Daily News

Florence Bank Supports West Springfield’s 250th Celebration

FLORENCE — Florence Bank has donated $4,000 to the city of West Springfield to help support four events the city has planned in 2024 as part of a year packed with 250th-anniversary festivities.

Florence Bank’s backing of the West Springfield 250th celebration specifically offers support for three 5K races, happening in March, July, and November; a block party on June 22 and 23, when Elm and Central streets will be closed for activities from dancing to vendors and food trucks; family photo sessions at historic town locations; and a golf tournament in July.

Also part of the 250th events in West Springfield are a birthday celebration in Clark Field today, Feb. 23, the same day West Springfield was incorporated in 1774; a black-tie ball in May; various ongoing public art projects; and a Bright Nights display next winter.

Nikki Gleason, vice president and branch manager of Florence Bank in West Springfield, explained that, in addition to the financial support, a team of bank staff will volunteer at some of the events in town. She noted they are particularly excited to be part of the family photo event on May 11 with photographer Branden Brus, who will capture portraits of interested families who sign up for sessions at a historic town location to be determined.

“I’ve worked in West Springfield for 13 years, the last five with Florence Bank at our West Springfield branch, and I believe in the town and in the way it is celebrating this important anniversary,” Gleason said. “This is such a diverse community. It’s very unique, and I’m pleased that the bank is involved in celebrations that will bring everyone together. It’s a great fit for Florence Bank because supporting community events that bring people together is really important to us.”

Sarah Calabrese-Dunphy, anniversary committee co-chair, agreed. “Florence Bank has shown a commitment to the well-being of our town that goes beyond just providing financial services. Through sponsorships, donations, and volunteerism, Florence Bank has helped improve the lives of our local kids, families, and the community as a whole.”

Carly Camossi, chief of Operations for West Springfield and co-chair of the anniversary committee, said more than 100 business sponsors are part of the anniversary celebrations, and more than 400 area residents attended the mayoral ball kickoff event earlier this year.

“It’s amazing to me how many people want to participate,” said Camossi, who grew up in West Springfield. “Everyone is incredibly generous and feels that community spirit. It’s very humbling.”

Since 2007, Florence Bank has had a presence in West Springfield, which was enhanced five years ago when the current full-service branch opened at 1010 Union St.