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United Bank Foundation awards $38,500 to fund community initiatives; plans up to $75,000 for tornado

United Bank Foundation awards $38,500 to fund community initiatives; plans up to $75,000 for tornado relief in next funding cycle

Dena M. Hall, president of the United Bank Foundation, has announced that a total of $38,500 was awarded in support of initiatives in the Bank’s Springfield and Worcester regions during the Foundation’s most recent round of funding.

Hall also announced that the United Bank Foundation will devote up to $75,000 in its August funding cycle to support not-for-profit organizations that were impacted by the devastating tornadoes that hit the area on June 1. The designated funds will be awarded to help counter losses suffered by organizations that were affected, either directly or indirectly.

“An August response will give these organizations time to assess actual damages and determine insurance shortfalls,” said Hall. “We realize, too, that there will also be several agencies now involved in relief efforts that will need support to re-build their emergency response reserves.”

Springfield Region Awards

The most recent Foundation grants in the Springfield area included an award in the amount of $5,000 to The Community Foundation of Western MA in support of the Reading Success by Fourth Grade funding collaborative.

HAP, Inc. in Springfield was awarded a grant in the amount of $3,000 to help fund the First Home Program for Homebuyer Education.

An award of $2,000 was made to the Longmeadow Education Excellence Foundation, Inc. to purchase books for the literacy closets in three elementary schools. In Holyoke, restoration of the Victory Theatre will benefit from a Foundation grant of $5,000 to the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts.

The Foundation awarded $5,000 to help launch the Leadership Pioneer Valley training and development initiative sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Regional Ventures Center, Inc., headquartered in Springfield.

A $3,500 Foundation grant to the Gray House, Inc. will support the Kids’ Club after-school and summer programs for children living in Springfield’s North End neighborhood. The Spirit of Springfield received a $2,500 grant to support Santa’s Cottage at Bright Nights, and Westfield’s White Oak School was awarded $500 toward its technology upgrade project.

In addition, $1,000 grants were awarded to Holyoke Chicopee Head Start for program support, to Homework House in Holyoke to support a summer literacy program for inner-city youth, and to the American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter to provide emergency funds following a West Springfield fire. Safe Passage also received a $1,000 grant to support its battered women’s shelter.

Worcester Region Awards

The Family Health Center in Worcester received $2,500 toward the purchase of two interpretive electrocardiogram machines.

Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester received a grant in the amount of $2,500 to support construction costs of a duplex home currently being built in Boylston.

The Southeast Asian Coalition of Central MA received a $3,000 award from the Foundation in support of the financial literacy component of the “English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)” program for adult members of the Asian community of Greater Worcester.

The United Bank Foundation has awarded nearly $1.4 million in grants since it was established in 2005 as a permanent source of funding to benefit communities in United Bank’s market area. The Foundation Board of Directors meets quarterly to review requests submitted by 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations in cities and towns served by United Bank branches in the greater Springfield and Worcester regions.

The Foundation’s four primary funding areas of interest are education, health and human services, youth development and cultural programs. Foundation guidelines can be found online at

Qualified organizations may also call Jennifer DeBarge at (413) 787-1700 for more information about the August funding cycle, or to inquire about sending the Foundation a letter of intent to apply for assistance.