Local volunteers receive Jimmy Fund’s Sadowsky Visionary AwardJanuary 9, 2011
GREATER SPRINGFIELD Michael Vinick of Somers, Conn., and Marc Packin, of Longmeadow, each longtime Jimmy Fund supporters and volunteers, recently received the prestigious Sadowsky Visionary Award during the annual meeting of the Jimmy Fund Council of Western Massachusetts.
Vinick began his affiliation with the Jimmy Fund after his brother Jeffrey and sister Beth Hayashi, of Tucson, Ariz., were diagnosed with cancer in 1979. They were treated at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. At the time, Mike Andrews, former Boston Red Sox second-baseman and Ken Coleman, former voice of the Red Sox, befriended the Vinick siblings and their mother, Harriet, in their roles as chairmen of the Jimmy Fund.
In 1980 and 1981, Michael and his brother Jeffrey became involved with the Jimmy Fund Golf Tournament as volunteers. In 1982, after Jeffrey passed away, the tournament took place in his memory and in 1983 it became the Jimmy Fund/Jeffrey Vinick Memorial Golf Tournament.
“I first met Michael when he was a teenager and he and his brother Jeffrey worked on the golf tournament. The Vinick family stepped up to sponsor the tournament and shortly thereafter, it was named for Jeffrey after he succumbed to his illness,” Barbara Sadowsky, award namesake and Dana-Farber trustee, said.
Vinick is the owner of Duct & Vent Cleaning of America Inc., headquartered in Springfield, with offices in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maryland.
From volunteering and hauling golf bags, to becoming chair of the Tee and Green committee and in 2007, chairman of the tournament, Michael has been committed to the success of the fund-raising event.
“I feel there are a lot of folks who deserve this award. My parents instilled in me the values of giving and if it wasn’t for them, I certainly wouldn’t do what I do,” Vinick said of his 32-year involvement.
He now, for the second year, serves as president of the Western Massachusetts Jimmy Fund Council, a 64-member organization producing 10 fundraising events in the region for the benefit of the Jimmy Fund.
Packin, the owner of Liberty Auto Wash on Boston Road in Springfield, began his affiliation with the Jimmy Fund 21 years ago. His father was the principal of Parsippany High School in New Jersey and while he was a student there, a young man on the wrestling team was struck with cancer and passed away. The passing of this talented wrestler stuck with Packin and after arriving in the Springfield area, he saw an opportunity, through volunteering with the Jimmy Fund, to help children who have cancer and are going through treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
The Jimmy Fund/Jeffrey Vinick Memorial Golf Tournament has been the focus of Packin’s involvement, and he has also volunteered at the annual Chefs for Jimmy event, which originally took place at the former Mount Tom in Holyoke and now takes place at Chez Josef in Agawam.
Over the years, he has held positions on various tournament committees such as Tee & Green Sponsorship and Drawing, and has served as chair or co-chair of the fund-raising event a number of times. This year, he will again co-chair the tournament, which takes place on June 18.
Packin said, “I’m proud of this award. I have great respect for Jim and Barbara Sadowsky and am proud to be associated with them in any way possible.”
Sadowsky said, “Marc is always there to help and has stepped in as chairman of the Jeffrey Vinick Golf Tournament many times when there was no one to take the reins.”
Established in June 2004, the Sadowsky Visionary Award is given annually to a business or individual who demonstrates extraordinary commitment to the Jimmy Fund and the mission of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The recipient is recognized for conceiving, leading or dedicating themselves to an event or activity that delivers annual financial support and/or long-term volunteer commitment.
The Jimmy Fund Council of Western Massachusetts, a volunteer-based group, initiated the Sadowsky Visionary Award in honor of the dedication and commitment of Jim and Barbara Sadowsky, of Longmeadow, to the Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
One award is on display permanently in the Jimmy Fund gallery of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and a second award is commissioned for the recipient.
For more information on becoming a member of the Jimmy Fund Council of Western Massachusetts, contact Barbara Sadowsky at 567-6863.