Celebrating Springfield's Biggest, Best and Brightest

We transition from summer to fall as only New England can do. The air changes. The leaves become vibrant, and the pace at the Spirit of Springfield moves in to high gear. We are fewer than two months away from the start of Bright Nights 24 th season and even closer to the City of Bright Nights Ball. The Springfield Park Department has already started the arduous task of rebulbing and touching up the displays and we are "Putting on the Ritz" for the November 10 gala at MGM Springfield
 
It is going to be a grand holiday season!

- Judy Matt 
President 

City of Bright Nights Ball Invitation
 
The City of Bright Nights Ball invitation will be arriving in mailboxes soon. If you were one of the fortunate to purchase a table, reserve a seat, or generously support the Spirit of Springfield as a sponsor, you will be receiving your invitations for the November 10 gala sponsored by and being held at MGM Springfield. The theme is "Putting on the Ritz."
 
The City of Bright Nights Ball reached capacity in May. This includes a record number of sponsors. In addition to MGM Springfield, supporters include Gleason Johndrow Landscaping sponsoring the Chairman's Reception in honor of Michael Mathis, MGM Springfield President and Chief Operating Officer. Golden Circle Sponsors are AECOM Tishman, American International College, Baystate Health, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, The Colvest Group, Ltd., Comcast, DataBind, Harry Grodsky & Co., Inc., Health New England, MassMutual, MP Group, New England Business Machine, PeoplesBank, Sheraton Springfield, Springfield Business Improvement District, Westfield Bank and Westfield State University.
 
There will also be some great auction items from Broadway tickets to 2019 U. S. Open Tennis Championship tickets.
Bright Nights 5K Sells Out in Record Time
 
Since its inception, the Bright Nights 5K Road Race has sold out. The first year, it took three weeks. This year, it took less than one hour. At 12:04am, 250 bib #'s had been secured. Before 12:55, the last spot was taken. Each runner paid $50 for the opportunity to run through the amazing lighting displays on Monday, November 26 (Rain date: Tuesday, November 27). They receive a souvenir long-sleeve shirt, enjoy a post-race soup supper and a ticket to return to Bright Nights to enjoy the lights in the comfort of their car.
 
It is with the support of Baystate Rehabilitation Care and Health New England with Freedom Credit Union, Springfield College, Westfield Bank and dedicated volunteers that the Spirit of Springfield is able to continue to present "Springfield's favorite race."
 
There will be prizes for winners in each age category, both male and female, and costume.
September 11th Monument Ground Breaking
 
F or months, Springfield's September 11 th Monument Finance Committee has been raising money for a lasting tribute to the first responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. On September 7, 2018, ground was broken in Riverfront Park. Shovels were put in the ground by more than 40 supporters, including Steve and Georgeanne Roberts and their son-in-law, Rolland Combe.
 
The Roberts family has contributed $25,000 to the monument to honor New York City Firefighter Brian Sweeney. Brian and Rolland were childhood friends. Brian introduced Rolland to Steve and Georgianne's daughter, Rachel Roberts Combe.
 
This is just one of the many stories connecting Springfield to the thousands of lives that were lost on September 11, 2001.
 
If you have a story to share, please post it Springfield's September 11th Monument Facebook page.
    

See more photos!
September 11 Image September 11th Remembrance Ceremony
 
To symbolize the response of the emergency crews on September 11, 2001, vehicles from the Springfield Fire and Police Departments and American Medical Response rolled out on to the apron of the Raymond Sullivan Public Safety Complex for Springfield's September 11  th Remembrance Ceremony. The soldiers from the 104 th Fighter Wing lowered the American flag to half-staff as Springfield Police Sergeant David Kane played taps and then the fire bell was wrung.
 
After greetings and remembrances by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Springfield Fire Commissioner B. J. Calvi, Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri, Colonel Peter Green, Commander of the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base, and David Pelletier, Massachusetts Regional Director for American Medical Response, a wreath was placed on the memorial. There was a rifle salute by the Springfield Police Department, taps was played by Joseph Pasternak, III, from Tazzini Funeral Home and the colors were retired.
 
This marked the 17th year the remembrance ceremony was held.
See more photos!
Happy Birthday Peter! 
 
Peter Lappin has served as the World's Largest Pancake Breakfast Chairman for decades. He has assisted with the line-up for the Parade of the Big Balloons. He has played a role in the success of so many Spirit of Springfield events, but there is more. He volunteers for Rays of Hope, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Holyoke St. Patrick's Day Parade, Springfield Veterans Activities Committee and so many other worthy causes.
 
Peter also served as a State Representative from Ward 7, Governor's Council 8th District, and aide to former Springfield Mayor Bill Sullivan.
 
As a Justice of the Peace, Peter has married hundreds, including Spirit of Springfield's Senior Program Coordinator Nicole Antonmarchi and her husband Luis.
 
Best wishes to Peter for a Happy Birthday this year and for many more!
BREAKING NEWS 

Supper with Santa

Now accepting reservations for Bright Nights' Supper with Santa. Order your tickets by November 9 and receive one free admission ticket to Bright Nights. Supper will be served Sunday, December 9 and 16 from 5pm to 7pm.

For more information visit brightnights.org .
In This Issue
City of Bright Nights Ball Invitation
Bright Nights 5K Sells Out in Record Time
September 11th Monument Groundbreaking
September 11th Remembrance Ceremony
Happy Birthday Peter!
Breaking News!
Guest Column - Peter Lappin
Guest Column

Peter Lappin,
Former Mass. State Representative/Longtime Spirit of Springfield Volunteer
 
I n the 50's, I was in the 101 st Airborne/187 Airborne Battle Groups. In the 60's, I worked for Springfield Mayor Frank Freedman. In the 70's, I served the Commonwealth as a State Representative and as a member of the Governor's Council. I was proud to serve the people.
 
Since leaving my position as the Director of the Western Massachusetts Office of Economic Development, I continued my support of the community as a volunteer. For nearly three decades, I worked side-by-side with the Spirit of Springfield as the Chairman of the World's Largest Pancake Breakfast, and the Parade of the Big Balloons, Spirit of Springfield Golf Classic and the Bright Nights Road Race. When Judy asks, I am always quick to respond "of course."
 
I am equally proud of my service to many other organizations including John Doleva and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, St. Patrick's Day Road Race, Veterans Activities Committee and so many others. This month, I'll be with my friends at Baystate Health to support the Rays of Hope.
 
Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes and many years of love and support.
FUNDRAISER
UPDATE
GOAL:    $300,000
RAISED: $263,520

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The Spirit of Springfield is a private, non-profit corporation
which produces high-quality, large-scale events in the city of Springfield.
Our mission is to promote community events and encourage civic pride.