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United Way of Pioneer Valley Honors Community Leaders Today

AGAWAM — United Way of Pioneer Valley will present eight awards to local community leaders during its annual meeting and celebration today, starting at 5:15 p.m. at Chez Josef in Agawam.

The event is hosted by MassMutual Financial Group, Health New England, Excel Dryer, the Springfield Department of Health & Human Services, and Jennifer Endicott. Azell Cavaan, chief communications officer for Springfield Public Schools, and Waleska Lugo-DeJesus, director of the Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley, will serve as emcees.

The community leaders receiving awards include United Personnel (Champions of Hope Award); the Community Foundation of Western Mass. and the YMCA of Greater Springfield (Kevin Hamel Award for Community Building); Nancy Urbschat of TSM Design (Community Connector Award); Jessica Prokop (Volunteer of the Year Award); Anthony Jianaces and Kylie LaPlante of Monson Savings Bank (Kevin O’Hare Award); and Dr. Louis Abbate, president emeritus of Willie Ross School for the Deaf (Spirit of Caring Award).

Each award recipient was carefully selected based on criteria including leadership, compassion, community engagement, integrity, core values, and community service. In addition to awarding local leaders, United Way of Pioneer Valley will recognize companies and organizations that have shown extraordinary support during the 2014-15 fund-raising campaign, as well as individual employee campaign managers who head up United Way campaigns in their workplace.

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