Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce


Berkshire Bank announced today that it has selected 18 high school seniors to receive a total of $36,000 in scholarships through its Berkshire Bank Foundation Scholarship Awards Program.  Each of the recipients will receive $2,000.

A total of 93 employee volunteers reviewed more than 170 applications to select the winners. The winners all live in the regions served by Berkshire Bank, including eastern and central New York, western Massachusetts and southern Vermont.

The Pioneer Valley recipients were all surprised with their scholarship awards earlier today by bank employees at their respective High Schools. . In an effort to notify students in an exciting way, Berkshire Bank arranged with the guidance offices at their high schools to call them from class and surprise them with their award to recognize their achievements.

The five Pioneer Valley recipients are:

Allison McMordie – Westfield High School
Christopher Madden – Cathedral High School
Clarissa Marchia – Chicopee Comprehensive High School
Melanie Gomes – Chicopee High School
Brianna Lawlor – Chicopee High School

The scholarship awards recognize students that have exemplified community service through their volunteer efforts and have been successful academically. The program highlights the Foundation’s support for education and the bank’s commitment to promote volunteerism in the community.            

Foundation Executive Director Peter J. Lafayette said, “We are pleased to recognize these outstanding high school seniors with our 2012 Berkshire Bank Foundation Scholarship Awards. These students embody our values as a company and share in our commitment to making our communities a better place to live, work, and play. With the rising costs of a college education, we know these funds are needed and will help these students realize their dream of a college education.”

Just as these scholarship recipients play an active role in their communities, Berkshire Bank encourages its employees to play an active role in theirs, through their Employee Volunteer Program. Last year, over 50% of the bank’s 800 employees participated in 67 volunteer projects and donated more than 26,000 hours of community service through both company-sponsored and individual volunteer efforts. Berkshire Bank believes that promoting volunteerism at an early age will benefit both the volunteers and communities and will hopefully lead to on-going community involvement.

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