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Springfield School Volunteers celebrates 50 years

Springfield School Volunteers celebrates 50 years
Posted on 11/01/2019

Springfield School Volunteers (SSV) will host Forward Fifty, its golden anniversary fundraising gala on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, at MGM Springfield at 5:30 p.m. The event will honor 50 individuals, businesses and community officials who have helped SSV become the impactful organization it is today.

 “Our nonprofit could not have thrived for 50 years without our dedicated volunteers, funders, partners and friends,” said Denise N. Cogman, president and CEO. “In honor of our golden anniversary, we will recognize 50 individuals and businesses with the Springfield School Volunteers Honoree Award. It was difficult to select only 50 caring adults and generous businesses, but those set to be honored truly embody our belief in making a difference.”

Forward Fifty will take place in the Bellagio Ballroom with a celebration of SSV’s rich history through speakers, photos and videos. There will also be a buffet dinner, cash bar and awards presentation. Proceeds from the gala will help SSV continue its work of improving the lives of Springfield’s students one student at a time.

SSV Board Chair Cheryl Ronzoni explained, “Many people do not realize that SSV is a nonprofit organization that relies on public support like any other nonprofit. At this gala we are looking forward to being able to highlight not only our amazing work, but also the fact that raising funds through fundraisers like this is the only way that SSV will be able to continue to provide valuable services to the staff, students and families of the Springfield Public Schools.”

Before SSV became SSV in 1969, the spirit of volunteerism of one volunteer was already active at one Springfield school. Evelyn Benedetti helped develop and subsequently volunteered in the library at the former Armory Street School in 1958. Ten years later, five women volunteered to organize the Tapley School Library and created an Advisory Council to recruit and train other volunteers to help establish libraries in every elementary school in the city, and within a year the movement took on a life of its own. SSV has remained a strong supporter of the Springfield Public Schools over the years, developing programs in response to the diverse needs of the students and the district. Today SSV runs three distinctive programs — School-Based Mentoring, Academic Support and Read Aloud — that bring in more than 1,000 volunteers each year into the Springfield Public Schools.

Tickets and tables to Forward Fifty are now on sale at


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