CFinfo provides quick updates on initiatives and grants, reminds you of upcoming events as well as news about philanthropy at its best in the region. We hope you find this issue informative and welcome any feedback you would like to share with us.
|Community Foundation Begins 25th Year in Pioneer Valley|
The Sadowsky Family partnership spans a quarter-century
The Sadowsky family has been an integral part of the Foundation since the very first organizational meetings back in 1990. Bill Sadowsky was a CFWM founder who led by example, and his family followed suit.
Nearly 25 years ago, Bill and his wife Marjorie created a fund at the Foundation that helped set the stage for a quarter-century of generosity.
The William Sadowsky Family Fund was one of the first CFWM funds – established in 1991 – and Bill continued to set an example by contributing regularly to his fund and creating an endowment.
The Sadowsky children – Jim, Ron, Ginny and Jill – grew up in Longmeadow listening to their parents talk about their community. And that didn’t just mean Longmeadow.
“They believed in giving back to the community where you live and work,” said Jim. “It was dinner conversation – we talked about what was going on in the community.”
Bill and Marjorie didn’t just speak about charitable giving, they modeled it. Bill served as one of the original CFWM Trustees and was on the first Distribution and Investment committees. He also served as chairman of the first Nominating Committee.
“It was a ‘Do as I do, not as I say’ way of learning about giving back,” recalled Jim.
The Sadowsky family still owns and operates Bill’s business, Williams Distributing, and still carries on the family tradition of giving. Ginny and her husband have a current fund at the Foundation and several family members continue their parent’s pledge of generosity, which includes volunteering at the Foundation and in the community.
Jim said Bill spoke of the many ways to give to the community and emphasized the importance of a good health system. The Sadowsky siblings took that to heart, particularly after their mother died of cancer at a young age. Jim and his wife are very involved with Baystate Health Systems and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund, and Ron helps run the Baystate Children’s Hospital Golf Tournament. Jill is involved in the community where she lives in Kansas.
The next generation of Sadowskys, Scott, Drew and Jace, current operators of Williams Distributing, are also continuing the family tradition of philanthropy and volunteerism at CFWM.
In addition to a commitment to philanthropy and family, Bill was a student of golf throughout his life and a watercolor artist. Several of his paintings were gifted to CFWM and hang in the office today, adding even more to the Sadowsky legacy and connection to the Foundation.
“I’m proud that my father is an important part of the Foundation history,” said Jim.
|Valley Gives raises $1.6 million this year!|
|On May 3, the Pioneer Valley came together to support 454 nonprofit organizations during Valley Gives. The spring launch of Valley Gives – previously held in December – was driven by many of the nonprofit participants who vocalized the need for a financial boost at the end of their fiscal year.
Community Foundation President Katie Allan Zobel said moving the e-philanthropy event to the spring potentially created new “opportunities to give.”
“ This was a way to broaden the season of generosity throughout the year,” she said.
Initial response to the day was positive, with participants touting the spring schedule the very next day.
Sparking charitable giving is one of CFWM’s missions, and Valley Gives was a vehicle for giving across the Pioneer Valley, for people of all ages. CFWM also provided training for the non-profit participants, which helps them build capacity in their organizations.
One donor shared a story about giving
“I wanted to share a tale of what happened at our house last night.,” she wrote. “My husband and I were out [for the evening]. Our awesome sitter brought the boys to the computer to show them the power of Valley Gives and to suggest that they donate. They both have three banks in their rooms, one labeled “Fun,” the second “Education” and the third “For others .“ Both went to their rooms and [they] pulled out $3 and $2 and [the babysitter] assisted them in picking charities. So I suspect you two can claim the two youngest donors good for $2.50 each. Thanks to [the babysitter] who subsidized the remaining $7.50 to hit the minimum. Congrats to you all on a great day of giving!”
By late morning May 3, #ValleyGives was trending in the region and boosted the CFWM Twitter and Facebook account use.
Staff, trustees, and volunteers helped Root for the Valley at three “rooting stations,” one in each county, offering complimentary root beer and encouraging generosity. Trustees and staff visited several of the events hosted by nonprofits May 3, including at the Colrain Ambulance station, the Prison Birth Project in Holyoke, and the Jewish Community Center in Springfield.
Trustee Chairman Dana Barrows and Senior Program Officer Sheila Toto spent the day together and visited several organizations, including the Equicultural Center in Palmer. The Center is a horse rescue farm where work horses retire instead of being euthanized.
Dana recounted this visit and said it was an amazing experience.
Vice President for Program and Strategy Janet Daisley was so moved at one of her site visits that she made a donation on the spot.
The day’s events culminated in the Root for the Valley celebration at Luxe Burger hosted by Valley Gives’ Premier Sponsor Balise Auto. Other sponsors included:
Platinum Sponsors: Big Y, United Personnel, Paragus Strategic IT, Easthampton Savings Bank, and Six-Point Creative Works; Gold Sponsors: UBS Keady Foard Montemagni Wealth Management Group, Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Northampton Cooperative Bank, and Andrew Associates; Silver Sponsors: Monson Savings Bank and the O’Connell Companies; Bronze Sponsors: Crocker Communications, Florence Bank, Schatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C., and MKB Stretegy; Ambassadors: Franklin Regional Council of Governments, Hampshire Council of Governments, Human Service Forum, Northampton Association of Young Professionals, United Way of Franklin County, and Williams Distributing.
Staffers Michael DeChiara and Margaret Everett are currently analyzing data from Valley Gives and sorting through survey responses from participating non-profits.
Foundation’s first full time communications manager on board
|Communications Manager Hope Tremblay started at CFWM full-time April 25 and is working closely with senior staff to develop a communications strategy for the Foundation, especially during its 25th year. Hope is a veteran journalist in western Massachusetts who lives in Westfield with her husband, son and daughter.
|Scholarship Recipient Profile: Eddy Reynoso|
Eddy Reynoso, 18, just graduated from Springfield Central High School. Like most people his age, he is not quite sure what he wants to do, but unlike some of his peers, he has options.
“Some mornings I wake up wanting to be a computer engineer (which is my passion), and some mornings I wake up wanting to be a pharmacist (probably because of the exposure I get at my job at Walgreen’s),” he said. “For me, it’s just a matter of taking it one step at a time. Life is so unpredictable, but I hope that whatever I end up doing satisfies me and allows me to do the most good.”
Reynoso is the recipient of four scholarships through CFWM: Steiger Family Scholarship Fund; Anthony Renaud Memorial Scholarship Fund; Latino Scholarship Fund; and William and Vinnie Dexter Endowed Scholarship Fund.
Receiving these scholarships is something Reynoso does not take lightly.
“It’s an honor that there are actually people and organizations out there that are supporting something bigger than you and me” he said. “Receiving these scholarships lifts a huge weight off my shoulder that would’ve made going to college very difficult. It’s very humbling that there are people that are recognizing my hard work.”
Reynoso will attend the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, this fall as a computer engineering major. He said his mother is among those who influenced his pursuit of education and a career.
“She’s the reason I work as hard as I do now and watching how hard she works inspires me to keep working hard,” said Reynoso.
Overcoming obstacles was something Reynoso forged through to remain on track to achieve educational success. He lost his father when he was young, and it is something that still impacts his life today.
“It definitely has made my life more difficult, but it gives me a motive to keep working hard,” he said. “I know my dad would’ve been proud to see what I’ve accomplished and what I plan on accomplishing.”
Reynoso said he is very interested in giving back to Springfield.
“One thing I would love to do now is to introduce a STEM facility in Springfield to serve students of all ages and backgrounds,” he said. “Its purpose would be to prepare, and expose them to the STEM fields early on to spark their passion on those subjects. Some of the best jobs out right now are in the STEM fields but not enough students in Springfield are interested in these fields.”
Reynoso is currently in the process of trying to propose this facility to Mayor Dominic Sarno and Superintendent Daniel Warwick.
“This would only be the first step in trying to give back to Springfield. One of my long term goals is to put myself in the position to help to contribute to the Community Foundation,” he added.
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