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Trust supports local educational and recreational programs

Aug. 1, 2014 | By Carley Dangona

The 2014 Big E/West Springfield Trust grant recipents are pictured with trustees Mary Paier Powers, Mayor Edward Sullivan and Donald Chase, Eastern States Exposition chairman of the board.
Reminder Publications photo by Carley Dangona

WEST SPRINGFIELD – Trust fund grants were designated to support the programs and services of many town organizations.
Trustees Mary Paier Powers, Mayor Edward Sullivan and Donald Chase, Eastern States Exposition chairman of the board, hosted a press conference on July 26 in the Town Hall to celebrate the 2014 Big E/West Springfield Trust Fund grant recipients. A total of $51,830 was awarded.
The grantees were as follows: The West Springfield Boys & Girls Club, ball field revitalization – $9,500; Ecumenical Outreach, monthly/holiday meals – $1,500; Grateful Citizens for Veterans, Thank You Luncheon – $750; Memorial Elementary School, expansion of the Lego engineering program – $1,786; Memorial Elementary School, summer program at the Majestic Children’s Theater – $856; St. Thomas the Apostle School, 10 desktop personal computers – $9,027; Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Students to Symphony – $4,193; West Springfield Arts Council, Second Annual Arts Festival – $1,500; West Springfield Environmental Committee, Education Classroom – $4,000; West Springfield High School, football uniforms – $3,000; West Springfield High School Summer Conditioning Clinic – $1,500; West Springfield High School, girls’ track and field uniforms – $2,500; West Springfield Park & Recreation 2012 Reimbursement Program – $6,716; West Springfield Senior Center, update sound system – $1,500; and 9/11 Eternal Flame, Melissa Harrington-Hughes – $3,500.
“The Department of Education has really recognized the importance of technology in the classroom. We want to challenge and continue to our students the resources they need to be prepared for their futures. We’re really delighted to receive the grant,” Sister Patricia Hottin said.
“We want to improve the acoustics in the great hall. We are in the process of looking at various options,” Laurie Cassidy, executive director of the Council on Aging, said. She explained that an updated sound system is needed to provide better clarity, especially for those with assistive hearing devices.
The Environmental Committee conducts its SEEC (Student Environmental Educational Classroom) program for third, fourth and fifth graders at Mittineague Park, the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility and Bear Hole Reservoir, respectively.
Each group of students spend 90 minutes at the site to better understand the natural world around them The bus transportation, supplies and teachers are paid by the committee, according to Diane Crowell, president of the Environmental Committee’s board of directors.
“We’re very grateful. It would be very tough [to sustain the program]. These grants keep us going,” she said.

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