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SPRINGFIELD — The YMCA of Greater Springfield hosted a successful Santa event on Dec. 16 in downtown Springfield’s Tower Square. Planned and coordinated by the YMCA Executive Director Kim Lavallee, the event hosted more than 400 children and more than 100 adults. The children were greeted by the Grinch, Boomer from the Springfield Thunderbirds, and, of course Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Several vendors offered handouts for the children, including the Y’s Men of Color Health Awareness; Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan & Blaskley; United Way; Laura Progulske with her book K-9 Fitzgerald Sniffs Out Bullies; CHG Catering with hot chocolate; the Sheriff’s Department and Springfield College with cookies; and Six Flags of New England with candy.

Organizations that supported the event included Tower Square, Six Flags of New England, Toys for Tots, Springfield Thunderbirds, Market Mentors, Farm Credit Financial Partners, Wellfleet, United Way, Domino’s Pizza, Noonan Energy, CHG Catering, PSRB, New England Citizens’ Council, Target, Springfield Police, Springfield College, Sigma Gamma Rho, and all the YMCA members and staff who donated toys.

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SPRINGFIELD — The YMCA of Greater Springfield, in partnership with Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno, announced it received a $25,000 grant from Comcast to support digital-literacy programming and access to the internet at the YMCA’s North End Youth Center, which also features a Comcast Lift Zone.

“At Comcast, we believe in fostering communities where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, and we know we make the biggest impact when we partner with organizations like the YMCA of Greater Springfield to help bridge the digital divide,” said Dan Glanville, vice president of Government Affairs and Community Impact for Comcast’s Western New England Region, which includes Western Mass. “We are proud to provide the YMCA’s North End Youth Center with a grant to support digital skills training and equipment, which will enhance the Comcast Lift Zone we installed at the center to provide a space for students to access free internet connectivity.”

Comcast has installed more than 1,000 WiFi-connected Lift Zones across the country, with 64 located across Massachusetts. These Lift Zones, which are based in community centers like the YMCA of Greater Springfield, have helped students stay connected and get online to do their schoolwork and more. Free WiFi connectivity is essential to many youth in Springfield, including the teens the YMCA serves at its North End Youth Center on Dwight Street.

“This grant from Comcast will support technology programming and digital skills training for teens here at our North End Youth Center technology lab,” said Dexter Johnson, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Springfield. “Our goal is to teach virtual coding and robotics in our after-school teen program, components of which include computer programming, information technologies, and video-game design. This is all possible because of the increased bandwidth provided by the Comcast Lift Zone. We are grateful to Comcast for this opportunity and for their financial support of our technology programming.”

The after-school teen programming at the YMCA is funded by community support and hosts more than 300 teens each year. There will be at least 60 openings available for teens to participate in the upcoming coding and robotics program. For more information on the Y-AIM teen program, visit www.springfieldy.org or call (413) 739- 6955.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The YMCA of Greater Springfield held its 2021 Golf Classic on Sept. 20 at the Longmeadow Country Club, with local businesses coming together in a round of golf to support the mission of the YMCA.

“It was a great day to be with so many supportive companies from the greater Springfield area. The community stepped up to be a part of helping us fulfill our mission,” said Dexter Johnson, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Springfield. “I am always truly amazed at how everyone comes together to support the community through the YMCA. We raised over $70,000, which will go to support kids in before- and after-school programs, child care, early-learning opportunities, summer camp, swim lessons, and health and wellness programs.”

Johnson noted that the YMCA of Greater Springfield is a nonprofit, charitable organization and more than a gym and swim. At the Y, no one is turned away due to the inability to pay in full for programs and services. “We have a scholarship program providing financial assistance to those that want to participate in our services. Last year, we provided over $250,000 for those in need. We can only do that with the generosity of individuals and businesses that are willing to contribute to the cause.”

Wellfleet Insurance President and CEO Drew DiGiorgio added that “the YMCA’s programs enrich the lives of so many children and families in Greater Springfield. We’re proud to support their work by sponsoring this year’s Golf Classic.”

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WEST SPRINGFIELD — The YMCA of Greater Springfield reached out to several local business for their help with upgrades at its Camp Weber in West Springfield this past year. Ondrick Materials & Recycling of Chicopee, Adam Quenneville Roofing & Siding of South Hadley, and Eastman Chemical Co. of Springfield were among several businesses that, without hesitation, stepped up to help. Over the course of a few months this spring, various projects were completed to upgrade Camp Weber, including paving, new roofs, painting, landscaping, consulting, new equipment, and more.

The YMCA was also fortunate to receive donations and grant awards to help with other expenses on the project. In addition, some community friends came together and helped raise enough money to send nearly 300 kids to one-week sessions of camp.

“The YMCA of Greater Springfield is so appreciative of all the hard work and donations from everyone who came together to help us with many of the projects needed at Camp Weber and raising funds to send kids to summer camp, culminating this spring. It allowed us to open camp on a strong foundation, providing our campers and staff with a better Camp Weber than before the pandemic,” said Dexter Johnson, president and CEO. “Because of COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, we were not able to open Camp Weber last summer. It was a blessing in disguise because it gave us more time to plan and roll out our capital improvements at the camp. I would also like to thank Jean Gailun and her friends, who, for another year in nearly a decade, have raised funds to help send kids to camp.”

Among those who helped the YMCA make improvements at Camp Weber are Adam Quennville Roofing & Siding, anonymous donors, the Agnes M. Lindsay Trust, Big E Trust – Town of West Springfield, Construction Dynamics, Eastman Chemical Co., Excel Dryer, Graybar Electric Supply, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Kelly Building Group, Kittredge Foodservice Equipment & Supply, Noonan Energy, Nora Roberts Foundation, Ondrick Materials & Recycling, Szlachetka Dubay, P.C., West Springfield Rotary Club, and West Springfield Rotary District 7890.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The YMCA of Greater Springfield announced it will hold a golf tournament on Monday, Sept. 20 at the Longmeadow Country Club.

“We are excited to be holding a golf tournament this year, especially after the challenges of this past year,” said Dexter Johnson, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Springfield. “This will be a great opportunity for people to get outside on an incredible course, enjoy a day of golf, and support a meaningful cause. The funds raised through this tournament will go to support youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility through access to the YMCA because, at the Y, our doors are open to all, and no one is turned away due to the inability to pay in full for programs and services.”

Michael Rouette, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Monson Savings Bank and golf chairperson for the event, added that “we’ve been working hard to create a great experience for all our golf participants and sponsors. I would like to thank all of our sponsors who have teed up to support the Greater Springfield community through this tournament. I hope others will join Monson Savings Bank, Country Bank, Epstein Financial Services, and the other sponsors in making this day a true success. You will be helping to provide childcare for our youngest in the community, support after-school programs, provide access to the YMCA’s many health and wellness programs, support a social outlet for many, and so much more.”

In addition to a round of golf, golfers will enjoy a grilled lunch at 11 a.m. and a dinner following the tournament.

To learn more about registration and sponsorship opportunities, e-mail Donna Sittard, Development director at the YMCA, at [email protected], call (413) 739-6951, ext. 3110, or visit www.springfieldy.org.