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Westfield Bank donates $12,000 to charities

Date: 7/3/2013

By Carley Dangona

WESTFIELD — Westfield Bank celebrated its 160th anniversary on June 28 at its main office on Elm Street. As part of the festivities, the bank donated a total of $12,000 — $1,000 per each of its 12 branches — to local 501(c)(3) charities nominated by its customers.

Westfield Bank was established in 1853 when it accepted its first deposit, according to Kevin O'Connor, vice president of the Retail Banking Administration. The celebratory event featured food and prizes as well as the presentation of $1,000 to four of the twelve local charities: Westfield Youth Soccer Association, American Legion Post 124, Westfield Food Pantry and Riverside Industries Inc. of Easthampton.

"This [charitable donation] was a little bit different and very special. We asked customers to tell us who they thought the deserving agencies were," O'Connor said.

Each location conducted a vote where customers nominated their favorite local charities to receive a $1,000 donation from the bank. At the time of press, the votes were still being tallied to determine the remaining nominees.

O'Connor explained that the bank does a "considerable amount" of giving throughout the year, with more than $300,000 donated by its Future Fund that provides money to programs that support children, and through other contributions and sponsorships.

A raffle for two custom-built bikes built by Columbia Manufacturing Inc. was also conducted. The "Then and Now" raffle offered two bikes, one a recreated 1941 Columbia Cruiser to represent the time when the bank was established, and the other a modern bicycle to represent the bank as it is today.

Arnold Cone of Agawam won the classic bike and Gary Bilodeau, also of Agawam, won the modern bike.