HCC Alumnus lends a helping hand to tornado victims

June 10, 2011

A West Springfield businessman and HCC alumnus is leading the effort to establish an educational scholarship fund to assist Fabiola and Ibone Guerrero of West Springfield, who lost their mother-and home-when a tornado struck Western Massachusetts on June 1. Angelica Guerrero, 39, died using her body to shield her 15 year-old daughter, Ibone, from the tornado that tore through their West Springfield home. Eighteen-year-old Fabiola, who recently finished her first year at Holyoke Community College, was not at home when the tornado struck.

Holyoke Community College alumnus Victor Thomas '82, owns Ruggers Rugby Supply at 121 Union Street in West Springfield, which is located near the Guerrero's home. "I feel very blessed that my store was spared and my employees were safe," Thomas said. "But the Guerreros were not as fortunate. This family suffered a tremendous personal loss. I understand how valuable an education is, and how important it will be as these young women begin to rebuild their lives. I want to help Fabiola continue her education and complete her degree, and enable Ibone to do the same."

The Angelica Guerrero Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established through the Holyoke Community College Foundation.

Contributions have come from Fathers & Sons auto dealership, HCC students and staff, and people from across the US who heard the Guerrero's story and wanted to help the family.

Contributions may be sent to the HCC Foundation at 303 Homestead Avenue, Holyoke, MA 01040 or made online at http://bit.ly/hcc_give. For more information, call HCC at
(413) 552-2182.


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040