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United Bank Foundation awards nearly $100,000 to support community initiatives

WEST SPRINGFIELD " In its most recent quarterly funding cycle, the United Bank Foundation awarded grants totaling $99,500 in support of programs and initiatives that benefit the community. Since the foundation was established in 2005, it has awarded over $770,000 in grants. Programs that assist in improving the quality of life for children are among the primary areas of focus for grants, according to Foundation President Dena M. Hall. Other areas of emphasis are education, health and human services and cultural programs. Recent foundation awards touched on all of these areas. The Community Adolescent Resource and Education Center in Holyoke will use its grant from the foundation to fund its Care Center tutoring program, while the Carson Center for Human Services in Westfield will be able to support its Wise Moms therapeutic art program for the Children and Youth Center. The foundation s grant to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Children will support the Connecting Families/Good Start programs and develop a parent resource library at the Holyoke and Springfield Parenting Center. The West Springfield Boys and Girls Club will purchase updated computer equipment for the library and computer lab with its award. West Springfield youth will benefit as the YMCA of Greater Springfield takes advantage of its foundation grant to support the Birch Park Circle Teen Center in that community. With its funding, Holyoke Chicopee Head Start will support a companywide wellness program. With their foundation awards, the Westfield Athenaeum will provide English as a Second Language instruction in Westfield and the Hatikvah Holocaust Education Center in Longmeadow will fund a Holocaust curriculum in the public schools. In Northampton, redevelopment plans for the Three County Fairground will be supported by the foundation s grant to the Three County Fairground Redevelopment Corporation. In the Hilltowns, Homebuyer Assistance, Small Business Training and Affordable Housing programs will be offered by the Hilltown Community Development Corporation with the aid of a foundation grant. A foundation award to the Baystate Health Foundation will support the Children s Miracle Network and its Mason Square Health Center Neighborhood Educational and Nutrition lecture series. An award to Special Olympics Massachusetts will support that organization s Young Athletes program, and the foundation s grant to the Brianna Fund for Children with Disabilities will help provide services to disabled children in Greater Springfield. Rounding out the foundation s grants were an award to Westfield on Weekends to further city-wide cultural events in 2009 and a donation to United Way of Pioneer Valley to match employee giving. The United Bank Foundation was established in 2005 by United Bank as a permanent source of funding to benefit the communities in the bank s market area. Funding guidelines and grant applications are available at the United Bank Web site at bankatunited.com.

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