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Businesses join in New England Patriots’ tornado relief efforts

Businesses join in New England Patriots’ tornado relief efforts
GENEROSITY — Many young people throughout the area have stepped up to do their part collecting donations for tornado relief, including Caroline Bassett, Margie Black, Grace Levin and Lauren Oundjian who donated proceeds from their lemonade stand. Donors also included Bhaveeth Vemulapalli, Lucia Dostal, Moira and Mia McDonald, as well as Halia Pamayloon on behalf of E.N. White School in Holyoke. Pictured is Vemulapalli who presented a donation to Rick Lee, executive director at American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter, to support local disaster relief.

Reminder Publications submitted photo

SPRINGFIELD — Just over one month since the devastating tornado that struck the Greater Springfield area, PAR Electrical Contractors Inc., Longfellow Drilling, McVac Environmental Services Inc., Quanta Energized Services, Watkins Strategies, and The Spear Group have joined forces with the Kraft Family and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation to help raise funds to support the critical needs of those affected by the tornadoes.
Together the groups helped raise $17,000 donated via the United Way for the Massachusetts Statewide Disaster Relief Fund toward the $200,000 goal for tornado relief. The money raised helped the Patriots Charitable Foundation to surpass their fund-raising goal of $200,000, ultimately raising $222,131 to support those affected by the recent tornados to restore their lives.
The group of contractors are working as part of the Greater Springfield Reliability Project (GSRP). GSRP is a large scale electric transmission line project spanning the Massachusetts communities of Springfield, West Springfield, Chicopee, Ludlow and Agawam.
The fund-raising call for action was taken after the group of contractors and employees working throughout Greater Springfield were inspired by the recent efforts put forward by the Kraft Family and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation to raise funds and match contributions through United Way/Mass2-1-1 to directly benefit tornado victims.
Quanta Services immediately spearheaded a campaign to solicit support from employees and contractors including PAR Electrical Contractors Inc., Longfellow Drilling, McVac Environmental Services Inc., Quanta Energized Services, and The Spear Group and Watkins Strategies. The companies raised $8,500 which was matched by the Patriots Charitable Foundation.
“Working directly in these communities that were impacted by the recent tornados, we were motivated to do what we could to help these victims get back on their feet,” PAR Electric Vice President Phil Young said. “We have witnessed the destruction first-hand, and we were proud and anxious to join the Kraft Family and the New England Patriots Foundation in their efforts to support the United Way.”
All funds collected will be used to assist and coordinate for the unmet needs of the disaster survivors in the Commonwealth. One hundred percent of all donations will be used for program services.
“It was important to Myra and me that our donation be an incentive for others to contribute,” Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said. “We are proud to be partnered in this effort with the United Way as well as with those in the business community and the individuals who have joined the effort to help the families and communities in central and western Massachusetts ravaged by the tornadoes. That the response has been so overwhelming makes us proud, once again, to be members of this community.”
The Kraft family and the New England Patriots have pledged to match up to $100,000 of donations made to United Way to help victims of the recent tornadoes. The Kraft family has partnered with United Way/Mass2-1-1 to give through the Massachusetts Statewide Disaster Relief Fund with 100 percent of all dollars raised, being directed towards helping those in need. The New England Patriots have a long-standing commitment to giving back to their community and charitable causes. The Foundation's primary goal is to support programs that aid the youth and families of the New England region by assisting programs that foster cultural diversity, education, family and health. The Foundation has taken special interest in youth programs that encourage education, creativity and development of character.
There still remains a true need for support in the Greater Springfield region. Donations can be made at www.uwotc.org/disaster, or by dialing 2-1-1.
“The resiliency and the can-do attitude of the impacted communities has been inspiring, and we are happy to be part of this team effort,” Watkins Strategies President Matt Watkins said. “We got behind this group effort because it is for a great cause, and also a good reminder to people that there is still a long road ahead for many of those affected by the tornadoes.”
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