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Picture This

Send your photos to: Picture This; c/o Joseph Bednar, The Healthcare News, 1441 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01103; or e-mail bednar@healthcarenews.com . Please include detailed caption material and your name and contact information.

Food for Thought

In celebration of the 18th annual March for Meals, a month-long, nationwide celebration of Meals on Wheels and the vulnerable seniors who rely on the vital service to remain independent at home, WestMass ElderCare (WMEC) recently hosted local leaders and congressional aides at a March for Meals open house at its Meals on Wheels kitchen.

WMEC driver Samuel Aquino and Jeanne Ahern, aide to U.S. Rep. Richard Neal;
From left, driver Robbin Deuso, Ludlow Board of Selectmen Chairman Derek Debarge, and WMEC Executive Director Roseann Martoccia
Koby Gardner-Levine (right), aide to U.S. Rep. James McGovern, driver Ernie Daigle, and Gardner-Levine’s student intern

Winter CAMP

In February, the Springfield College Department of Occupational Therapy hosted its third annual Winter CAMP (Celebrating Abilities — Making Possibilities), designed to assist transition-age young adults with mild disabilities experience college life. Each participant was paired with a small group of graduate students in occupational therapy, who served as mentors. During the five-day camp, participants made friends as they checked out the Springfield College dining hall, events, activities, and fitness complex. They also experienced a residence hall, cooked some meals, and explored different hobbies and interests. Faculty members supervised the graduate students in the planning and execution of activities.

Supporting the Community

Florence Bank recently pledged $50,000 to the YMCA of Greater Springfield to help fund the new wellness and childcare center that opened at Springfield’s Tower Square on Dec. 5. The new, state-of-the-art facility includes a 15,000-square-foot education center that serves infants through elementary-school students. Additionally, the facility includes a new, 12,000-square-foot wellness center with premium strength and conditioning equipment in a space that overlooks the city.

YMCA support
From left: Jeffrey Poindexter, YMCA of Greater Springfield board chair; Dexter Johnson, YMCA of Greater Springfield president and CEO; and Nicole Gleason, Springfield branch manager and vice president of Florence Bank.

Record Donation

biotechnology lab
HCC Biology Professor Emily Rabinsky (center) teaches a biotechnology lab in the Center for Life Sciences.

Holyoke Community College (HCC) has received the largest donation in the college’s 74-year history — $7.5 million — from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Foundation, established by the late Elaine Marieb, a longtime HCC faculty member, alumna, best-selling textbook author, and Northampton native. The donation includes $5 million outright and a $2.5 million matching gift that will go toward future renovations of HCC’s main science facility, the Marieb Building, as part of a multi-phase plan to expand the recently opened Center for Life Sciences to encompass the entire three-story structure.