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MWCC to honor volunteer.

COLUMN: Neighbors

Community volunteer Raymond LaFond of Gardner will be recognized with Mount Wachusett Community College's 2013 Service Above Self Award during the college's 48th Commencement Exercises on May 16.

The Service Above Self Awards recognize those who have made significant contributions to the 29 cities and towns that make up the college's service area. Mr. LaFond is senior vice president for commercial lending and business development at Lowell-based Enterprise Bank.

"Volunteerism is a way of life for Raymond LaFond. His generosity of spirit has enriched our region in many capacities, and we are proud to honor him this year with Mount Wachusett Community College's Service Above Self Award for his abiding commitment to serving others," said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino.

Mr. LaFond has volunteered in many capacities, including as chairman of the Gardner Zoning Board of Appeals since 1980, as a former member of MWCC's board of trustees and as a member of the MWCC Foundation board of directors. He is also chairman of the audit committee for the United Way of North Central Massachusetts and previously served as chairman of the major gifts division, served on the chairman's advisory council and performed agency visits for proposal requests and other assignments.

For many years, Mr. LaFond has served as a trustee for the Angela M. Zampogna Scholarship benefiting graduating Gardner High School students. He has served on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster, on the Johnny Appleseed Festival committee, and as a youth softball coach and umpire for more than 20 years.

"I'm honored to receive this award. I really believe in helping where I can to make life better for everybody," Mr. LaFond said. "I volunteer because I love doing it, and I see a benefit to doing it."

Mr. LaFond, who fondly recalls pumping gas for founding MWCC President Arthur F. Haley, said he is proud of his long affiliation with the college as a trustee and now as a member of its foundation board.

"Mount Wachusett Community College has always been at the forefront in terms of academics, serving veterans, civic engagement and renewable energy," he said. "President Haley laid the groundwork and the college has gone on to great things under President Asquino. I have always been proud to be connected to the school because of all it has done for the students and residents of our region."

A veteran of the U.S. Army, Mr. LaFond earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Clark University in Worcester and an MBA from Anna Maria College in Paxton. He has held leadership positions at a number of banks throughout his career, including Enterprise Bank since 2001, as well as past positions at the Bank of New England, Fleet National Bank and Sovereign Bank.

He and his wife, Linda, also a Gardner native, are the parents of three daughters, Jennifer, Karen and Stephanie, and have three grandchildren.

Mackenzie Bernard, Connor Brassard, Samuel Buck, Nicholas Merrill and Donovan Park of Fitchburg, Stephanie Martin and Christopher Usman of Leominster, and Vigen Ciottone and Evan Samson of Westminster received honors for the winter 2013 term at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham. To be named to the honor roll, a student must earn a grade-point average of 3.3 to 3.6. Mikayla Martinez of Leominster received high honors for the winter term at the academy. To be named to the high honor roll, a student must earn a grade-point average of 3.7 or above.

United Way of North Central Massachusetts recognized donors and volunteers at its annual thank-you celebration April 24 at the Four Points Sheraton in Leominster.

Doug Petersen, president and CEO of Workers' Credit Union, and volunteer campaign chairman for United Way of North Central Massachusetts, thanked the volunteers and donors for contributing to this year's fundraising efforts. "Because this community represents what it means to live united, thousands of residents in 19 communities will receive vital services that will help create opportunities for a better life for all of us," he said.

The evening, built around a literary theme, also celebrated the recent launch of United Way's latest initiative, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which provides a free book every month to children from birth to just under 5 years old who live in Fitchburg, Leominster, Gardner, Templeton and Winchendon. Households in these communities are eligible to participate in the book program at no cost, regardless of family income. Nearly 1,000 children have enrolled in the program.

The evening also included recognition of local companies for conducting outstanding workplace employee-giving campaigns. United Way presented its Extraordinary Effort Chairman's Award for the Nashoba region to Sterilite Corp. of Townsend, the Twin Cities Award to Georgia-Pacific/Dixie Cutlery of Leominster and, for Greater Gardner, Athol Savings Bank. Unitil was recognized for donating office space to United Way for the past nine years.

United Way Youth Venture, a school-based program created by United Way of North Central Massachusetts and managed by Mount Wachusett Community College, awarded $1,000 scholarships to students for outstanding participation in the program.

Among the students were Gina M. DeMartino of Fitchburg, who attends Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School; Danny Barabara, who attends Leominster High School; and Greicy Mendoza of Fitchburg, who attends Mount Wachusett Community College.

Workers' Credit Union in Fitchburg recently promoted Jennifer L. Ledoux from compliance/quality control administrator to compliance officer. She has been with the credit union for 15 years and is a member of the Eastern Massachusetts Compliance Network and Massachusetts Credit Union League, and is also board treasurer of the St. Bernard's PTO.

Pamela M. Spann of Gardner was promoted from operations manager to assistant vice president, operations manager. She was been with the credit union for 14 years.



CUTLINE: (1) Mr. LaFond. (2) Doug Peterson, president and CEO of Workers' Credit Union and this year's United Way Campaign chairman, presents United Way Youth Venture scholarships to, left photo, Danny Barabara of Leominster; middle, Gina DeMartino of Fitchburg; and Greicy Mendoza of Fitchburg.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:May 10, 2013
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