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Rotary Club 'inundated' with funding applications due to economy

Date: 11/4/2008

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

WEST SPRINGFIELD As local and state officials exercise more money saving measures each year, the West Springfield Rotary Club is seeing an increasing number of applicants within their bi-yearly grant process.

West Springfield Rotary Club President Derek Benton told Reminder Publications that the club has been "inundated with applications because of state budget cuts this year." The club awards community grants to various organizations each spring and fall.

On Nov. 14, the West Springfield Rotary Club will be hosting the second annual NovemberFest their second major fundraiser of the year, after the West Side Taste to fund the club's community grants and scholarships. The event will take place at the Springfield Country Club from 6 to 9 p.m. and will include micro brew, wine tasting, live music, hors d'oeuvres and a silent and live auction for $25 per person.

Dianna Robinson, chair of NovemberFest, said last year's event raised approximately $12,000 for the Rotary Club and entertained over 300 people "double what we thought."

"We made more money than we ever thought we would make," she said.

Robinson noted that this year, the club has upped the ante by adding a live auction of four one-week vacations including a house in Ireland, a condo in Stowe, Vt., a timeshare in Hawaii or Spain and a condo in Florida.

The club will also be raffling two seats on the 48-yard line for the Dec. 21 New England Patriots versus St. Louis Cardinals game. Tickets for the raffle are $20 each or six for $100.

Betty McCabe-Pandolfi, NovemberFest Committee member, noted that the silent auction will include a variety of gift certificates, paintings and other items. She said she was able to complete a good portion of her Christmas shopping at the silent auction last year.

Noreen Tassinari, public relations chair for the Rotary Club, explained that this fundraiser helps to ensure that community organizations striving to enrich the West Side receive much-deserved funding each year. She noted that last spring $5,795 was awarded to six organizations including the West Springfield Garden Club, the Precinct 1 and 2 Committee, the West Springfield Historical Commission and the Parish Nurses of Mittineague Congregational Church to fund an Alzheimer's support group.

For more information about NovemberFest or to buy tickets call Robinson at 732-9700 or e-mail or call McCabe-Pandolfi at 788-6303 or e-mail Tickets may also be purchased at the door on the night of the event.