Abner Gibbs receives gifts from the community

Elm Electric’s Executive Assistant Rose Daley and Human Respurces Manager Deana Casamento haul in 50 bags of donated food with help from Abner Gibbs’ Nate Neveu. (Photo by Amy Porter)

WESTFIELD – Abner Gibbs Elementary School celebrated the holidays early Dec. 16 as donations came in from two different sources.
Elm Electrical’s Human Resources Manager Deana Casamento and Executive Assistant Rose Daley brought in 50 bags of donated food from the company in reusable totes. Another 150 bags were donated earlier to the Westfield Food Pantry.

Casamento said at the company holiday party held at Tekoa Country Club Dec. 14, employees lined up to fill the bags with the food items the company had purchased. They also had a raffle for the company comptroller’s 2001 donated Crown Victoria, which raised $330 from employees to pay off the balance of school lunches owed to Abner Gibbs.

Deana Casamento, Abner Gibbs Principal Stacy Burgess, Rose Daley and Acting Mayor Ralph J. Figy with donated food. (Photo by Amy Porter)

“Our employees are great; the company is great,” said Daley.

“This is a really huge help,” said Principal Stacy Burgess, who added that families come in all the time for food from the food pantry in the school.

Community volunteer Susan Figy, who coordinates the food pantry at Westfield Technical Academy, said any items not needed by Abner Gibbs will be distributed to food pantries in other schools. Figy also brought 10 of the bags to Our House, a residence for homeless teens.

Knitting group members Barbara Morrill and Karen Powers with Abner Gibbs Principal Stacy Burgess. (Photo by Amy Porter)

On the heels of that donation, Barbara Morrill and Karen Powers, who participate in a knitting group, brought in a couple of boxes of toiletries, hats, mittens and gloves. Morrill said rather than exchanging gifts with each other this year, they brought in the donations for Abner Gibbs.

“This shows the generosity of the community. How grateful we are for this great city,” Burgess said.

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