filled with holiday treats, gifts, and Bright Nights tickets to special-education teachers at West Springfield High School

 

Families staying at Ronald McDonald House of Springfield

Families staying at Ronald McDonald House of Springfield

 

Patient-care staff at Baystate Children’s Hospital

Patient-care staff at Baystate Children’s Hospital

 


 

Touring Small Businesses

On Dec. 12, state Sen. Eric Lesser hosted a small-business holiday tour with Grace Barone, executive director of East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce (ERC5), visiting several member businesses of ERC5. The pair, joined by state Reps. Brian Ashe and Jacob Oliveira, visited Pete’s Sweets in East Longmeadow, the Scented Garden Gift Shoppe in Wilbraham, Vanished Valley Brewing in Ludlow, Rosewood Home & Gifts in Hampden, Center Square Grill in East Longmeadow, and the Longmeadow Shops.

 

Pete’s Sweets in East Longmeadow

Pete’s Sweets in East Longmeadow

 

Scented Garden Gift Shoppe in Wilbraham

Scented Garden Gift Shoppe in Wilbraham

 

 

 


 

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Open for Business

Officials cut a ceremonial ribbon on Nov. 30 at Town Common, the mixed-use facility created at the former United Bank building in the center of West Springfield. The property is now at nearly full occupancy, with a tenants that include Tandem Bagel Co., Future Health, Seven Hills Foundation, Kindred Healthcare, and many others. Doing the honors are, from left, state Rep. Michael Flynn; Tyler Saremi, president of Saremi LLP; West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt; and Kevin Saremi, a partner in the project.

 


 

Every Dollar Counts

Carr Hardware recently donated $5,272.12 to the Berkshire Humane Society, first by donating the sales of more than 300 buckets to the Humane Society, and then offering customers the option to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar for the first two weeks of November. Pictured: Carr Hardware President Bart Raser (left), Berkshire Humane Society Executive Director John Perreault, and Bowser.

 


 

Recognizing Successes

State Rep. Mindy Domb (left) recently attended the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative breakfast to recognize the work of chamber Executive Director Claudia Pazmany (second from left) and Gabrielle Gould, executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District (right). Together, Domb noted, these community leaders have been largely responsible for bringing in more than $2.1 million in state grants to small businesses in Amherst, scheduling vaccination clinics for restaurant workers, developing a microgrant program for small businesses, and implementing an innovative program of  purchasing hundreds of meals from local restaurants last winter and distributing them to families facing food insecurity. Also pictured: John Page, former marketing and membership manager at the chamber.

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A Bright Night for Springfield

“Cherry Blossoms Under the Moonlight” was the theme of the 2021 City of Bright Nights Ball on Nov. 13 at MGM Springfield.

 

Shawn Pace, site manager with Eastman, the event sponsor

Shawn Pace, site manager with Eastman, the event sponsor

 

Judy Matt, president of Spirit of Springfield, which presents the ball each year

Judy Matt, president of Spirit of Springfield, which presents the ball each year

 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno with Abe Berry, vice president of Hospitality at MGM Springfield

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno with Abe Berry, vice president of Hospitality at MGM Springfield

 

from left, Dr. Stanley Glazer, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Candy Glazer, and state Sen. Eric Lesser

from left, Dr. Stanley Glazer, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Candy Glazer, and state Sen. Eric Lesser

 

a gathering of event sponsors

a gathering of event sponsors

 


 

Saluting Veterans

As part of American Eagle Financial Credit Union’s month-long celebration of veterans, their families, and the organizations that support them, the credit union donated $5,000 to Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut, Veterans Rally Point, a program committed to the successful reintegration of active military, National Guard, Reserve, veterans, and their families into all aspects of civilian life.

Pictured, from left: Brig. Gen. Ron Welch of Veterans Rally Point, Teresa Knox of American Eagle Financial Credit Union, and Wendy Archer of Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut.

Pictured, from left: Brig. Gen. Ron Welch of Veterans Rally Point, Teresa Knox of American Eagle Financial Credit Union, and Wendy Archer of Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut.


 

Closer to Launch

From left, state Sen. Eric Lesser; Kay Simpson, president and CEO of the Springfield Museums; Mike Kerr, director of the Springfield Science Museum; and state Sen. Adam Gomez gathered to announce $100,000 in funding secured for the construction of the International Space Station exhibit as well as other upgrades in the Springfield Science Museum. Lesser acted as lead Senate sponsor in securing this state funding in the FY22 budget, signed into law in July.

 


 

Having a Ball

Springfield Ballers held its first annual Ballers’ Ball on Nov. 13. Springfield Ballers provides affordable opportunities to youth in athletics through programs that promote academic achievement and overall health and wellness for the purpose of creating a complete and well-rounded student athlete.

Pictured, from left: Thomas DeVane, James Gee, Amy Royal, Alethea Stevenson, Jennifer Wallace, Michelle Torchia, Michael Anderson, and Marion Illouz.

Pictured, from left: Thomas DeVane, James Gee, Amy Royal, Alethea Stevenson, Jennifer Wallace, Michelle Torchia, Michael Anderson, and Marion Illouz.

 


 

A+ Awards

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce presented its annual A+ Awards on Nov. 10 at the newly refurbished UMass Amherst Student Ballroom. Each year, the chamber bestows A+ Awards to individuals and organizations that enrich the life of the community through their work in business, education, and civic engagement.

 

the family of Andy Yee of the Bean Restaurant Group, who won this year’s Legacy Award posthumously

The family of Andy Yee of the Bean Restaurant Group, who won this year’s Legacy Award posthumously

 

Sid and Isabel Ferreira of Amherst a Better Chance (third and fourth from left), winners of the Community Service Award, pictured with, from left, state Rep. Mindy Domb, Jamilla Ferreira, Cid Ferreira, Mila Ferreira, and Mary Custard from Amherst Regional High School

Sid and Isabel Ferreira of Amherst a Better Chance (third and fourth from left), winners of the Community Service Award, pictured with, from left, state Rep. Mindy Domb, Jamilla Ferreira, Cid Ferreira, Mila Ferreira, and Mary Custard from Amherst Regional High School

 


 

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Sock It to MA

From left, Lenny Underwood, founder of Upscale Socks; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, and state Sens. Eric Lesser and Adam Gomez joined Chris Russell, executive director of the Springfield Business Improvement District, for the unveiling of Upscale Socks’ new Massachusetts sock. The design, created by Underwood, features some of what the Commonwealth is known for: basketball, the Knowledge Corridor, mountains, the state flower, and the state fruit.

 


 

 

Thank You for Your Service

House of Heroes and Johnson Brunetti Retirement & Investment Specialists recently provided no-cost home repairs and updates for veteran Sylvia McGiver of Enfield, Conn. McGiver served both at home and overseas in Japan as an Army nurse, treating wounded soldiers during the Vietnam War and eventually earning the rank of captain before her discharge in 1970. This marked the third straight year Johnson Brunetti has partnered with House of Heroes to thank local veterans with a home-improvement project.

 


 

 

Supporting Local Care

Greenfield Cooperative Bank recently made a $75,000 donation, one of the largest in the bank’s history, in support of Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s new Department of Family Medicine. This new UMass Medical School – Baystate-affiliated program will train future family doctors in Greenfield to ensure a legacy of long-term, sustainable, high-quality primary healthcare for the citizens of Franklin County and surrounding towns.

 

 


 

 

 

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Celebrating a Legacy

Square One celebrated the career and legacy of Joan Kagan, its former president and CEO, at a retirement party on Oct. 14. Pictured from top: Kagan addresses the gathering at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse. Center: from left, Melissa Blissett, vice president of Family Services; Kris Allard, vice president of Development & Communication; Kagan; Maria Bedard, vice president of Early Education & Care; Dawn DiStefano, president and CEO; and Joni Beck Brewer, retired vice president of Family Services. Bottom: Kagan with a painting gifted by local artists and Bay Path University students Cora Swan and Audira Cave. The painting will hang at Square One’s Tommie Johnson Child & Family Center as a way of honoring Kagan for her years of service.

 


 

Cutting the Ribbon

Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries recently held a ribbon-cutting event at its newly renovated store on University Drive in Amherst. Pictured, from left: store Manager Cynthia Bartels, Goodwill CEO Joanne Hilferty, Goodwill board member Kathleen Murphy, Amherst Town Council President Lynn Griesemer, Amherst Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Youssef Fadel, state Rep. Mindy Domb, and Goodwill Senior Director of Retail Robert Niejadlik.

 


Growing STEM

Springfield Technical Community College was recently awarded two grants worth more than $7 million from the U.S. Department of Education to boost student success among Latinx and low-income students in STEM fields. Pictured at the ceremony announcing the grants: from left, STCC President John Cook, state Rep. Orlando Ramos, state Rep. Bud Williams, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, and Shai Butler, STCC’s vice president of Advancement and External Affairs.

 


Hunger Relief

State legislators visited Rachel’s Table recently to announce $25,000 in funding secured for food rescue and distribution efforts. Pictured from left: state Rep. Brian Ashe; a staffer for state Rep. Bud Williams, Jodi Falk, director of Rachel’s Table; state Sen. Eric Lesser; Sarah Maniaci, associate director of Rachel’s Table; Nora Gorenstein, interim executive director of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts; Ellen Gold, board president of Rachel’s Table; and state Rep. Jacob Oliveira.

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Grand Opening at Venture X

Venture X Holyoke celebrated the grand opening of its co-working space on Sept. 9, drawing more than 80 guests who enjoyed drinks, food, live music, and tours of the facility. Pictured: the Venture X Holyoke team cuts the ribbon at the grand opening. (Photo by Aiden McDonald)

 


 

Committed to the Mission


In celebration of a $50,000 earmark in the Massachusetts state budget to support its commitment to early learning, Square One welcomed the amendment’s sponsors, state Sen. Adam Gomez and state Rep. Bud Williams, for a visit to its Main Street, Springfield location on Oct. 4. They were joined by state Sen. Eric Lesser, state Reps. Michael Finn and Orlando Ramos, Square One President and CEO Dawn DiStefano, and staff and children from the agency.

 


 

Up, Up, and Away


Mateo Reyes, a senior at Westfield Technical Academy, recently earned his private pilot license from Fly Lugu on Sept. 30. Leading up to the day of his checkride, Reyes could be found studying at the airport almost every day after school. “Watching Mateo accomplish such a huge feat at just 17 years old has been inspiring to everyone at Fly LUGU,” flight dispatcher Sammie Gladu said, “and we’re looking forward to seeing where his new license takes him.”

 


 

Fore the Kids


Professional Drywall Construction Inc. raised $35,000 during its fifth annual PDC Charity Golf Tournament, held on Sept. 9 at Wyckoff Country Club in Holyoke. The tournament, which featured an 18-hole round of golf, lunch, and a dinner reception, drew 120 participants. Pictured: PDC co-owners Ron Perry (left) and Nick Shaink. (Photo by Market Mentors)

 


 

School Is Now in Session


Gov. Charlie Baker (pictured) and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito recently joined students, families, staff, board members, and community partners to celebrate the opening of Springfield Prep Charter School’s new campus on Roosevelt Avenue in Springfield. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the completion of two years of planning and construction on a $20.4 million building project that will serve nearly 500 students each year.

 


 

Creating a Pipeline


Committed to growing the future manufacturing workforce, Governors America Corp. in Agawam recently hosted six students as part of the Learn to Earn program created by New England Business Associates. During the five-hour event, students had the opportunity to tour the facility, speak with staff in a variety of roles, and learn about the various opportunities available within manufacturing. (Photo by Market Mentors)

 


 

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Supporting Healthy Kids

The Enterprise Holdings Foundation recently donated $12,143 to Square One in support of its Campaign for Healthy Kids, part of its broader commitment to donate $55 million over five years to organizations that advance social and racial equity. The Campaign for Healthy Kids is a multi-year fund-development initiative focused on Square One’s commitment to providing healthy meals, physical fitness, social-emotional well-being, and a healthy learning environment.

 


 

 

Helping Women Get Back to Work

State Sens. Eric Lesser and Adam Gomez and state Reps. Carlos Gonzalez and Orlando Ramos recently joined Margaret Tantillo, executive director of Dress for Success Western Massachusetts, and her team to announce $25,000 in funding for the organization’s workforce-development program. As lead budget sponsor, Lesser secured this earmark in the FY22 budget that was passed by the Senate and House and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker in July. Dress for Success’ workforce-development programs and services improve the employability, employment placement, and self-sufficiency of women who are unemployed and seeking to enter or re-enter the workforce. 

 


 

 

Fore a Good Cause

The Royal Law Firm was the signature cocktail sponsor of the CHD Cancer House of Hope golf tournament held on Sept. 13. The Royal foursome included, from left, Joe Eckerle, Tanzi Cannon-Eckerle, BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien, and Tim Netkovick.

 


 

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Stepping Up to the Plate

Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan & Blakesley (PSRB) announced a corporate sponsorship with the Worcester Red Sox, geared toward providing support to the team’s charitable efforts throughout Greater Worcester and sponsorship of its community calendar. The firm shot new television commercials on Aug. 16 on the field at Polar Park, and also announced the continuation of its relationship with Red Sox legend Dwight Evans as PSRB’s spokesperson. Pictured, from left: Charlie Casartello, the firm’s managing partner; Evans; and Patrick McHugh, a partner at PSRB.

 


 

Local Legal Lights

 

 

 

The Hampden County Bar Assoc. (HCBA) held its annual meeting, vendor show, and dinner on Aug. 12 at the Springfield Sheraton Hotel. Pictured top: Joseph Pacella is sworn in as president of the association for 2021-22 by District Court Judge Philip Contant. Bottom: Tahirah Amatul-Wadud (center) is presented with the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. (MBA) Community Service Award by MBA President Denise Murphy and HCBA President Thomas Wilson. Fifty-year members of the bar were also recognized during the evening.

 

 


 

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Margarita Madness


Margarita Madness 2021, the Amherst Area Chamber’s signature networking event, returned this year, outdoors, under the pavilion at the Young Men’s Club of Hadley made possible by presenting sponsor Steve Lewis Subaru and supported by more than 40 participants and sponsors for 20 margarita tastings. Funds were raised for CHD’s Not Bread Alone as well as the chamber’s work throughout the year to create, maintain and promote a vital, thriving business climate in the Amherst Area. Back row, from left, John Page, Membership & Marketing manager of the Amherst Area Chamber; Marissa Faldasz from The Hangar & Pub of Amherst, first prize winner of 2021 Margarita Madness with its Habanero Pineapple Ginger Margarita; Steve Lewis, CEO of Steve Lewis Subaru, presenting sponsor of Margarita Madness; Claudia Pazmany, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber; and Samantha Heraty from the Hangar & Pub of Amherst; Lower row, left to right, Alex DeLiefde from the Hangar & Pub of Amherst; Youssef Fadel, of New England Promotional Marketing and founding chair of the Annual Margarita Madness 2021 Committee; and Chrystal Thompson, from the Hangar & Pub of Amherst.

 


 

To Honor America


Karen Nogueira, director of Client Relations for PV Financial Group, recently sang the national anthem at Fenway Park to open up a Red Sox game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Nogueira has been with PV Financial Group since 2006.

 


 

 

Hefty Deposit


Monson Savings Bank (MSB) announced it will donate $100,000 to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts to support people who struggle with food insecurity. MSB was a major charitable donor to the Food Bank’s capital campaign, which aims to raise $22 million for the new Chicopee facility that will serve as its future headquarters, set to open in 2023. Pictured, from left: Erica Flores, president of the Food Bank’s board of directors; Andrew Morehouse, executive director of the Food Bank; and Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO.

 


 

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Learning Takes Flight

Fly LUGU Flight Training is partnering with Boy Scouts of America to help the local troop earn their aviation merit badge. Flight instructors from Fly LUGU are volunteering their time to help the young Scouts attain the badge. Instructors are taking pride in teaching the boys airport operations and basic flight instruments, as well as demonstrating a proper pre-flight inspection on a Cessna 172. For many of the Scouts, it is their first time being up close to a small aircraft.

 


 

 

Grand Opening

Brenda Cuoco & Associates Real Estate Brokerage recently opened its second office location at 714 Bliss Road in the Longmeadow Shops. Cuoco has more than 16 years of experience in the industry and is looking forward to bringing her passion and knowledge to the Longmeadow market.

 

 


 

 

Movie Nights

North Square at the Mill District in Amherst will wind down its summer outdoor cinema series on Aug. 25 with a showing of Mamma Mia! Series partners include (pictured, from left) Tony Maroulis, vice president of Real Estate & Development at W.D. Cowls Inc.; Arthur Haskins, property manager of North Square at the Mill District; Cinda Jones, president of the Mill District; Claudia Pazmany, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce; and Yasmin Chin Eisenhauer, executive director of Amherst Cinema.

 

 


 

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Supporting Education

Elms College announced it has named its center dedicated to improving fairness and opportunity in K-12 education as the Cynthia A. Lyons Center for Equity in Urban Education (CEUE). Lyons has been a member of the Elms College board of trustees for the past 15 years, serving the last seven as board chair. In addition, the Lyons family committed $1 million in support of the CEUE, which was launched in 2019 to help bridge the 800-teacher annual gap across K-12 schools in Chicopee, Holyoke, and Springfield, especially in the STEM fields. Pictured, from left: William Lyons III, Cynthia Lyons, Elms President Harry Dumay, and Paul Stelzer, incoming chair of the Elms College board of trustees.

 


 

Heritage Week

Mercy Medical Center celebrated its Heritage Week on July 19-23, a time when the organization reflects on its early days and the many contributions the Sisters of Providence have made to the local community. Pictured: Mercy President Deborah Bitsoli presents a bouquet of flowers to Sister Mary Caritas, Mercy board member and former Mercy Hospital president, at a colleague barbeque, where Caritas recounted stories about the beginnings of the health ministry and thanked colleagues for their continued commitment to providing a healing environment.

 


 

Round Up for Change

Wild Oats Market in Williamstown recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its Round Up for Change program with a $3,353.57 donation to the Williamstown Farmers Market’s Community Essentials Initiative. The program allows customers to round up their total purchase amounts at checkout to benefit a local nonprofit. All funds collected go directly to that month’s featured partner. Since initiating the program in June 2020, Wild Oats has donated more than $38,000 to 13 different organizations. Pictured, from left: Netse Lytle (center) of Wild Oats Market presents a check to MaryEllen Meehan (left) and Anne Hogeland from Williamstown Farmers Market.

 

 


 

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Supporting the Kids

 

Smith & Wesson recently committed $20,000 in corporate giving to Square One, in addition to funds donated by employees as part of their commitment to social responsibility. The company has previously supported the agency’s early-education and care initiatives and programs to support victims of domestic violence. It was also among the first businesses in the region to fund Square One’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Pictured: Smith & Wesson’s Caitlin Roman (top) and Mark Smith (above) meet some preschool children from Square One’s Main Street classroom before the check presentation.

 


 

New Housing in Amherst

 

Gov. Charlie Baker (second from right) joined other state and economic-development officials on July 7 to cut the ribbon at the new apartment complex at North Square in Amherst. The 130-unit building at 75 and 85 Cowls Road, part of the Mill District, offers a mix of market-rate, affordable and low-income apartments with one, two and three bedrooms, and is more than 90% occupied. The Mill District development — a project of W.D. Cowls Inc., which is led by ninth-generation owner Cinda Jones (seventh from right) — also includes 22,000 square feet of retail space.

 


 

Grant Announcement

 

On July 13, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and Bay Path University President Sandra Doran jointly announced that two health-focused graduate programs at the university have recently received two federal grants. The master of science in physician assistant studies program has been awarded a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Primary Care Training & Enhancement Program; and the master of science in clinical mental health counseling program is the recipient of a grant from the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training program totaling $1.43 million over four years, funded through the American Rescue Plan. At top, Doran addresses those gathered at a press conference at the university’s Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center in East Longmeadow. Above, Neal, with Bay Path physician assistant studies students behind him, addresses the audience.

 

 


 

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Grand Opening

On June 23, Bacon Wilson welcomed clients, neighbors, and friends to a grand-opening reception at its new facility at 99 Springfield Road in Westfield. The event, which included a ribbon-cutting ceremony officiated by Westfield Mayor Donald Humason, was the firm’s first opportunity for in-person festivities since the pandemic began. Pictured, from left: Attorney Chip Smith, Attorney Daniel McKellick, Managing Partner Kenneth Albano, and Attorney Jonathan Breton.

 


White Lion Roars

White Lion Brewing celebrated the grand opening of its Tower Square facility on June 26. Here, White Lion founder Ray Berry (left) joins several staff members behind the counter during the event.

 


 

Caring for the Community

UMassFive College Federal Credit Union collected 350 pounds of personal-care items during the month of May and donated them to the pantries of Amherst Survival Center and Northampton Survival Center. Donations were collected at the credit union’s Hadley and Northampton branch locations. Pictured: Sez Morales (left), Amherst Survival Center pantry coordinator, and Cait Murray, UMassFive Community Outreach manager, with some of the donations.

 

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Open to Making Connections

On June 9, Berkshire Bank hosted a ribbon cutting for its Reevx Labs at 270-272 Bridge St. in Springfield. Reevx Labs are collaboration spaces for the community where entrepreneurs and nonprofits can connect with peers and resources to achieve their missions. Pictured, from left: Lori Gazzillo Kiely, Berkshire Bank Foundation director and the bank’s Berkshire County regional president; Ronald Molina-Brantley, vice president, relationship manager, and team leader at Berkshire Bank; Sean Gray, the bank’s president and chief operating officer; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; state Sen. Adam Gomez; and Jim Hickson, managing director, middle market, and regional president of the bank’s Pioneer Valley and Connecticut region.

 


Spring Cleanup

On June 11, a team of volunteers from MassMutual participated in a spring cleanup of the Square One site at the Christian Life Center on Sumner Avenue in Springfield. They prepared garden beds, built shade tents, raked, organized, and more. It was the first time this team has been together in person since the beginning of the pandemic.


Remembering a Legend

While many are mourning the loss of legendary restaurateur Andy Yee, the Student Prince & the Fort celebrated his life with a 60th birthday bash on June 11. The event kicked off with a proclamation by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, a welcome by Yee’s restaurant partner and friend Peter Picknelly, and a word from Rudi Scherff, longtime former owner of the Fort. The menu included Yee’s favorite dishes from the Fort kitchen, while the Fort bar served his favorite drink menu, and, because Yee loved music, guests enjoyed a lineup of live music with no cover charge.

 


Fresh Paint Springfield

The Fresh Paint Springfield mural festival recently transformed 10 large exterior walls into art in Mason Square and downtown. The locations and lead muralists include: top to bottom (below): 232 Worthington St., above the existing BLM mural, by Jeff Henriquez; 1106 State St., by Ryan Murray; Springfield City Library, Mason Square branch, 765 State St., by Betsy Casanas; and the corner of Dwight Street and Harrison Avenue, by Eric Okdeh; next page, clockwise from top left: 827 State St., by WMass Portrait Artists; Mosque 13, 727 State St., by Kay Douglas; 595 Main St., by Wane One; La Fiorentina, 883 Main St., by ARCY; Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services, 3 Rutland St., by Nero and SoulsNYC; and the Worthington Street side of the Taylor Street Parking Garage, by Stash. About 1,000 community members pitched in to create the murals, while the Community Mural Apprentice program paired 10 local artists with established muralists to learn how to engage with the community in designing and painting large, professional murals.

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Brewing Up Business

 

 

 

 

 

One Way Brewing opened its doors at 807 Maple Road in Longmeadow on May 22, marking the launch of Longmeadow’s first brewery. One Way Brewing released a flagship beer, Kickstarter, a New England IPA. Pictured at top: two of the many customers who showed up at the event, which featured lines stretched around the building for much of the day. Above, Jason Tsitso, partner and head brewer, loads up six-packs of beer for sale at the kickoff event

 

 


 

 

Honoring a Legacy

Springfield’s Sinai Temple and the Jerome S. Gurland Human Relations Award Committee recently selected Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) as the 2021 award recipient. GSHFH Executive Director Aimee Giroux (pictured, right) met with Rabbi Jeremy Master (left) on May 26 to accept the honor. Award namesake Rabbi Gurland of Longmeadow, who passed away on May 20, had been an advocate for community service and interfaith relations. Giroux said the funds will be used to promote community involvement, primarily with youth volunteers through construction on its Bay Street project.

 


 

 

Customers’ Choice Community Grants

During a May 18 celebration at Look Park, Florence Bank awarded $100,500 to 32 community organizations through its 19th annual Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program. Each year, Florence Bank customers are invited to vote for their favorite local nonprofit; to qualify for a community grant, organizations must receive at least 50 votes. In 2020, almost 7,000 votes were cast. Pictured: Monica Curhan, senior vice president and Marketing director, joins President and CEO Kevin Day in leading the awards presentation.

 


 

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Open for Business in Chicopee

 

Florence Bank recently celebrated its third Hampden County branch with a ribbon-cutting ceremony highlighted by a $5,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee. Pictured at top: Florence Bank staff and community leaders join bank President and CEO Kevin Day (center, flanked by Branch Manager Kimberly Downing and Chicopee Mayor John Vieau) in cutting the ribbon. Above: Day presents Lynn Morrisette, Marketing and Development director for the Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee, with the $5,000 donation.

 


 

Sock It to Stigma

Lenny Underwood, owner of Upscale Socks, teamed up with the Mental Health Assoc. (MHA) throughout May, Mental Health Awareness Month, with a new line of socks to support mental-health awareness. “I see how stigma relates to getting help — or not getting help — with mental wellness,” Underwood said. “It has been an issue I have seen and heard in my adulthood. But I’m optimistic when I see people in the public eye tell their story, being honest and vulnerable, because folks look up to others who are open and relatable. It helps to create more of a dialogue.” The socks will be available throughout the year at www.upscalesocks.com and at www.mhainc.org.

 


 

 

Protecting History

State Sen. Eric Lesser joined members of the Belchertown legislative delegation, local officials, and members of the community to celebrate the signing of an act providing for the permanent protection and stewardship of historic Lampson Brook Farm in Belchertown. The bill, sponsored by Lesser and supported by state Reps. Susannah Whipps, Jake Oliveira, and Thomas Petrolati, was signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker in January. This law allows for the permanent protection of the five separate parcels that make up the 430-acre historic site.

 

 


 

 

 

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