Hilltown Voices: Gateway Regional receives windfall donation from closure of non-profit

  • Gateway Regional is shown Jan. 11, 2018 in Huntington.

For the Gazette
Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Gateway Education Foundation recently received $84,854 from the closing of Mass 1to1, a local nonprofit that leased tablets and laptops to families and schools.

“This was a really nice surprise and we are just thrilled,” Gateway’s public relations representative, Wendy Long, said.

Created by the Gateway staff and school community as a computer-leasing program, the Mass 1to1 helped provide students with MacBooks that could be leased over a four-year period and then purchased for $1.

According to Long, the advent of the more affordable Samsung Chromebook has now made that leasing model unnecessary.

“The school district has been able to provide Chromebooks to the kids so they can get their own device that they can afford,” Long said.

Long said that the 1to1 program was able to build up funds that were used to offset the school’s technology expenses.

Under its bylaws, when Mass 1to1 became obsolete, it was required to transfer any remaining funds to an organization that would benefit Gateway students.

Given to the Gateway Educational Fund, the money has been earmarked for the following purposes:

The Rob Shipman Memorial Fund received $30,000 for upgrading the auditorium and its projector system, and providing scholarships to tech crew members. The new system will be installed in the summer of 2018, and will be celebrated with a family movie night this fall.

Sixteen virtual reality goggles, which can enable students to look inside the chambers of the heart or transport them to locations across the globe, will be purchased for $6,300.

The remainder, approximately $50,000, will be used to begin an endowment fund for the Gateway Educational Foundation, to help secure its sustainability.

Williamsburg food drive

The Williamsburg Congregational Church will hold its annual food drive to support the Northampton Survival Center on Saturday, April 21.

This event will take place in front of the church from 9 a.m. until noon.

“We will also be at the Williamsburg Market accepting donations,” said event organizer Jean York.

York said that the list of important food items needed includes canned vegetables, canned tuna, juices, pasta and sauce, spices, condiments and cooking oils, as well as dry and canned food for dogs and cats.

Other helpful necessities include personal care items like creams, toothpaste and toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products as well as cleaning products, childrens’ books and cookbooks.

All food donations must be non-perishable, unused and not exceed expiration dates.

“Last year we brought in 377 pounds of food and $323 in cash donations,” York said. “I think that was one of our best years and we would like to see those figures or higher this year.”

Worthington Library to hold spring book sale

The Worthington Library annual spring book sale will take place on Saturday, April 21 at the Worthington Town Hall.

Books may be dropped off at the Town Hall this week, Monday through Friday, April 16-20, when Town Hall is open.

Donations are to be put on the stage, and people are asked not to leave any books outside the building.

For more information, contact Susan at 238-5306.

This event is sponsored by Friends of the Worthington Library.

Plainfield smoke alarms

The American Red Cross is partnering with the Plainfield Fire Department to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in area residences on Saturday, April 28.

Teams made up of one Plainfield firefighter and a Red Cross volunteer will visit pre-registered homes to install the alarms.

To participate, residents must have homes built prior to 1975, with current smoke alarms that are at least 10 years old.

To register contact the Plainfield Fire Department by Saturday, April 21, at 634-5582.

Ideas for this column on life in the Hilltowns can be sent to Fran Ryan at fryan.gazette@gmail.com.