SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News is part of the largest local television company in the United States, Nexstar Media Group, which this year is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Thursday, we observe Nexstar’s annual Founder’s Day of Caring.
Founders Day of Caring was established in 2016 by Nexstar founder, chairman, and CEO Perry Sook. Every year during the third week of June, employees at each of Nexstar’s 116 television markets work with nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in their local communities.
Members of the 22News team will be at four locations Thursday to perform volunteer work: the Ronald McDonald House in Springfield, Chicopee Memorial State Park, Robinson State Park in Agawam, and YMCA Camp Shepard in Westfield.
Robinson State Park in Agawam
22News picked up litter along the scenic trails and public areas of Robinson State Park to make the park even more enjoyable for visitors.
Andy Gloss is the Robinson Park supervisor. He told 22News, “We’re a 150-acre state park, 5 miles along the Westfield River. Our main focus is our hiking and biking trails, very open to mountain biking. We do have a picnic area and a small beach area that accommodates small families.”
22News State House Reporter Jodi Reed came to western Massachusetts Thursday to help out. She said, “I think it’s particularly important to me because I’m always at the State House, you really never get to see me in the community and I never get to explore western Massachusetts, so I’m thrilled to be here, I hope to see some people that watch 22News along our way.”
Chicopee Memorial State Park
Chicopee Memorial State Park was another location across western Massachusetts that 22News employees spent the day picking up trash. Some of us who are on the air and those who you don’t get to see on TV all volunteered time Thursday to give back.
“Our motto is Working for You and I think that’s important outside of the job. So for us being here in the community, helping to pick up this public place where people where people come to enjoy is really important and meaningful to the community,” said 22News Anchor Ciara Speller.
Ronald McDonald House in Springfield
22News volunteer crews went out to the Ronald McDonald House of Springfield. That’s where 22News Storm Team Meteorologist Brian Lapis and Mass Appeal Hosts Patrick Berry and Alanna Flood joined other employees to get in on the volunteer work.
“#WeLiveHere, so as a member of the community for 25 years now, I think it’s important that we’re in towns, talking with folks and doing this sort of work and not just one day a year,” said Brian Lapis.
At the Ronald McDonald House, they did some heavy lifting, bringing in new, donated furniture along with washing the outside of the building.
YMCA Greater Westfield’s Camp Shepard
At YMCA of Greater Westfield’s Camp Shepard, WWLP crews worked to improve the grounds just in time for the return of their summer camps.
In years past, 22News has held shredding events and worked with Open Pantry Community Services to prepare meals for hundreds of people.
By participating in these volunteer efforts, we hope it can inspire people in the community and help others wherever possible.