CFInfo: August 2015

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.

New Chapter for Nancy Reiche and the Foundation
nancy-smThis fall, in her 18th year at the Community Foundation, Nancy Reiche will be transitioning out of the Vice President for Programs role and stepping into a new role as Senior Advisor to the President. As she reflects back on her years at the Foundation, Nancy recalls some of the accomplishments that she is proud to have been a part of.

“Some of the most interesting aspects of my job have been the opportunities to work collaboratively with committed individuals with great vision and thoughtful determination to create programs that have had a tremendous impact on the Pioneer Valley,” said Nancy.

Nancy cites work on various special initiatives such as the Proactive Initiative for Youth, the 5 & Under Initiative, Temporary Operating Support, and the response to the 2011 Tornado as among some particularly worthwhile and gratifying endeavors. In addition to her grantmaking role, Nancy notes  that the development of the Foundation’s scholarship program has been a very dynamic and rewarding undertaking. In her new role, Nancy will be working part time and will focus her attention on key community engagement efforts, enhancing the Foundation’s donor services, and fund management capabilities. With her considerable institutional knowledge and keen understanding of the Pioneer Valley, she will continue to serve as a resource to both the organization and region.

“Nancy has been a passionate leader and tremendous resource both for the Foundation and broadly for the Pioneer Valley community for the past 17 years,” said Community Foundation President Katie Allan Zobel.” I am excited to work closely with Nancy in her new role as Senior Advisor to the President where she can continue to offer her expertise and insight for the benefit of our community.”

A new VP of Programs, Janet Daisley, has recently been hired and will be starting at the end of the month. See the last article for information on Janet’s background and past experience.

Mission Express Grant Ensures Summer Fun

The Community Foundation’s Mission Express Grants program has made more than $35,000 in total grants to scouts-smseven nonprofits so far this year, including a $5,000 grant to the Boy Scouts 234 Western Massachusetts Council.

The Moses Scout Reservation in Russell, Mass., is used for summer camp activities both for the Boy Scouts and other organizations. Last fall the water heater/boiler/storage tank went out for the 224 seat dining hall at the reservation. The Western Mass Council was able to have their labor donated by a licensed plumber and suppliers helped out with discounts on needed parts.

The $5,000 grant award from the Foundation covered the bulk of the expense for the new water heater, which is now in use as scouts and others enjoy the camp this summer. The grants were awarded from the Albert Steiger Memorial Fund and the Fund for Hampshire and Hampden Counties.

Scout Executive/CEO David Kruse said of the grant, “The Mission Express grant process was great for us. We had the equipment up and running in plenty of time for the summer camp. The funding was a godsend for us.”

Supporting the Arts Through Education

Hilary Purrington just graduated with a Master’s Degree in music composition from the Juilliard School in New York City. She grew up in Agawam and Longmeadow and has played the piano for most of her life.hilarypurrington-sm

Hilary credits the choral program of Longmeadow High School, a summer program at Interlochen Arts Camp, and a number of inspiring instructors with helping her on the path to her career in music as a composer and teacher. Community Foundation scholarships also helped minimize the financial hurdles.

“The scholarships were incredibly helpful, said Hilary. Student life in New York City can be especially stressful and demanding, and it means a lot to me to have the support of my Western Mass. community.”

Hilary received the James Z. Naurison Scholarship for two years and the Edward A. and Shirley B. Livi Scholarship last year. She also received $6,000 in no-interest James W. Colgan Loans. She learned about the scholarships from her mother, Debra Purrington, who volunteers her time with the Foundation’s Philanthropic Services Committee.

Hilary has received multiple awards and honors for her music composition. You can learn more about Hilary and listen to some of her work on her website:

Unexpected Opportunities
Elizabeth Blanchette of Southwick, Mass., never thought she could afford to go to college. “When I graduated from high blanchette-smschool I never thought it would be financially possible for me to attend college,” she said.

When Elizabeth was a junior in high school she was selected to apply for an international scholarship and essay competition to attend a college preparatory summer course at the University of Cambridge in England. “I completed the application to improve my essay writing skills never dreaming I would be awarded such a magnanimous gift. Through that opportunity my eyes were opened to the advantages college offered and the necessity of higher education. “

In her senior year of high school an oral surgeon from her church asked her where she was planning on going to college. She told him she could not afford college and planned to take a year off to earn money for tuition. He promptly told her, “God did not give you all that talent without finding a way for you to use it.” With such encouragement she headed to the library to research information about colleges and scholarships. While in the library she overheard someone say “Make sure you apply to the Community Foundation, they have plenty of scholarships available.”

“When I went to the mailbox and opened the award letter from the Community Foundation I screamed so loudly my mother thought I was injured! At that very moment I felt college was actually within reach,” she said.

Over the years, Elizabeth has received scholarships from the Richard E. Fiore Memorial Scholarship, the James Z. Naurison Scholarship, the Stanley Ciejek Sr. Scholarship, the MacIntyre Family Scholarship Fund, the Lee S. Crabtree Scholarship and loans from the James W. Colgan fund. Elizabeth will be graduating this spring at the top of her class from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass., with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Theater, with a near-perfect GPA.

In the fall she will be entering the Master of Arts in Executive Leadership at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She hopes someday to develop a program to combine fine arts and leadership allowing students, including those with learning disabilities, to study abroad and have a similar experience to the one she had at the University of Cambridge.

She is extremely grateful for the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts scholarships and the James W. Colgan no-interest loans. “I am very grateful and excited about what the future will bring for me. I look forward to the day I am able to invest in the future of other young people as you have invested in my dreams,” Elizabeth said.

Staff Changes at the Foundation
It is often said the only constant in life is change. The Foundation is undergoing a number of staff changes currently, and is fortunate to be able to announce some smooth transitions in process.

The Foundation’s new Director of Finance and Operations, Bruce Hiltunen has been on the job for a couple of weeks now and has jumped in with both feet. He came to the Foundation from the Boston Bar Association/Boston Bar Foundation where he spent 10 years.

Vice President for Philanthropic Services Kristin Leutz recently announced that she will be leaving the organization to join Refuge Point, a refugee protection nonprofit based in Cambridge, Mass. The Foundation will miss Kristin’s vision, passion, and energy, but is fortunate to have her here for the next couple of weeks, helping Timm Zolkos as he steps in as Interim VP. Timm has decades of experience in development, having worked at Deerfield Academy, Amherst College, Holy Cross, and Northfield Mount Hermon.

The Foundation recently hired a new VP for Programs, Janet Daisley. Janet comes to us most recently from VentureWell in Hadley where she was Vice President for Programs for the last 18 months. Before that, she worked for Commonwealth Corporation for nearly 15 years; eight of those years leading a state-wide $18 million contract to provide innovative education and workforce development services to system involved youth.

In addition, Averie Prenguber was recently promoted from Office Administrator to Philanthropic Services Associate, and the Foundation is hiring an accountant, IT administrator, and two program officers to manage scholarship and the new capacity program, which includes Valley Gives.

What Do you Want your Legacy to Be ?
The Foundation’s Legacy Society is made up of generous families and individuals who have a named fund, or an existing fund, at the Community Foundation as a beneficiary of their estate plans. There are currently more than 80 members of the Legacy Society. These people have made any of the following arrangements:

  • Bequest provision in a will
  • Charitable remainder trust
  • Charitable lead trust
  • Charitable gift annuity
  • Designation as beneficiary of qualified retirement plan assets
  • Gift of a life insurance policy

If you have made similar arrangements and would like to be recognized as a member of the Legacy Society, or want to learn more, please contact a member of our Philanthropic Services team.

Kristin Leutz, VP Philanthropic Services

Jenny Papageorge, Director of Development

Thank you for your interest in the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. If you would like to learn more please join our mailing list.