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United Bank announces nearly $90K in tornado relief funding

WEST SPRINGFIELD — With its partnership in the community-wide abc40 and FOX6 Tornado Relief Fund and grants awarded by its foundation, United Bank recently announced a total of $89,500 in donations in support of local tornado relief and recovery efforts. The amount is in addition to the bank’s earlier gift of $25,000 to the Red Cross immediately following the June 1 tornado.
The abc40 / FOX6 Tornado Relief Fund raised $40,000. Individual grants of $10,000 each were awarded to the American Red Cross, Pioneer Valley Chapter; the Salvation Army, Springfield Corps; the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts Tornado Relief Fund; and United Way of Pioneer Valley Tornado Recovery Fund.
“The Red Cross and Salvation Army played a critical role providing relief in the days immediately following the tornado,” Dena M. Hall, senior vice president of marketing and community relations at United Bank and president of the United Bank Foundation, said.
“In addition, as those affected by the tornado move into the recovery phase and our communities begin to rebuild and repair themselves, the funds established at the Community Foundation and United Way will play an equally important role in the months and years ahead. We are pleased to support these organizations in this process, as well,” she added.
In a dedicated funding cycle, the United Bank Foundation has awarded $49,500 to nine local organizations that were directly impacted by the tornado and those providing immediate relief to the community. The recipients included:
  • Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society — $2,000 to assist with lost revenue and depleted resources at the Union Street shelter in Springfield.
  • DevelopSpringfield Corporation — $10,000 toward a multi-year effort to rebuild all sections of Springfield affected by the tornado.
  • Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start — $4,000 toward the repair and restoration of the playground and outdoor areas at its Madison Avenue building.
  • Pioneer Valley Montessori School — $2,500 to help repair and restore the school’s outdoor play area damaged by the tornado.
  • Rebuilding Together Springfield — $10,000 in support of a five-day volunteer project to rebuild/repair 25 tornado-damaged Springfield homes.
  • South End Community Center — $2,500 to support increased service needs, revenue lost, and vehicle maintenance needs as a result of the tornado.
  • Springfield Rescue Mission — $2,000 to replenish supplies and reserves used to support families displaced by the tornado.
  • Square One — $12,500 for renovations at the Holyoke childcare center, to accommodate Springfield children displaced as a result of the tornado.
  • Westfield Public Schools — $4,000 for replacement books and learning materials destroyed at two Munger Hill School kindergarten classrooms during the tornado.
According to Hall, the United Bank Foundation earmarked up to $75,000 for tornado relief/recovery needs.
“The remaining $25,000 dedicated to this purpose will be set aside to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of organizations in our community that are still accessing the scope of their damage, awaiting insurance coverage information, and/or determining long-term recovery needs,” she said.
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