Councilor Sullivan: Whip City Update

Hello, Whip City. I am not going to mention how cold it is outside or how much snow we have on the ground. Instead, I am going to stay positive and look forward to warm things to come. I can’t promise balmy weather, but I can predict a festive time as Westfield marches in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Holyoke.
I wanted to recognize all of the award winners, especially the newest Colleen and her court, who will be leading us along the parade route. Congratulations to my friend and colleague Jim Adams, who was selected to be the 2015 Parade Marshall. What a great selection and honor for Jim and I know how much he is looking forward to marching the entire route. I also want to mention Irishwoman of the year, Maura Hurley and Irishman of the year, John Molloy, and congratulate them on their prestigious honors. Lastly, I want to give kudos to our new Colleen, Kristen Nicole Bonsall and her court. I wish you the best of luck atop yet another fantasic and assumed award winning Sons of Erin float. Westfield always has a great turnout for the parade route and after this winter, we will all need to be outside enjoying the day.
There are so many great things happening in our schools right now, I think they need recognition and applause. I think Westfield Vocational Techinical School has garnered most of the newsprint lately and with good reason. It is easy for us to pay attention to the athletic successes of all three high schools. However, we also have other areas that are cause for celebration. WVTHS recently acknowledged the school’s zero percent dropout rate for the school year. Way to go students, faculty, and administration. Also, the school is celebrating the brand new aviation program. I know the entire City Council is excited to assist and support the project as it moves forward. The list of local volunteers to the Aviation Advisory Council is indeed impressive. I also want to recognize all of Wesfield High School’s Science Fair participants. This project has become so large and successful over the past few years. I have witnessed the time commitments, innovative ideas and especially the enthusiastice student participation. It was another successful year and you all deseve our applause. I want to give a quick shout out to the talented actors and actresses of the WHS One Act Plays. It is amazing how much talent we have right here in Westfield. The last piece of school news is to mention the 62nd annual Pops Concert on March 13th and 14th at the Westfield gymnasium. It’s a very affordable night out and a great way to give support to Pat Kennedy and his student musicians.
I have already given my personal good bye to Father Brian McGrath from St. Mary’s Parish. That doesn’t feel like enough though, so I am going to do it again. I have had the great privelege to attend many events with Father Brian and he is always positive, supportive and gracious no matter what the circumstances are. He is an educator, leader and community icon. It was clear soon after he arrived that the Diocese would need his tlaents in other endeavors and St. Mary’s was lucky to retain him for so many years. Gentlemen like him do not come around often and Greater Westfield is going miss him. Good luck in Agawam – they are so lucky to have you.
I had the opportunity to walk through the new senior center and get a first-hand look at what we can expect for our seniors. I am so excited for Director Tina Gorman and her entire staff. The Westfield senior citizens have waited so long for a place they can call their own. This builidng is going to be such an asset to the communtiy as a whole. I don’t want to say it has been worth the wait because it seems we have been discussing this for so long but wow – what a center this is going to be. I’m proud I played a smaill role in making this a reality. If you have the ability to donate to their financial goal please contact Tina and she will direct you in the right direction.
This article may be coming a little late, but I wanted to wish good luck to all athletes competing this week in tournaments, especially my two favorites, Westfield High hockey and the Westfield State University equestrian team.
Thank you Westfield for your winter patience and keep thinking warm thoughts.
Brian Sullivan
City Council President

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not the staff, editor, or publisher of this publication.

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