'Gifts that count'
Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation donates $50,000 for HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute
The Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation has donated $50,000 to Holyoke Community College that will benefit students preparing for careers in the culinary arts and hospitality industry.
William Wagner, president of the foundation, presented an oversized check for that amount to HCC president Christina Royal and HCC Foundation officials during a brief ceremony Oct. 2 at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute.
The $50,000 donation will go toward programs, equipment, maintenance, instruction, and student services at the institute, which opened in January 2018 at 164 Race St. in downtown Holyoke.
"The foundation is pleased to lend its support to HCC's remarkable new culinary arts institute," said Wagner, an HCC alumnus from the class of 1971. "It's quite an impressive facility unique in western Massachusetts that we can be proud of for generations to come. With HCC's expansion into this state-of-the-art facility, our region's growing hospitality industry will directly benefit from well-trained chefs and hospitality staff. HCC has a rich history of providing quality education in western Mass. and we couldn't be prouder to stand behind them."
During the ceremony, a plaque recognizing the donation was unveiled outside the institute's "general purpose lab" – the teaching kitchen used for HCC's noncredit culinary and workforce training programs.
"We are honored to name a space here in recognition of the generosity of the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation," said Amanda Sbriscia, HCC's vice president of Institutional Advancement. "This investment will allow us to continue to enhance our culinary arts training and professional development for the benefit of our students and the community. We are incredibly grateful for this leadership support and especially pleased that it gives us a chance to thank Mr. Wagner, an HCC alumnus, for his continued commitment to our mission."
The Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, a private 501(c)(3) was established in 2006. In 2016, Chicopee Savings Bank merged with Westfield Bank. Wagner is the former president of Chicopee Savings Bank and now the chief business development officer for Westfield Bank, as well as president of the foundation.
"When we converted the bank to a public corporation we set up a foundation that would live on with the Chicopee name, doing all the things that Chicopee Savings Bank used to do in terms of philanthropy," Wagner said. "We've given away about four and a half million dollars and the foundation now has about $8 million. We try to make gifts like this that count, gifts in our community that are worthy, so we're happy to be part of it."
PHOTOS by CHRIS YURKO: (Thumbnail) Representatives from the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation present a ceremonial check for $50,000 to HCC president Christina Royal and HCC Foundation officials. (Above) William Wagner, president of the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, and HCC president Christina Royal toast a plaque recognizing the foundation's donation.