HCN News & Notes

Brightside Children Benefit from Basketball Star’s Generosity

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield native Vinny Del Negro is perhaps best known for his talent on the basketball court as a former NBA player and head coach, but he and his wife, Lynn, are also longtime supporters of Brightside for Families and Children.

When the Del Negros learned that children served by Brightside needed electronic devices to help them do their schoolwork remotely, they provided a financial donation that made it possible to purchase the items. Thanks to their donation and matching funds from an anonymous donor, Brightside was able to purchase iPads, Chromebooks, tablets, desks, chairs, and school supplies for the 120 children now receiving services.

“While COVID-19 has significantly impacted daily life for all of us, it poses unique challenges for children, particularly as they try to keep up with their studies,” Del Negro said. “These electronic devices and other school supplies will help them engage and fully participate in remote learning, while easing some of the financial burden on their parents. I would also like to thank my sister, Nina Marchese, who got involved during COVID-19 to see this project come to fruition.”

Over the years, the Del Negros have stopped in Holyoke to tour Brightside offices and meet with clinicians and staff. They have visited with children who receive services at Brightside, talking with them about their schoolwork and their plans for the future and holding basketball clinics for them.

“Vinny and Lynn’s compassion for children and families facing challenges is an extraordinary gift, and we are grateful that they are champions of our cause. They never forget why helping the children we serve is so important,” said Deborah Bitsoli, president of Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates. “These electronic devices will make a tremendous difference in the lives of these children, especially now as they deal with the current increase in remote learning.”