FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Deanna Roux
Marketing & Communications Officer
Team Jessica, Inc., Belchertown, MA 01007
FLORENCE BANK AWARDS TEAM JESSICA, INC. $5,000
BELCHERTOWN, Mass., Oct. 11, 2014 – Team Jessica, Inc. is excited to announce it has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Florence Bank of Florence, Mass. Team Jessica will use these funds to support the building of Jessica’s Boundless Playground (JBP), an effort that has been ongoing for the past four years.
Once completed, JBP will be the only 100% all-inclusive playground in New England. It has been carefully designed to be a multi-generational activity structure that engages people of all ages and abilities. Every area of the playground caters to those with mobility concerns, while at the same time being completely fun and engaging for able-bodied people. JBP will also allow wounded veterans in long-term rehab to experience the healing power and simple joy of playing with their own children.
The playground will cost upwards of $475,000 to build. Team Jessica has hosted more than 15 fundraising events over the past four years and the efforts have raised more than $385,000, including three Community Preservation Act grants totaling $140,000 from the Town of Belchertown. This total also includes several independent fundraisers that local businesses conducted for the project, as well as many large gifts from area organizations.
Last month more than 200 volunteers came together for a weekend build event that culminated in the construction of the majority of the playground structure. “We’re preparing for the final stages of construction – building the ramps, timing the poured-in-place rubber surface – while at the same time still conducting the last round of fundraising,” said Patti Thornton, Team Jessica’s grant writer. “This grant comes at a perfect time and we’re so thankful to the community-minded people at Florence Bank.”
Florence Bank’s history in community commitment is 140 years deep. No stranger to corporate social responsibility, the bank distributed $1,000,000 to local nonprofits in the past three years alone. For the past 12 years, the bank has been allowing its customers a voice in where donations will be allotted through their Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program.
“We are excited to be part of this extraordinary effort to bring an all-inclusive playground to Belchertown,” said Florence Bank’s President and CEO John F. Heaps Jr. “The enthusiasm and support for this project is overwhelming. We are happy to be part of it.”
In addition to this $5,000 grant, Team Jessica is participating in Florence Bank’s Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program. Florence Bank customers can vote to decide which local nonprofits will receive a portion of $100,000. “Team Jessica” is listed on the online ballot under the category “Community Support,” which can be found at www.florencesavings.com/vote. Paper ballots are located at any Florence Bank. Voting for this year concludes Dec. 31, 2014.