At Belmont Savings Bank (“BSB”), we care about the people, local shops, nonprofit organizations and family-owned businesses that comprise the vibrant towns we serve. The missions and endeavors of these individuals and organizations enrich and inspire us daily. As a thank you for their hard work, diligence and ingenuity, we’re dedicating a series of blog posts to spotlight some of the individuals behind the programs, events and businesses that make these towns special.
A town that regularly promotes the arts, culture and volunteerism has a lot to be proud of in a world that has embraced digital interactions as the norm. Newton Community Pride endeavors to boost the quality of life in Newton by hosting a variety of community events to engage its residents.
Linda Plaut and Jeannie Shea, director and associate director, respectively, of the Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs in Newton, work tirelessly to coordinate the numerous events sponsored by the nonprofit throughout the year. As a volunteer organization for 26 years, Newton Community Pride relies solely on the time and resources donated by local businesses and area residents.
“The sponsorships are the lifeblood of the organization,” Plaut exclaims. “We simply couldn’t do what we do without them.” The town’s largest annual event, the Festival of the Arts, is held in May. The town-wide event features 55 events, ranging from folk music and theater to a children’s puppet show, in 26 different venues across Newton.
Belmont Savings Bank has become a regular sponsor of events held by Newton Community Pride. The bank most recently sponsored the 23rd annual Heartbreak Hill Road Race at Newton City Hall on April 19, 2015. The one-mile race up and down Heartbreak Hill is a fun way for adults and children to experience part of the Boston Marathon racecourse and maybe even win one of Belmont Savings Bank’s giveaways!
“The bank expresses ongoing interest and support in our programs,” says Plaut. “We are grateful for them.” Plaut and Shea treasure the bank’s interest in the community and wholeheartedly feel their presence only adds to events held by Newton Community Pride. “We bring the crowds and they maximize the community interest with their attractive and interactive displays, friendly smiles and free giveaways,” Plaut shares.
The star of Newtonville Village Day, held annually in September, is Belmont Savings Bank’s Cash Cube. Participants step inside the inflatable money machine and try to grab as much money as they can as it blows around them. Half of all proceeds go to Newton Schools Foundation, so successful entrants walk away with half the cash and the unmatched feeling of contributing to the community.
According to Shea, Belmont Savings Bank reaches out to the community far more than other vendors do, and always with a friendly demeanor. The employees continually ask, “What can we do? How can we help?” The bank will sponsor a new event through Newton Community Pride in September that is sure to attract a large crowd of engaged residents: a children’s concert.
“When we host a festival or fair, our goal is to get the public out to experience a new singer or dancer for free,” Shea says. “Once they are there, we entice them with attractive booths and vendors who are hoping to turn a profit. The events are a win-win to benefit the residents and the local businesses.”