Forever in our Hearts to raise money for Shriner's hospital
Date: 8/31/2011Aug. 31, 2011
By Debbie Gardner
GREATER SPRINGFIELD A new local group is pairing a need to honor the memory of lost friends and loved ones with a way to help an organization in need.
On Sept. 17, Forever in our Hearts will host its first fund-raiser in honor of Coach Cliff Kibbe and Jane O’Brien of Agawam and Mark Lines and Richie Fiorini of West Springfield at the Elks Pavilion, 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield,
The event, which will take place from 3 to 10 p.m., will feature food, raffles, music by local performers John Morgan, Co2 and the Savoys, and a Memory Wall in remembrance of this year’s honorees. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 6 to 12. Attendees are encouraged to visit www.foreverinourheartsbenefit.com
for information about how to create a personal memory poster of a lost loved one that can be displayed on the event’s Memory Wall.
Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Springfield.
“This is a way for us to think of our loved ones and do something good in their name,” Donna Pisano, Forever in Our Hearts assistant treasurer and trustee, told Reminder Publications
She said she and her brother, Thomas Quinn, have been talking about doing something to “honor people who were taken from us too soon” ever since their 33-year-old brother, John Phillip Quinn Jr., was murdered in 1981.
Quinn said he really started thinking about a way to publicly celebrate the memories of people he’d lost when Kibbe, who was “like a dad” to him when he was an athlete at Agawam High School, and another close friend both passed away on the same day in July of 2010.
The brother and sister formed the organization and Board of Trustees early this year and enlisted the help of friends and acquaintances to help define the group’s mission and goals.
“With Tommy’s inspiration and ideas, we formed a committee bringing in other individuals to honor those they had lost recently with a notion to develop a charity fund ... knowing that the people we are honoring would have wanted to do the same if they were with us today,” Forever in our Hearts committee member Karen Carter said. “The committee members, and trustees, are all extremely dedicated to this benefit and we have come a long way since our first meeting last March.”
Quinn said the name, Forever in Our Hearts, was chosen for the organization because “memories will always be with us.”
Carter noted that mayors Richard Cohen of Agawam and Edward Gibson of West Springfield have both been very supportive of Forever in our Heart’s first event, which is honoring “residents and families from both of their towns.”
Quinn said the public response to the fund-raiser, especially from Kibbe’s former players, has been very gratifying.
“He influenced a lot of lives,” Quinn said of Kibbe, who coached Agawam High’s football and baseball teams for nearly 35 years. “We’re getting a great response from former ballplayers from Agawam, West Springfield, Westfield and Southwick.”
He said there’s also been a public response to O’Brien, Lines and Fiorini, noting all four individuals “made a difference in people’s lives.”
Carter said the local businesses and individuals have also stepped up to support Forever in our Hearts first event.
She added that the choice of Shriner’s Hospital as the beneficiary of the event was easy because it is “such an important facility in our own back yard” and the committee felt “the honorees would be very proud that their names would be connected with this most deserving and worthwhile cause.” Debbie Gardner can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com