Giving Back

Letters to the Editor

Thanks to Everyone Who Made Washington School’s Annual Volleyball Game a Success


 The Schoenemann Family and I extend our sincerest thanks to everyone who made Washington School’s Annual Volleyball Game a resounding success. We are so appreciative that you would chose to honor Greta Schoenemann in this way. It’s especially meaningful because Greta’s sister Elise was a Washington School student. Thanks to your generosity $2,205 will be donated to Greta’s Run! This donation enables new recreation programs for young adults with special needs at the Westfield Area Y.

Mrs. Liz Reilly and Mr. Mike Burgess did an outstanding job organizing the event! Thank you to Dr. Perry, Michelle Pierce, Washington PTO, and helping hands: Sally Heyder, Carol Fahrenthold, Palma Lewis and Susan McClelland. A big thank you to all Washington School fifth graders and staff who coached and served up some heat on the volleyball court: Christina O'Connor, Mike Burgess, Denise Friebely, Kerri Ponzio, Vin Manalo (our computer technician), Trisha Honeywell, Corrie Pantow, Jeff Stier, Matt Cognetti, Christine Olencik, Karen Geddis, Liz Reilly, Liz Martin, Michelle Muslerian, Nicole Stevenson, Bridget Looney, Andy Perry, Cathy Loughlin, Christine Culver, Emily Goldstein and Joanne Ugarte.

Washington School’s Annual Volleyball Game meant so much to the Shoenemann family and its proceeds will profoundly impact the community. Young adults with special needs begin aging out of recreational, social and athletic programs when they turn 18. From then on programming is non-existent, hours away, or very expensive. It’s the mission of Greta’s Run to raise funds which alleviate this burden, creating new programs for 18 to 26 year olds.

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Read a recent story in TAP about  the upcoming free program sampler that Greta's Run made possible:

It’s my pleasure to create and coordinate these programs at the Y for people like my friend Greta’s sister, Elise. Thank you for supporting and believing in this effort to benefit our community. Everyone, regardless of ability, deserves the opportunity to be healthy and happy. You’ve done a good thing, and helped a great cause!

For this, Washington Elementary School will be featured on the Greta’s Run shirt as a 2014 sponsor! See you September 14th for the second annual Greta’s Run 5k Run.Walk.Roll.

To sign up for the program or for more information please contact me at

Greta's Run is a 5k Run/Walk & Fundraiser founded in memory of Greta Schoenemann, a WHS freshman who died from injuries sustained on 9/11/02 when a tree limb fell on her and a table of friends as they ate lunch. Founded by Greta’s childhood friends Ben Nanna and Jayne Ruotolo, all proceeds will benefit new and existing special needs programs at the Westfield Area Y, a gesture that would be close to Greta’s heart because her sister Elise has Cerebral Palsy. To learn more about Greta Schoenemann or Greta's Run, visit the website.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

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