HOLYOKE — Brightside for Families and Children recognized former NBA player and head coach Vinny Del Negro and his wife, Lynn, Thursday for their support of children who needed electronic devices to do schoolwork remotely.
They provided a financial donation that made it possible to purchase the items, Brightside and its parent Mercy Medical Center said in a news release. Thanks to their donation, and matching funds from an anonymous donor, Brightside was able to purchase iPads, Chromebooks, tablets, desks and chairs, and school supplies for the 120 children now receiving services.
“While COVID-19 has significantly impacted daily life for all of us, it poses unique challenges for children, particularly as they try to keep up with their studies,” Vinny Del Negro, a Springfield native, said in a prepared statement. “These electronic devices and other school supplies will help them engage and fully participate in remote learning, while easing some of the financial burden on their parents. I would also like to thank my sister Nina Marchese who got involved during COVID-19 to see this project come to fruition.”
Over the years, the Del Negros have stopped in Holyoke to tour Brightside offices and meet with clinicians and staff, according to the release. They have visited with children who receive services at Brightside, talking with them about their schoolwork and their plans for the future and holding basketball clinics for them.
“Vinny and Lynn’s compassion for children and families facing challenges is an extraordinary gift, and we are grateful that they are champions of our cause. They never forget why helping the children we serve is so important,” said Deborah Bitsoli, President, Mercy Medical Center and affiliates. “These electronic devices will make a tremendous difference in the lives of these children, especially now as they deal with the current increase in remote learning.”
“Brightside for Families and Children has a legacy of providing services to children in need for more than 140 years. And while the specific services we provide have transformed over the years to better align with the changing needs of the local community, our Mission has remained the same – to help children and their families overcome significant challenges through clinical support and stabilization services,” said Mark Paglia, Executive Director, Behavioral Health. “Vinny and Lynn not only appreciate the work that we do, they also show their support by helping us meet the needs of those we serve. These iPads, Chromebooks, tablets, and other school supplies will certainly help the recipients keep up with their studies.”
Del Negro played for North Carolina State University and in the NBA with Sacramento, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Golden State and Phoenix. A former head coach of the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Clippers, he now serves as an analyst for NBA TV and Turner Sports.