News

Spencer Exchange Club Helps Preserve Prouty Memorial Park

prouty_memorial_parkAs Published in Spencer New Leader on June 10, 2016
SPENCER — Veterans and their families visiting Isaac Prouty Park this past Memorial Day were thrilled to see the upgrades made possible by local officials and residents. Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Anne Gobi, State Rep. Donald Berthiaume and State Rep. Peter Durant, the Spencer Exchange Club was awarded $150,000 from the Mass. Department of Veterans Services. All of the funds went toward improving Isaac Prouty Park at the town center, where veterans have been visiting war monuments for decades.

The main focus of the project was to preserve 13 maple trees that were planted at the park several decades ago, each one honoring a Spencer resident who gave his life in World War I. Many of the markers commemorating those soldiers went missing over the years, and the grant funds will allow brand new markers to be placed. Additionally, several trees that were compromising the integrity of the World War I memorial trees have been removed, as well as trees along the sidewalk that obstructed residents’ view of the park. Many residents didn’t even know the park existed, Spencer Exchange Club members said, but this project should go a long way toward increasing exposure. “This has been a great project. It’s so important to remember those who gave their lives to protect our freedoms,” said Exchange Club member Pat George. “This is a nice place for all veterans and their families to visit.” These latest park renovations represented the culmination of several years of hard work.

Exchange Club member and veteran Gary Herl first brought up the idea six years ago, but the project never would have been possible without the assistance from local legislators. “When we received the state money, we were really able to get the park looking good,” George said. The project also included the restoration of the Civil War monument at the center of the park, in addition to new signage posted at the front along Route 9. All work is expected to be completed by June 30. For elected officials, it has been a thrill to see the project come to fruition. “Prouty Park has served as a memorial to our fallen veterans. Unfortunately, too few people are aware of its existence,” Gobi said. “I was glad to work on the initial funding and then to advocate to have the funds restored. I appreciate the efforts of the Spencer Exchange Club on starting the discussions to revitalize the park. The collaboration with local veterans and the town will ensure that any modifications to Prouty Park will result in a fitting and lasting tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Members of several town committees and boards were thanked for their contributions to the project, including Exchange Club member, Arnie Arsenault, and American Legion members Scott Conner and Gary Herl (both of whom also serve on the Exchange Club). Additionally, Town Administrator Adam Gaudette, Selectman Tony Pepe, Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Robert Churchey, and Utilities and Facilities Director Steven Tyler also played vital roles.

Click here for latest press release from Spencer Exchange Club.

Click here for more information on Isaac Lothrop Prouty Memorial Park.

Exchange Club President Michael Befford assist World War II Army veteran William Laventure (center) and Navy veteran Reino Lammi (right) with the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Exchange Club President Michael Befford assist World War II Army veteran William Laventure (center) and Navy veteran Reino Lammi (right) with the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Exchange Club members pose in front of the new Isaac L. Prouty Memorial Park sign.

Exchange Club members pose in front of the new Isaac L. Prouty Memorial Park sign.

Local veterans, Exchange Club members and various government representatives in attendance.

Local veterans, Exchange Club members and various government representatives in attendance.

Warren Monette of New England Landscaping and Construction receiving a certificate of appreciation for the work he did on the project.

Warren Monette of New England Landscaping and Construction receiving a certificate of appreciation for the work he did on the project.

Paul Berthiaume of R & M Electrical Contractors, who donated the labor to install the electrical service and lighting in the park, receiving a certificate of appreciation.

Paul Berthiaume of R & M Electrical Contractors, who donated the labor to install the electrical service and lighting in the park, receiving a certificate of appreciation.

11 year old Jackie Flavin singing the National Anthem.

11 year old Jackie Flavin singing the National Anthem.

Exchange Club President Michael Bedford speaking at the ceremony.

Exchange Club President Michael Bedford speaking at the ceremony.

APRIL 2012 ATTA-BOY AWARD WINNER

SPENCER, Mass., April 24, 2012 —Congratulations to Dan Henderson for his immediate contributions to the club. A great addition to our organization.

 

 

 

 

February 2012 ATTA-BOY Award Winner

SPENCER, Mass., Febuary 28, 2012 —Congratulations to Ray Auger for his excellent “Financial Reports” throughout the years!

 

 


January 2012 Atta-Boy Award Winner

SPENCER, Mass., January 10, 2012 —Congratulations to Gary Herl for his “Clubhouse on Ice” fundraiser work.

 

 

 

D.P.H.S. Honor Society Dinner


SPENCER, Mass., May 31, 2011 — The Exchange Club of Spencer held their annual Honor Student Dinner at Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, in recognition of this year’s David Prouty High School National and/or Senior Honor Society students. Recipients are selected for their outstanding achievements in Scholarship, Service, Leadership and Character during their high school career. This year’s recipients are Krysta R. Ambruson, Jillian A. Baron, Ashley E. Beahn, Allison J. Belton, Kaitlin M. Bryant, Brittany A. Butler, Kayla E. Clogston, Christina E. Coleman, Alexandrea D. Dustin, Christina J. Fish, Michael R. Grasis, Zachary M. Grasis, Alyssa L. Kowal, Zachary T. Louison, Daniel D. Martin, Ryan E. Ostrout, Aimee L. Provencher, Victoria E. Sanborn, Sarah E. Start, Tyler B. Stearns, Jennifer R. Thurlow, Elizabeth A. Tobin, Alysia M. Vandal, Laura A. Webber, and Michelle A. Wozniak.

The Exchange Club is an all volunteer group who each year sets goals to help support worthwhile local events such as Winter Coats for Needy Children, the Spencer Police Association, Toys for Tots, Toys for Joy, the DPHS/Spencer Exchange Club Scholarship, East Brookfield Fireworks, Spencer Little League plus many more.

Exchange is a national service organization for men and women who want to serve their community, develop leadership skills and enjoy new friendships. Exchange is made up of more than 800 clubs and nearly 28,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

 

Elm Hill Center

SPENCER, Mass., May 25, 2011 — On Tuesday, May 24th, The Exchange Club of Spencer presented Bonnie Keefe-Layden, CEO of Rehabilitative Resources, Inc. (RRI) of Sturbridge, with a check for $250 for supplies for their affiliate, Elm Hill Center located in Brookfield, MA.

The Elm Hill Center is a non-profit human services agency located on nationally registered, historic Elm Hill Farm. They provide inclusive programs for all people including those with special needs through hands on activities using horticulture, horsemanship and the arts. Elm Hill Farm, built in the 1700s, was one of the largest working farms in the region. One of its cows, “Elsie the Cow,” was the face of Borden Company, one of the most recognizable product symbols in America in the mid-20th century. The farm was property of the Blanchard Means Family. Following the death of Blanchard Means, Mrs. Means became concerned about the future of the family farm and envisioned it as a preservation place where the public and developmentally disabled individuals, like her daughter Louise, would enjoy its natural beauty. Louise still lives at Elm Hill, as do several other adults living with developmental disabilities.

The Exchange Club is an all volunteer group who each year sets goals to help support worthwhile local events such as Winter Coats for Needy Children, the Spencer Police Association, Toys for Tots, Toys for Joy, the DPHS/Spencer Exchange Club Scholarship, East Brookfield Fireworks, Spencer Little League plus many more.

Exchange is a national service organization for men and women who want to serve their community, develop leadership skills and enjoy new friendships. Exchange is made up of more than 800 clubs and nearly 28,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

 

2011 Citizen of the Year

The Spencer Exchange Club presented its Citizen of the Year Award on May 10, 2011 to Nancy Andrews of Spencer. The event was held at Salem Cross in West Brookfield.

This is the 8th year that the Spencer Exchange Club has given out the Citizen of the Year Award to a worthy group or individual who volunteers their time and efforts to our community. Past recipients of this award include: Dick Fiske, area Toys for Tots volunteers, volunteers from Mary, Queen of the Rosary Food Pantry, Harriet Gobi, Donna Flannery, Stein Berthiaume, and Carol and Bob McPherson.

We had many nominees this year and one stood out above the rest.

The Exchange Club presented Mrs. Andrews with a plaque and Sen. Steve Brewer and Rep. Anne Gobi, both members of the Spencer Exchange Club, were on hand to present citations from the Statehouse and House of Representatives.

Nancy Andrews has greatly improved the lives of children for most of her life. She has been actively involved in the Worcester County 4-H both on the local and state levels for 59 years. Nancy was a Club leader where she helped with cooking, craft and sewing clubs and the Happy Hay Shakers Dairy Club. She sat on the 4-H Advisory Council, including 20 years as its president and treasurer.

Nancy was the former chairman of the Worcester County 4-H Fair since the 1970’s and also served as co-chairman for the 4-H auction which was one of the largest fundraisers for the Worcester County 4-H program.

Nancy also volunteered her time as Spencer’s recreation director arranging programs and designing trips for school age children to senior citizens. Nancy’s dedication to this program resulted in many programs for Spencer youths. Nancy and her family have been a part of the Spencer Fair for decades. She was the first woman president of the Spencer Agricultural Association and continues on the Fair Committee today. The Spencer Fair has a very special place in her heart because that is where she met her husband, Sonny, when they were both showing cows. Her family’s involvement spans five generations.

They opened up Andrews Farm to many kindergarten outings so that area children could experience how life is lived on a farm.

Nancy and Sonny were married for over 50 years until his passing in 2006 and they raised six daughters. Their children and grandchildren are active in their communities, the 4-H Program and or the Spencer Fair keeping the tradition of giving back to the community alive.

This is the 4-H pledge for those of you who are not familiar with it…

“I pledge my head to clearer thinking… my heart to greater loyalty… my hands to larger service… and my health to better living… for my club, my community, my country and my world.”

Mrs. Andrews leads by example and we are grateful to have her in our community.

 

Eagle Scout


SPENCER, Mass., February 14, 2011 — The Exchange Club of Spencer presented Eagle Scout recipient, Lawrence Coggeshall, with a gift to honor this high achievement. Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts program requiring the recipient to demonstrate both leadership and a commitment to duty within his community.

The Exchange Club is an all volunteer group who each year sets goals to help support worthwhile local events such as Winter Coats for Needy Children, the Spencer Police Association, Toys for Tots, Toys for Joy, the DPHS/Spencer Exchange Club Scholarship, East Brookfield Fireworks, Spencer Little League plus many more.

Exchange is a national service organization for men and women who want to serve their community, develop leadership skills and enjoy new friendships. Exchange is made up of more than 800 clubs and nearly 28,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

 

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