HNE, Peoplesbank Donate $20,000 to Gardening the Community
SPRINGFIELD — PeoplesBank and Health New England have partnered to donate $20,000 to Gardening the Community (GTC) of Springfield. The money will support the non-profit’s urban garden, farm store, youth leadership program, and other programs. The companies’ collaborative donation came about as representatives from each were discussing needs in the Springfield community and the non-profit organizations each supports. Both support GTC and, knowing that more than 15% percent of children in Hampden County are food insecure, the two companies agreed to help. “We believe that this donation from two of our most valued corporate partners is an investment in our organization, economically and spiritually. It is especially appreciated during this time of rising food costs, as we work to bring forth a just food system that works for all,” said Liz O’Gilvie of GTC. “We will use the funds to support our efforts to grow food that’s affordable while we help our young people to understand the inequities in our food. system.” Said Matthew Bannister, senior vice president of marketing and corporate responsibility for PeoplesBank, “PeoplesBank and Health New England are like-minded in our belief that companies have a responsibility to improve the communities in which they do business. In working with Health New England as our health plan, we found that we both supported several of the same area non-profits, including Gardening the Community. We decided to demonstrate our partnership with this combined donation.” Keith Ledoux, vice president Commercial Line of Business and Business Development for Health New England, agreed. “Both Health New England and PeoplesBank know that our companies are part of a larger ecosystem – our community – and when it thrives, we thrive. Together, our support of Gardening the Community will not only fight hunger and promote good health but will bring opportunity to the Mason Square neighborhood.” Gardening the Community (GTC) grows organic food on formerly empty lots increasing access to healthy food in food-insecure areas. They emphasize youth leadership development, racial justice, and intergenerational relationship building in all their work. GTC serves Springfield’s Mason Square neighborhood, a low income, predominantly Black and Latinx community as well as residents from across the city.
Florence Bank Donates $5,000 to Boys & Girls Club of West Springfield
Florence Bank has donated $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of West Springfield to help bolster the nonprofit’s 2022 Change a Child’s Future campaign. The club serves members ranging in age from 2.9 months to 18 years. This year’s $50,000 campaign goal will raise funds for financial aid to families in need and allow the club to enhance programming for before- and after-school programs, expand the Little Futures Preschool, purchase art and S.T.E.M. materials, and offer a variety of sports clinics. To learn more visit www.wsbgclub.org. “Florence Bank is committed to ensuring our local youth have the opportunity to become productive, caring, responsible citizens,” said Michael Moriarty, Florence Bank senior vice president, commercial team leader and chairman of the Boys & Girls Club. “The funds we provide to the West Springfield Boys & Girls Club help support a variety of programs as well as families in need of financial assistance.” Sarah G. Calabrese, the club’s resource development director, said, “Florence Bank’s support of our mission will help to enable all youth to reach their full potential. We are proud to call Florence Bank a partner in supporting us so that we can ensure all children and teens have the opportunity for a great future.”
Big Y Implements Pay Increases
SPRINGFIELD — Big Y Foods Inc. is investing in its store teams in order to show appreciation for their hard work, and customer service. This multi-million dollar investment will increase starting pay rates for all clerks, customer service, fresh food and center store specialists, and assistant department managers as of June 26. Almost three fourths of the company’s retail workforce will receive a pay increase which will assist them with the rising cost of living. These hourly store operations teams work in the Big Y Markets, Table & Vine, and Big Y Express Gas and Convenience Stores. Once implemented, all retail Big Y employees will be paid above minimum wage in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. Members of upper management are not included in this increase. “We are proud to be investing in our store teams who have been on the front lines these past two years to support our customers and our community,” said Charles L. D’Amour, Big Y president and CEO. “We know that household budgets are being squeezed by inflation- we hope that by boosting their hourly rates, we will help them to weather these tough times as we recognize and appreciate their efforts and their loyalty.”
TRE Olive Wins Gold at Competition
EAST LONGMEADOW — TRE Olive, located in East Longmeadow, is a Gold Award winner for a second time at this year’s 2022 New York International Olive Oil Competition. TRE Olive won the Gold Award for its TRE Olive Select. In 2020 TRE Olive won a gold and silver award for both its TRE Select & Campo Dieci brands. “It’s very humbling and rewarding to receive such a prestigious award from some of the top olive oil experts in the world. Our team in Italy and here in the U.S. are committed to producing a premium extra virgin olive oil for our customers and this validates all the hard work and commitment it takes.” said Joe Maruca, co-owner of TRE Olive. In addition to its award-winning extra virgin olive oil, TRE Olive also offers corporate gifts and a tree-adoption program. When an olive tree is adopted, the recipient will receive an adoption certificate, a gift box, a photo of their tree, a welcome brochure, and three tins of olive oil to get started. The tree is also tagged with the adoptee’s name for one year. TRE Olive has been featured on the TODAY Show, as well as in the Real Simple and Eating Well magazines as top gifts for the foodies in your life.
GCAi/New England Corporate Video Helps Nativity School Fund Free Tuition
Darcy Young and Mary Cate Mannion, producers for New England Corporate Video (NECV), recently completed a pro bono video series for the Nativity School of Worcester. The feature video was shown at a fundraising event that raised a record-setting $340,000 which will ensure that the school can continue to provide a tuition-free education. The Nativity School is an accredited, independent, Jesuit middle school that provides an education to underserved boys of all faiths. Young and Mannion are two of the most experienced female video producers in New England and experts in brand journalism and corporate video production. Young is an award-winning video producer and Mannion is a former award-winning news anchor and reporter. Their pro bono video work includes videos for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Willie Ross School for the Deaf, where Mary Cate serves on the board of directors, The Children’s Study Home, where Darcy serves on the executive board, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Services. ECV is a recently launched division of Garvey Communication Associates Inc. (GCAi), which was co-founded by Young and Mannion. The NECV Nativity School video can be viewed at https://bit.ly/nativityvideo22.
Founders of Park Square Realty Celebrate 35th Anniversary
Carolyn Coughlen and Kate Cheever, two of the three founders of Park Square Realty are celebrating 35 years with the company. The two were recognized at the recent Park Square Realty Awards and Recognition Event held at Tucker’s Restaurant in Southwick. They are still actively practicing real estate. Natives of Westfield, the founding brokers desired to use their real estate experience to open what many called a “boutique” real estate firm in 1987, to serve the area with excellent service to clients and a local connection. Over the years Park Square Realty has stayed true to the vision that the founders had and has grown with 56 agents and two offices in Westfield and West Springfield.
United Way of Pioneer Valley Partners with Stop & Shop for Fundraiser
SPRINGFIELD — United Way of Pioneer Valley is partnering with local Stop & Shop stores to fight food insecurity by hosting a fundraiser the entire month of June in support of the Chicopee Community Cupboard (CCC). Stop & Shop shoppers can purchase a Bloomin’ for Good Bouquet at the local Stop & Shop. From the purchase price of each bouquet, $1 will go directly to the Chicopee Community Cupboard, a United Way owned and operated food pantry located at 32 Center Street in Chicopee. The Chicopee Community Cupboard opened in the spring of 2021 to help create food security for the residents of Chicopee and all those in need throughout Western Mass. Extensive community research into gaps of services in basic needs was done prior to its establishment to support impoverished persons. “We cannot thank Stop & Shop of Chicopee enough for their generous time and support of our Chicopee Community Cupboard,” said Paul Mina, president and CEO of the United Way of Pioneer Valley. “We service over 300 families in the City of Chicopee alone and these donations will greatly help combat the need.” Anyone facing food insecurity can visit the Chicopee Community Cupboard between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays or 4-6 p.m. on Wednesdays. Currently clients are requested to fill out an application and schedule a monthly appointment, but all those in need will be served.
Whittlesey Celebrates Community Day
HARTFORD — More than 90 Whittlesey team members across Connecticut and Western Mass. celebrated Community Day on June 17, an annual day of service representing the firm’s year-round commitment to giving back to local communities. For the past 12 years, hundreds of Whittlesey volunteers have put aside their daily work to partake in various projects ranging from painting classrooms to building homes.
This year, the firm focused on efforts related to environmental sustainability. Alongside ReGreen Springfield, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, and Springfield Forestry, team members planted a pollinator garden in Forest Park. Also, teams joined the Bushnell Park Foundation and the United Way of Greater New Haven to plant community gardens, weed, and lay mulch.
“As community members for more than 60 years, we care deeply about our neighbors and the environment where we live and work,” said Drew Andrews, CEO and managing partner at Whittlesey. “Our commitment to service is rooted deeply in the fabric of our firm, which is why we sponsor several community-driven events throughout the year. Working with many incredible nonprofit organizations across the region for the past several decades has been a privilege. I am proud of the impact our team has continued to make by working collectively to give back.”