To be named one of BusinessWest's Difference Maker was very humbling.

I was in great company and touched by my friends who came out to support me. They, along with my parents, my late husband, John, Peter Picknelly, Sr., and the community that supports the Spirit of Springfield, are just some of the "difference makers" in my life.


Judy Matt 

Photos courtesy of BusinessWest 
Senator Lesser Meets the Board

Pictured: Judy Matt, President, Spirit of Springfield; Eric Lesser, State Senator;
and John Sjoberg, President, New England Business Machine 


Spirit of Springfield Board Members, under the direction of Chairwoman Jane Albert, Vice President of Development, Baystate Health and Executive Director, Baystate  

Health Foundation, eloquently presented the goal, the mission and the role the organization has played in the community since December 1989 to State Senator  

Eric Lesser.


The newest Board Member and long-time supporter John Sjoberg, New England Business Machine President, spoke from the heart about how the organization strengthens families and the community by engaging residents in its activities.  

John Hesslein, WGGB, WSHM and EGGB Station Manager, and former Treasurer, tallied the numbers:



  • 24-Year Total - More than 12 Million
  • Annual Attendance - Approximately 400,000

Annual Donations to Spirit of Springfield (2014)

  • Corporate - $420,000
  • In-Kind - $897,000

Senator Lesser recalled his memories of being a balloon handler, volunteering at the World's Largest Pancake Breakfast and Bright Nights at Forest Park's first year. He left with a better understanding of the non-profit organization and two photographs that he said he will proudly showcase in his office.

25th Season Kicks Off

The World's Largest Pancake Breakfast was the first event the Spirit of Springfield presented back in 1990. The spirit of the celebration remains the same. It is where families and friends meet neighbors and make new acquaintances. The lines can be long, but the volunteers work as fast as they can.


The Spirit of Springfield's first event was the World's Largest Pancake Breakfast! 

Exhibitors get to showcase their organizations and businesses to the tens of thousands who stroll Main Street looking for the shortest line, their favorite performers and the  

best giveaways.

To be an exhibitor at the May 16 flapjack feast, complete the
registration form or contact
Golfers WANTED! 
Franconia Golf Course currently lies under several feet of snow, but soon the  
fairways will be lush, the greens will be trimmed and there will be more than 100  
golfers participating in the Spirit of Springfield Golf Classic. The fundraiser, co-chaired  
by John Hesslein, Station Manager for WGGB, WSHM and EGGB and a Spirit of Springfield Director, and Mark Arigoni, Principal with Milone & MacBroom, is for the  
golf enthusiasts, the weekend warriors and those that want to show their support for  
the Spirit of Springfield.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno gets in the spirit!

The morning begins with at 10AM shotgun start and continues with lunch and games on the course. Under one of Michael's Party Rental's premier tents, all will gather for a scrumptious dinner prepared by Bentley's Bistro.


To register a foursome, be a sponsor or join us for dinner, complete  

the Spirit of Springfield Golf Classic's registration form or contact



Congratulations MGM Springfield!     

A shovel leads to a backhoe. From an empty lot, an entertainment complex will grow. The Spirit of Springfield congratulates MGM Springfield on their March 24 groundbreaking.  We were happy to lend our support.



The Spirit of Springfield is a private, non-profit corporation
which produces high-quality,
large-scale events in the city of Springfield.
Our mission is to promote community events and
encourage civic pride.

Celebrating 25 Years of Springfield's
Biggest, Best and Brightest 
In This Issue
Senator Lesser Meets the Board
Spirit of Springfield 25th Season Kick-off
Golfers WANTED!
Congratulations MGM Springfield
Guest Corner
Anthony L. Cignoli 
A. L. Cignoli Company

Spring; hope does spring eternal for Springfield! What    a difference a year makes.


Ground breaking for the largest economic development in our city's storied history; MGM Springfield, was held in  

an empty South End lot on  

a sunny day.


There, my dad, Luigi, and many friends, once played stickball with Major League dreams. The Major League has come to their lot. Where immigrant American-dreamers made a living, will now become the revival for their beloved city. What  a difference.


Real difference is made by  

the Difference Makers, who dream our dreams and make them real for us. Judith Matt was named one of those people by BusinessWest. George O'Brien's article about Judy is a brilliant historical perspective on Judy and the Spirit of Springfield making the difference for 25 years.

Tens-of-thousands will again gather on Main Street for
our own special thanksgiving:
The World's Largest Pancake Breakfast. Spring. Feel
the difference.
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