Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Mayor Domenic J. Executive Director of the Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management (PBRM) Patrick Sullivan, and Assistant Director of Recreation Paula Thayer, are pleased to recognize and thank Health New England for its ongoing financial support of the city’s Evening Gym Program. Health New England has provided funding for the last six years which has been instrumental in providing city youth between the ages of 7 and 18 years of age with free, safe and supervised recreational activities during their non-school hours. Over this time period they have contributed over $250,000 with this year’s donation being $51,300.00.
The program began on December 5, 2016 and will run through April 13, 2017 at six school sites. The following sites are open Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Milton Bradley, Forest Park, Chestnut Accelerated and Gerena. Kennedy and Brookings are open Monday through Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Over 2,000 participants have been served over the last four years.
Through a collaboration with Health New England, the Springfield Thunderbirds recently spent time at Milton Bradley meeting with gym participants, demonstrating hockey skills and providing free tickets to one of their games. Both the players and the youth participants had a great time and had the opportunity to meet and engage with new role models.
Mayor Sarno said, “The city is appreciative of the long-term commitment made by Health New England. Their continued support has ensured that thousands of Springfield youth have had the opportunity to attend quality evening gym programs offered through our Park Department. It has been very heartwarming to see the Springfield Thunderbirds taking an active role in the Springfield community. Working together we can offer our youth a positive environment.”
Patrick Sullivan said, “The Park Department is very grateful to Health New England for being a corporate sponsor for the evening gym program for the past four years. Their commitment to the city and its youth has had a positive impact on hundreds of families throughout Springfield. It has been great to involve the Thunderbirds to our lineup of activities and look forward to continuing to expand the offerings at our evening gym locations.”
Paula Thayer, the Assistant Director of Recreation said; “That without the support of Health New England we would not be able to provide the opportunity for city youth to attend our Evening Gym Program. They have been a great supporter of this program and we sincerely appreciate the ongoing support.”
Judith Danek, Director, Office of the President and Community Relations for Health New England said, "Health New England has been a proud sponsor of open gyms for more than six years. President and CEO Maura McCaffrey understands the importance of safe, quality afterschool spaces for Springfield youth and is committed to working in partnership with the City of Springfield, community organizations, and the open gyms staff to continue this program for the benefit of all the kids that participate."
Nathan Costa, Executive Vice President of the Springfield Thunderbirds said, “The Springfield Thunderbirds have made a commitment to provide experiences to youth in Springfield from the moment we became an organization,” said Nathan Costa, Executive Vice President. “We value the relationship we have with Health New England and the Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation, and we were thrilled to be able to participate and hopefully create memories for years to come with youth here in Springfield. We look forward to being a pillar of our community in the future with programs like these, which provide our players and staff an opportunity to connect with youth in ways that we cannot do on the ice.”