Goal of 30 Million Dollars to be Raised to Enhance Museum
Springfield, Mass. — Early in 2015, Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Board of Governors, announced the launch of the Basketball Hall of Fame’s “It’s Time to Step Forward” Capital Campaign to support the renovation of the museum and solidify the Hall’s endowment. In the nearly three years since, $25 million has been pledged, primarily from members of the national basketball community. Today, the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation announces its gift of 75 thousand dollars to the campaign, joining several other Massachusetts-based entities in support of the Hall.
Located in the Birth City of Basketball, Springfield, Massachusetts, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage. The Hall of Fame’s iconic domed building opened in 2002 with the support of the Legacy Chicopee Savings Bank, and serves as the game’s mecca hosting over 225,000 basketball enthusiasts in the museum and over 1 million in the Hall of Fame complex annually.
"We are so pleased to include the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation as one of the local contributors who have supported the Hall's Capital Campaign. The overall response and support we have received towards this campaign is a testament to the overwhelming growth and maturing of the Hall over the last five decades,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Generosity from our donors, like the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, allows us to continue to honor and preserve the game at a prestigious level and to provide the best possible visitor experience at the Hall of Fame Museum. Revitalizing our facility will only benefit the city of Springfield and surrounding areas for generations to come.”
“Our entire board couldn’t be more pleased to support the endeavors of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. This local landmark is an important part of our proud heritage here in Western Mass and maintaining its legacy is vital to our community,” said Bill Wagner, president of the Foundation.
With the monies raised, the museum will receive several updates to its infrastructure over the next few years, including a new “1891 Gallery” that will represent the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation and showcase the origins and importance on the game, Dr. Naismith and the city of Springfield. Proposed technological renovations at the Hall of Fame will also engage the millions of basketball fans who cannot travel to Springfield through digital media access to the museum’s exhibits and inspirational stories.
The Capital Campaign has been silently making headway over the last two years with generous backing from many in the global basketball community including Junior Bridgeman, Jerry Colangelo, Grant Hill, Mannie Jackson, Michael Jordan, Phil Knight, Nancy Lieberman, George Raveling, Adam Silver and Elaine Wynn as well as several NBA ownership groups. Notable coaches that have already stepped forward to support the cause include, Steve Alford, Geno Auriemma, Jim Boeheim, Larry Brown, Jim Calhoun, John Calipari, Rick Carlisle, Billy Donovan, Mike Krzyzewski, George Raveling, Bill Self, John Thompson, Roy Williams and others. Locally, initial significant support of the project has come from the MassMutual Foundation, the Davis Foundation, Excel Dryer, Florence Savings Bank and Freedom Credit Union as well as board members Frank Colaccino and Jim Vinick.
Since the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened its doors in 1959, it has operated as a 501 c 3 not for profit organization relying on the generosity of others to preserve the legacy of the game. To learn more about the “It’s Time to Step Forward” Capital Campaign, visit www.hoophall.com.
About the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation
The Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation was established and funded in 2006 through a gift of stock, valued then at $5.5 million, from Chicopee Bancorp, Inc. upon the successful conversion of Legacy Chicopee Savings Bank to a publicly traded company. The Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation is a private foundation that grants funding to qualified 501c3 organizations serving the cities and towns of Chicopee, Ludlow, South Hadley, Ware and West Springfield and their immediate surrounding communities.
In its eleven years of operation, the Foundation has donated nearly $5 million back into our local communities and the value of the Foundation’s stock holdings, now Western New England Bancorp, Inc., have increased to just over $10 million. The Foundation has also awarded 71 scholastic scholarships since 2007 totaling nearly $250,000 to eligible high school graduates from within the communities served by the Foundation.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.
For more information:
Visit us on the web: www.hoophall.com
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… or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA