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Group sets slate of fund-raisers to purchase bus for Senior Center

Date: 9/28/2011

Sept. 28, 2011

By Debbie Gardner

Assistant Editor

AGAWAM — The Senior Center needs a new bus, and Emile Coté, president of the Friends of the Agawam Senior Center, is already hard at work trying to acquire one.

“A [bus] costs $60,000, round figures, and so I’ve sent out letters to all the businesses of Agawam and taxpayers in Agawam. I’ve gotten about $3,000 in three week’s time,” Coté said.

The center’s existing van is 11 years old, “makes a lot of noise and is not safe to drive,” he noted.

The letter campaign is not the only way the Friends are trying to raise the money for a new bus. Coté, who is the fund-raising chair, told Reminder Publications the group has already mapped out a slate of activities to help them reach their goal.

“All the money that we make will go into a fund for the [bus],” he said.

The first event will be an apple pie sale during the town’s Harvest Festival at Phelps School on Oct. 22. Coté said the group would be selling apple pie slices for $2.50 each, and whole pies for $12. The pies will be prepared by the Senior Center’s own chef, Carol Berncki, Coté said.

The second fund-raiser will take place at the center on Oct. 28.

“We have a huge raffle with over 100 prizes and the chances are six for $5 or $1 apiece,” Coté said. Raffle tickets will be available at the center, or from any Senior Center member.

On Nov. 2, Coté said the Friends would be hosting a rotini and meatball dinner at the center from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

“We’ll be having a bake sale at the same time,” he added.

That won’t be the only baking fund-raiser the Friends are involved with during November. Starting Nov.1, Coté said the group would be taking orders for Thanksgiving pies.

“We’ll be selling French meat pies, apple pie, pumpkin, and I think, chocolate cream,” he said.

On Dec. 3, Coté said the Friends plan to host a Craft Fair at the center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I hope to have about 50 people there with their crafts,” Coté said, adding that interested vendors could call him at 335-9440 for an application.

Debbie Gardner can be reached by e-mail at

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