|Springfield Learning Center Celebrates 10 Years|
In April 2008, the Springfield, MA SeniorNet Computer Learning Center at the Springfield Jewish Community Center celebrated its 10th anniversary with an event featuring awards, entertainment by several Ms. Senior Massachusetts contestants and winners, and refreshments.
Top photo of volunteers recognizes for years of service (click HERE to see larger photo, then click your Browser's Back button to return):
Front, L to R: Dolores Aarons, Salena Blake, Ida Salit, Diane O’Donnell, Fredi Rosenthal, Lucy Graziano, Ben Rosenthal. Back, L to R: Elliot Markham, Rose O’Neill, Lucy Ashe, Warren Clark, Rene Dube, Ernest Blake, Ron Mader, Jean Vivian. Missing from photo: Harold Frey, Beverly Goldberg, Sy Weiner
During the celebration, the Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Elliot Markham, Lab Manager, for his troubleshooting and fine work in keeping the computers and other equipment in good working condition.
Also, the Shirley Rakus Memorial Award, named in honor of a late devoted volunteer, was presented to Warren Clark for his loyalty and dedication to the Learning Center over the last 10 years.
Volunteers who have served for one, five and seven years were recognized, with special recognition to 18 volunteers who have been with the Learning Center for the entire 10 years of its existence.
The Center offered its first class in January 1998. The volunteers, approximately 30, had been trained by John Bonilla, now retired as the Northeast Regional Consultant. The Center Coordinator, Sandy Krasner, continues as Coordinator today, and is now also the Northeast Regional Consultant.
Opening with 8 computers, the Center’s waiting lists grew quickly to over 500, and it became necessary almost immediately to enlarge. With the help of a grant from the Jewish Endowment Foundation and several generous donations from individual donors as well, the number of computers was increased to 16, and the number of volunteers increased to 80.
Over the years, five to seven courses have been offered every month. While the waiting list is no longer at 500 as it was some years ago, there are still many individuals who are interested in taking a course, and there are currently 60 volunteers who support the Learning Center.