Frozen Yogurt 5K Raises More Than $25,000

More than 180 runners and walkers gathered in downtown Northampton on August 25 for Gándara Center’s 5th Annual Frozen Yogurt 5K Run/Walk. The weather was beautiful, the racers were ready, and the GoBerry Frozen Yogurt was delicious. The event raised more than $25,000 to directly benefit the individuals we serve, to raise awareness of mental health and addiction disorders, and to put an end to the stigma surrounding these often misunderstood illnesses.

“I enjoyed the race,” said runner Rebecca Anderholm. “I’m not a fan of hills, but they always push me harder. We periodically pick races for local organizations to support good causes. We’re come from Orange, MA and we hope we can make a difference by giving our donations and getting in a little better shape.”

Her running partner, ZsaZsa Brunelle, agreed. “I met a lot of great people, the race was well-put together, and it’s a great city to run in,” she said.

The overall winner of the 5K was Melissa Hine, who finished the race with a time of 18:43.

Congratulations to all of this year’s medal winners:

Men 13-54: Michael Giles (19:05), Vee Bunn (19:49), Michael Shen (20:11)

Women 13-54: Melissa Hine (18:43), Rachel Lee (20:13), Abigail Touhey (20:24)

Boys 12 and under: Evan Anderson (22:13), Adam Rokicki (24:29), Ben Emond (30:43)

Girls 12 and under: Sarah Fardal (26:31), Maggie Goff (30:11), Bella LaFleur (42:01)

Men 55 and over: Anthony Lee (24:21), Herm Eichstaedt (26:48), James Merlin (28:26)

Women 55 and over: Laurie Redmond (30:39), Barbara Ruchames (31:39), Marta Carlson (33:50)

Gándara Center would like to thank this year’s race sponsors
(Donations and sponsorships are still coming in!):

Media Sponsor:
WWLP-22News/CW Springfield
Presenting Sponors:
Insurance Company of New England
Big Y
Marcotte Ford
W.B. Mason
Country Bank
Apothecare Pharmacy
Allied Floor & Paint
Skoler, Abbott & Presser, PC
This End Up
Whittlesey PC
Road Race Signage:
CopyCat Printshop
Law Office of Farber & Lindley
Sideline Cheerleaders:
Cowl’s Building Supply
Eastern Electronics & Security

Special thanks to:
MassAppeal Host Danny New (event emcee)
Mansfield Paper (bottled water)
Starbucks (ice, as well as coffee for volunteers)
Stage Rentals of Western Mass (rental discount)

And an ultra-special thank-you to our 15-plus volunteers!

For any questions regarding the event—or for those interested in having their business sponsor next year’s race­—please contact Jade Rivera-McFarlin at 413-296-6214 or

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By |August 28th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Frozen Yogurt 5K Raises More Than $25,000

View Our August Newsletter Online!

Gándara Center’s August Newsletter is now online—and we have plenty of video.

Christina Dillon, Peer Mentor at our Impact Center in Springfield, and Jade Rivera-McFarlin, our Director of Marketing and Fund Development, were live on Western Mass News on August 7 to talk about the 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament hosted by the Impact Center on Tuesday August 20. Speaking of Western Mass News, Jayson Sanchez, our Recruitment Marketing Specialist, was live the program on July 27 to talk about our job fair on August 3 at the Holyoke Mall.

You can also view the video of Eversource Energy at Camp STAR Angelina in Forest Park on July 17 presenting a $1,000 check to our Aventura! Summer Camp Scholarship Program. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno was on hand, along with plenty of our campers.

Thanks to all who donated blood at the Red Cross Blood Drive at our 80 Commercial Street offices on July 16. We have video of Lavagn Claudio, senior family partner at Gándara Center, telling us why blood drives are so crucial.

Other videos: Elisandra Martinez, Peer Support Specialist at the Gándara Outpatient Clinic, talks about why it’s so important to know your hepatitis status, and our #GándaraAtWork series continues with a profile of Lara Quiles, supervisor of or CSP/RSN Programs.

And there’s plenty more, including a story on the proud history of our agency.

View the newsletter at

By |August 13th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on View Our August Newsletter Online!

We’re Marching in the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade on September 15

The 2019 Springfield Puerto Rican Parade is coming up on Sunday, September 15!

As a culturally sensitive organization, Gándara Center wants to represent in a big way. That being said, this year we are organizing a Gándara Puerto Rican Parade planning committee. Employees: if you are interested in being part of the planning team, please come out on Thursday, August 8 at 11:30 a.m. to our 80 Commercial Street office for the organizational meeting.

Those interested in marching with the Gándara Center on parade day please click here to register.

By |August 7th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on We’re Marching in the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade on September 15

11 Gándara Center Employees Mark Milestones in August

Some Gándara Family commemorations: below are some noteworthy work anniversaries of employees at the agency in the month of August:

20 Years
Victor Ortiz, Fort Pleasant (Springfield)

10 Years
Jesse Jones, Fort Pleasant (Springfield)
Tarrell Sutton, Alternative Options (Chicopee)

5 Years
Carlos Aguilar, Information Technology (Boston)
Luis Crespo, Continuum (Chicopee)
Joanne Lucas, Residential Shared Living
Saul Martinez, Therapeutic Services (Boston)
Shenique Rosario, Chicopee STARR
Cheri Ruth, Holyoke STARR
Donna St. John, Residential Shared Living
Borja Vazquez-Roso, Therapeutic Services (Boston)

Congratulations everyone!

By |August 7th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 11 Gándara Center Employees Mark Milestones in August

We Need Volunteers for Our Frozen Yogurt 5K on August 25!

We want runners. But we also need volunteers—because they play a crucial part in one of the most exciting Sundays of the year: August 25. That’s when downtown Northampton becomes a road race hub as Gándara Center’s 5th Annual Frozen Yogurt 5K helps us to raise awareness of mental health and addiction disorders and to help put an end to the stigma surrounding these often misunderstood illnesses that affect so many of our friends and families.

We need volunteers for the water stations to keep our runners hydrated, and to help at our registration table. We are also recruiting volunteers to be race monitors and be a part of our setup and take-down crew.

Membership in our volunteer brigade has its privileges: you get a free Frozen Yogurt from GoBerry and you get a free Frozen Yogurt 5K t-shirt! And we have a lot of fun.

Attention Runners!

There is no better way to burn calories and get cardio exercise than training for a 5K! Our 5K! The race begins 9:00 a.m. in downtown Northampton.

Register here! Kids 12 and under run for free, and all runners—and walkers—get a free GoBerry Frozen Yogurt. Leashed pets are also welcome to run for free!

Registration on race day will be available beginning at 8:00 a.m. Credit and debit cards will be accepted. The staging area is on the Courthouse Lawn across from the Calvin Theater. For GPS purposes please use 19 King Street Northampton, MA.

Our 5K is officially timed by RaceWire. Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each of the following categories: Male, Female, male 12 and under, female 12 and under, male 50 and over, and female 50 and over.

For any questions regarding the event, contact Contact Jade Rivera-McFarlin at or 413-296-6214.

Register online. Read about last year’s race.

2 volunteers

By |August 13th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on We Need Volunteers for Our Frozen Yogurt 5K on August 25!

Donor Profile: Bill Trudeau, President and CEO of Insurance Center of New England

When Bill Trudeau was considering having his company, Insurance Center of New England (ICNE), be a presenting sponsor of the Gándara Center’s Frozen Yogurt 5K in Northampton—after being a gold sponsor for three straight years— it didn’t take him long to declare an emphatic “yes!”

The race, which will take place on August 25 at 9:00 a.m., is raising funds to provide culturally sensitive services for children, adults, and families throughout the region.

“After all, it’s for a great cause,” he said. “One of our core values at ICNE is ‘Always do the right thing,’ and that means being actively involved in the community.”

Bill has always felt compelled to give back to the community, taking leadership positions with such organizations as the American Red Cross of the Pioneer Valley (board member and former board chair), Hilltop Child & Adult Services (board president), the Springfield Museums (corporator), the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County (board member), Wilbraham United Church (governing board chair), and Hispanic Resources Inc. (board member), which provides housing for the mentally challenged primarily in the Hispanic community.

For Bill, this sense of social responsibility is deeply rooted in his family and in his childhood experience with the Boy Scouts, charity work in high school, and chairing the philanthropy committee of his fraternity, Alpha Chi Rho, at UMass Amherst, where he graduated with a BA in General Business/Finance from the university’s Isenberg School of Management. “I’ve been very fortunate in my life, and, like the old saying, much is expected from those whom much is given,” he said. Through his church, Wilbraham United, he has gotten involved in several mission outreach activities. Through Link to Libraries, a western Massachusetts non-profit that collects and distributes new and gently used books, he has been a volunteer reader for elementary school students at the Sumner Avenue School in Springfield for the past three years.

He especially likes getting involved in the Frozen Yogurt 5K because not only because of what it supports, but also because of the fun mood it creates in downtown Northampton. “It’s fantastic seeing a lot of the Gándara folks at the event, including Henry East-Trou,” the Center’s recently retired executive director, he said. “Every time I talk to Henry I get the feeling of someone who has worked feverishly to deliver for his clients for decades.”

Bill joined Insurance Center of New England in 1990, finding his career “by accident” two months after graduating from college—at the time he wanted to be in sales, but trained for three years in a specialty program in insurance for banks. He became a partner and owner in 2001, has served as the president and CEO since 2012, and today he handles a diverse group of casualty property insurance accounts. Bill was named to BusinessWest magazine’s 40 Under Forty in 2008. “I was 39 years old—I just got in under the wire,” he said with a laugh.

The East Longmeadow native lives in Wilbraham with his wife, Tammy, and two daughters, 22 and 19.

By |August 5th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Donor Profile: Bill Trudeau, President and CEO of Insurance Center of New England

We’re Having a Job Fair at the Holyoke Mall on August 3

Looking for a new job?

Come on down to the Holyoke Mall on Saturday, August 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for our job fair on the upper level near Target. Bring your resume and get a live interview right on the spot.

Jayson Sanchez, our Recruitment Marketing Specialist, was live on Western Mass News on July 29 to discuss this incredible opportunity. “We encourage candidates to dress to impress,” said Jayson.

We’re hiring, for example, Therapeutic Mentors and a LGBTQ Program Director. Check out our job listings for more details.

View Jayson’s segment on Western Mass News.

By |August 1st, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on We’re Having a Job Fair at the Holyoke Mall on August 3