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Gardner Rotary Club Raises $3,500 for Heywood’s Weekend Backpack Food Program

January 9, 2019

Members of the Gardner Rotary Club presented Heywood Healthcare with a check for $3,500 to support the Weekend Backpack Food Program on Friday, January 4th. These funds were raised by the Rotary Club through community support of Rotary’s Annual Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Event.

Held in September, the Wine, Cheese and Chocolate event features restaurants, food service companies, pastry shops, and cheese and chocolate vendors from throughout the North Central Massachusetts Area. Anthony’s Liquor Market was the featured wine vendor in 2018.

Heywood Healthcare, the Gardner Rotary Club and the Athol/Orange Rotary Club in partnership the Gardner and Athol Royalston Public School Districts, and with support of the community, provide backpacks filled with nutritious foods to eligible third and fourth grade students every Friday, helping students and their families with food security issues over the weekend, when students are not receiving free or reduced-cost breakfast and lunches.

Currently, the Heywood Healthcare Weekend Backpack Food Program supports more than 275 food-insecure youth in the Gardner and Athol-Royalston Public Schools.

For more information on the Weekend Backpack Food Program, please visit or contact the Philanthropy Office at (978) 669-5624.

Pictured L to R: Michael Ellis, Past Rotary District Governor; Win Brown, President & CEO, Heywood Healthcare; Dawn Casavant, Vice President of Development, Heywood Healthcare; Peter Sargent, Gardner Rotary Club President; and Theresa Thompson, Physician Recruitment Manager, Heywood Healthcare and Backpack Program Coordinator.