CFInfo: December 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.

Mobile Veterinary Clinics Saving Lives
This past July, the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center (TJO) received a $16,000 Mission Standard grant from the Community Foundation to operate a travelling clinic in the Cities of Holyoke and Springfield.mobileclinic-sm

The clinics provided vaccinations and wellness care for dogs in low income neighborhoods. The highly contagious and potentially fatal parvovirus had previously reached the level of an epidemic in Springfield in the summer of 2014, but this year TJO was able to provide both a parvovirus and rabies vaccination to each of more than 200 dogs with funding from the Lochridge-Watkins Charitable Fund and the Eugene A. Dexter Charitable Fund both administered by the Bank of America, Trustee, and the Raymond E. and Mildred G. Clark Foundation Fund..

Target areas were based on financial need and on a high incidence of stray dogs and parvovirus. Many of the pet owners seen at the clinic were otherwise unable to provide basic care for their pets and were grateful for the care that the clinics were able to provide to their beloved pets.

“Through this grant we addressed the need for accessible and affordable pet care for animals, and in turn empowered the people who care for them,” said Lisa Soldato, grant coordinator at TJO. “In addition to the medical aspect of our clinics, we also formed a more positive relationship with the members of these communities. TJO was able to provide valuable services, resources, and information to benefit both the human and animal communities.”

New Additions to the Team


The Foundation is pleased to announce three new staff members:Margaret Everett, Lisa Bisbee, and Jacob Gardner.newstaff12-2015

Jacob began working at the Foundation in October as a part-time IT support specialist, making sure computer systems are operating smoothly. A resident of Chicopee, he is also currently enrolled at Porter and Chester where he is working toward CompTIA Certifications.

Margaret has joined the Programs Department as a program assistant, bringing more than 30 years of administrative experience, most recently with the Willie Ross School for the Deaf as secretary to the director of educational services. Margaret began work at the Foundation on November 9th and is a resident of Wilbraham.

Lisa is an accountant who spent 15 years at the Pittsfield CPA firm, Lombardi, Clairmont, and Keegan. A graduate of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Lisa has lived in western Massachusetts all her life.

Additionally, we are happy to announce that Deb Koske, who has been with the Foundation for more than 18 years has agreed to head up the new Donor Services team at the Foundation, which will support the many generous fundholders and contributors in realizing their charitable goals.

Make a Difference by Supporting the Pioneer Valley Fund

Whether we grew up here or elsewhere, we call our home—where the Connecticut River connects us all—the Pioneer Valley, a community that is always


changing. Working together, we are a powerful force in helping to create a sustainable vitality in our region. One way to do this is by supporting our new annual

Pioneer Valley Fund.There are many reasons to support the annual Pioneer Valley Fund. Not only does your support have an immediate impact, it also ensures brighter futures for tomorrow. Support of the Pioneer Valley Fund has allowed us to accomplish so much for the community.

Gifts to the Pioneer Valley Fund help the Foundation provide hundreds of grants to nonprofits, and scholarships to over 800 local students. On top

of that, this support allowed the Foundation to host Valley Gives, which raised millions for our community in one-day, while providing our nonprofits with the tools to do their important work year-round.

The Community Foundation is now also accepting recurring gifts through our website. You can elect to make automatic gifts annually, quarterly, or monthly. Learn more about giving to the Pioneer Valley Fund at the Community Foundation. New gifts to our annual Pioneer Valley Fund will be matched 1:1 maximizing your impact on our community.

A Look Back at the 2015 Scholarship Year
In a few short weeks, the Community Foundation’s application for scholarships will again be available on our website, January 1, 2016. But before we embark on a new year, we would like to take a moment to reflect back on the scholarship season that has just wrapped up.

More than $2 million was given out in scholarships and loans to more than 800 recipients up and down the Pioneer Valley. The Foundation was fortunate to be able to award more than 1,100 scholarships and interest free loans, thanks to the generosity of the many donors who have created and/or contributed to funds at the Foundation.

The large and growing scholarship program at the Foundation is not only supported and made possible by the generous donors who give their money, but by the equally generous volunteers who give their time to support the Scholarship review process. We look forward to the 2016 Scholarship season, starting with the application going live on January 1.

Growing the Community Together
We invite you to take a look at the Community Foundation’s latest annual report and see a short video below for a snapshot of some of the impact we are having together in the Pioneer Valley.


Upcoming Grants Deadlines for 2016!
Check our website to get the latest information on our grant programs and upcoming deadlines –

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