There is lots of excitement as we gear up for a busy holiday season.  Soon we will be unveiling plans for the 20th annual City of Bright Nights Ball, announcing this year's Parade Marshal for the Parade of the Big Balloons sponsored by Tower Square, and some new activities for Bright Nights at Forest Park.

  
Judy Matt 
President
 
U. S. Air Force Band Tickets Available

Springfield Symphony Hall will be filled with sounds of the U. S. Air Force Band and Singing Sergeants on Tuesday, October 20 at 7PM.  The performance is being dedicated to Springfield native Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan.

The concert band features 53 active Airmen performing a wide variety of music ranging from classical transcriptions and original works to solo features, light classics, popular favorites and patriotic selections.

Joining the Airmen on stage will be members of the Springfield Central High School Band and Chorus.  The high school students will play side-by-side with the musicians who have performed for presidents, royalty and visiting dignitaries.
 
Tickets for the concert sponsored by Mercy Medical Center with MassLive, The Republican, WMAS FM and WWLP-22News are free and available at sponsors' offices, Nathan Bills Restaurant and Bar, Springfield Good Life Senior Center, and the Spirit of Springfield or by sending a stamped, self-addressed stamped envelope to Spirit of Springfield, 1350 Main Street, Suite 1004, Springfield, MA  01103.
For more information, visit spiritofspringfield.org.
Western Mass. Legislative Delegation Visits
The Spirit of Springfield was honored to welcome members of the Western Massachusetts Legislative Delegation to the office.  Board members thanked the State Senators and Representatives for supporting the amendment that will fund $100,000 to the Spirit of Springfield.
 
Spirit of Springfield Board Chair Jane Albert spoke of the importance of the contribution to the organization.  John Sjoberg, a member of the board, talked of the impact the Spirit of Springfield has on the community.  This included how the organization engages its participants and has strengthened families and the community.
Bright Nights Road Race Sell-Out 
       
The first registration for the Bright Nights 5K Road Race was completed at 12:01AM on September 14.  By 12:10AM, half the field was full.  At 7AM, all 500 bib numbers were taken.  There are currently 164 people on the wait list.  Due to duplicate registrations, many will make it to the race on November 30 (Raindate:  December 1).  

The race that has earned the reputation of being Springfield's favorite race is sponsored by Health New England with additional support from Freedom Credit Union, New England Orthopedic Surgeons and MedExpress. 
 
"Health New England is proud to sponsor this fun run through Bright Nights," said Maura McCaffrey, President and Chief Executive Officer.  "It gets 500 people running on a winter night when normally they might be home by the fire."
Bidding Before the Bright Nights Ball 
      
For the first time, the City of Bright Nights Ball will offer mobile bidding with BidPal.  Guests can register in advance of the ball and even place bids for silent auction items before they arrive at the November 14 gala at the Sheraton Springfield.
   
Items for the silent auction include local businesses like Yankee Candle, Max Restaurant Group, and Jackson & Connor.  The list of donors extends to Blue Man Group in Boston, Second City Theater in Chicago, Spirit Cruises in San Pedro, California, as well as Fairmont LeChateau Frontenac in Quebec.

Live auction items include four tickets to see Kinky Boots on Broadway and two overnight rooms at The Algonquin Hotel on Saturday, December 19.
 
To see the full list of items, visit spiritofspringfield.org
September 11th Remembrance Ceremony  
     
With the Springfield Police and Fire Departments, the Spirit of Springfield marked the 14th anniversary of September 11th with a Remembrance Ceremony at the Raymond Sullivan Safety Complex.  Springfield Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant and Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri spoke from their hearts. 

They were joined by Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, Mayor Domenic Sarno, Colonel Ann Ware, 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base, and David Pelletier, Massachusetts General Manager for American Medical Response.  Western Mass News' Cherise Leclerc served as the program's mistress of ceremonies.
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
U.S. Air Force Band Tickets Available
Western Mass. Legislative Delegation Visits
Bright Nights Road Race Sell-Out
Bidding Before the Bright Nights Ball
September 11th Remembrance Ceremony
Guest Column - Chef Chris Walls

Guest Corner 
Chris Walls
Executive Chef
Sheraton Springfield
 
Another City of Bright Nights Ball was on the table for the Sheraton Springfield Culinary team.
 
Choosing food that compliments the theme is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable tasks for us during the year.  Each year, we try to tie together not only the theme, but the season as well.  We like to look at what ingredients are indicative to the theme and then tie in some seasonal items as well.
 
This year's theme is one that fell close to my heart - Venice, Italy. As a child growing up in an Italian American household, watching my grandmother make meatballs and sauce was something I always enjoyed and still hold dear to my heart.
 
We here at the Sheraton are lucky to have a wonderful culinarian who also has a very extensive Italian background and has lived in this city most of her life.  With her guidance and recipe knowledge, Carmelina Santaniello shared her knowledge and passion to help create a wonderful menu. We looked at the region of Venice, staple ingredients and cooking methods of the area to inspire and direct us to the final product we get the pleasure of presenting to you all.
 
Thank you to the Spirit of Springfield for this wonderful event each year and the opportunity to be a part of it. 
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