Daily News

Party for a Purpose on Sept. 19 to Support Square One

SPRINGFIELD —With the goal of making sure Square One’s children have a new, state-of-the-art, outdoor learning and playspace, Friends on a Mission will host its annual Party for a Purpose to raise funds for the playground project at Square One’s Tommie Johnson Child & Family Center in Springfield.

Now in its second year, Friends on a Mission started with a trio of friends — Bob Perry, Walter Tomala, and the late Jenn Schimmel — who set out to spend time together while giving back to the community. Their inaugural event held last fall raised more than $38,000 for Make-A-Wish of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

“In life, I seek out and choose to be around like-minded people — those who are kind, thoughtful, enjoy life, and love to laugh,” Tomala said. “Bob and Jenn embodied that and became family to me. I could not be more proud or honored to honor Jenn’s memory and share a night with all of you, doing what Jenn loved the most in life — connecting with others and supporting our community. Together, we will make Square One’s dream playground a reality.”

With early sponsorship support from PeoplesBank and Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C., this year’s Party for a Purpose, featuring cocktails, food, and festivities, will be held on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Delaney House in Holyoke. Interested sponsors should contact Perry at (413) 530-3787. For tickets, visit www.startatsquareone.org.

“We are humbled and grateful to have been selected as this year’s beneficiary,” said Kristine Allard, vice president of Development & Communication for Square One. “This project will take our early learning experiences to new heights, allowing our children to learn and grow in an environment that promotes nature, imagination, creativity, independent thinking, and physical fitness. Simply put, it’s going to be amazing.

“Knowing how important this project and this event were to our dear friend, Jenn, makes it that more special,” Allard added. “This event will be a wonderful way to honor her memory and the impact she had on our community.”