Westfield Bank and the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation have announced a $100,000, three-year grant to the Irish Cultural Center. Funds will be used for ongoing and major capital improvements at the facility at 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield, MA.
Westfield Bank President James Hagan and Westfield Bank Vice Chair of the Board and Chief Business Development Officer William Wagner, along with other bank officials were in attendance at the event on June 28 at the Irish Cultural Center.
“We at Westfield Bank take great pride in our support of the communities we serve through our sponsorships, charitable giving and volunteerism. We are pleased to put our support behind the ICC’s mission of preserving Irish heritage in Western Massachusetts and providing a conduit to the arts and culture of Ireland,” said Hagan.
Wagner noted, “The Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation has been supporting charitable causes that contribute to and enhance the quality of life in the communities served by the Foundation since 2006. When the Irish Cultural Center reached out to our Foundation requesting support of their relocation and expansion to West Springfield to serve a greater population, our entire board was honored to assist them in sustaining this valuable resource preserving the Irish culture for generations to come.”
Westfield Bank and the former Chicopee Savings Bank merged two years ago, keeping the charitable foundation alive. The ICC has long had a partnership with the Chicopee bank, which has funded many programs and events over the years. Those ties remain strong under the merger.
ICC President Sean Cahillane said the ICC will be able to continue its ongoing work on the building, which now includes a restaurant and pub, offices and meeting rooms. The ICC moved to the long-empty building in 2015, and has continued making progress on renovations. Work is underway on a library and museum, a patio, a ball field, and the ‘Irish streetscape’ which will soon grace the rear of the building on the 10-acre property.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with our ongoing partnership with the Westfield Bank and with the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation,” Cahillane said. “Our strong ties mean our building will continue to get better over time. Our heartfelt thanks go out for this funding.”
“We have worked steadfastly these past three years at our new location at 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield,” Cahillane said. “We are making significant progress in our efforts to renovate and restore the facility, construction of the various elements of the facility have been ongoing and will continue in stages well into 2018.”
Work has commenced on the latest phase of the project, which includes the patio and streetscape, and the ball field to the south of the building.
The Irish Cultural Center of Western New England is a non-profit, charitable organization that seeks to cultivate a connection with Ireland through the arts, cultural, history, language, and heritage. The Center offers opportunities to engage in educational, travel and social events that promote the Irish culture.