SPRINGFIELD — The Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts’ trustees of the Order of William Pynchon announced their selection of two local residents, Helen Caulton-Harris and Victor Rojas, as recipients of this year’s Pynchon medal.
Caulton-Harris has served for decades as a tireless advocate for low-income residents, underserved neighborhoods, and communities of color. As director of the city of Springfield’s Health and Human Services division, she led the charge in making COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites widely available to all city residents.
Rojas serves as director of technology for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke and a role model for the city’s most vulnerable young people, connecting them with life-changing academic opportunities. During the pandemic, he worked to connect underserved students to internet access and led the effort to deliver thousands of meals and snacks to students who would otherwise receive them at school.
“These are the times that we most need heroes, and we surely have them in this year’s recipients,” said Brenda McGiverin, chairperson of the Pynchon trustees.
Due to a postponed event in 2020, the Advertising Club announced its upcoming event will be a combined celebration for Pynchon recipients from 2020 and 2021. Last year’s recipients, Janine Fondon and Elizabeth Wills-O’Gilvie, will also receive their medals at the upcoming ceremony.
This year’s recipients were chosen from a pool of nominations for the award received earlier this spring by the Advertising Club. All nominees are researched by the trustees, who then deliberate before selecting final recipients. All Pynchon medalists are chosen by unanimous decision of the Pynchon Trustees, who are the current and five past presidents of the Advertising Club. Pynchon Trustees for 2021 are Teresa Utt, David Cecchi, Mary Shea, Scott Whitney, Brenda McGiverin, and current Advertising Club President Kelly McGiverin.
The presentation of the Pynchon Medal and celebration will take place on Thursday, Oct. 7 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Event details and ticket information can be found at adclubwm.org or by calling (413) 342-0533.
More than 200 citizens have been inducted into the Order of William Pynchon since its founding in 1915.