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Pynchon Award

The Advertising Club confers the Order of William Pynchon and the Pynchon Medal upon such citizens of western Massachusetts as, in the opinion of the Trustees of the Pynchon Award, have rendered distinguished service to the community. Recipients are nominated each year by members of the community, and are chosen by unanimous decision of the Pynchon Trustees. The Trustees are the Ad Club's current and five past presidents.

Join us for the award celebration! 2018 Registration: Click Here

The Order of William Pynchon was established by the Advertising Club in 1915 to recognize and encourage individuals whose lives and achievements typified the ideals of promoting citizenship and the building of a better community in western Massachusetts. Past recipients include war heroes, social activists, teachers, volunteers, philanthropists, historians, clergy, physicians, journalists, public servants, and business leaders — a diverse group; each with a passion for our region and a selfless streak. A complete list of recipients since 1915 can be found below.

Pynchon medalists are chosen by unanimous decision of the Pynchon Trustees.

More than 200 citizens have been inducted into the Order of William Pynchon since its founding in 1915.

Selected for 2018 induction into the Order of William Pynchon are:

CRAIG CARR Nominated by Jack Dill

Creating a home away from home

The first Ronald McDonald House was opened in Philadelphia in 1974. Now numbering more than 300 worldwide, the houses serve the needs of families with children being treated at local pediatric hospitals by housing families at little or no cost, enabling them to remain as near their hospitalized children as possible.

In 1984, there was no Ronald McDonald House in our region, but that was about to change.

Two separate efforts to establish a Ronald McDonald House in Springfield were being conducted, each unaware of the other. A Monson mother had been petitioning for the cause, and a group of five Junior League of Springfield members had been researching the feasibility of such an establishment. After combining efforts, and more than seven years of planning and fundraising, Ronald McDonald House of Springfield was opened.

Since 1991, the Springfield house has hosted more than 12,500 families from around the globe, and since that time, Craig Carr has been maintained a consistent and dedicated commitment to the organization. In his letter nominating Craig for the Pynchon medal, Jack Dill, himself a Pynchon medalist (2016), related the sentiment of those involved that “there is little doubt that, without Craig’s formative and ongoing commitment, this facility (of such great importance to so many families) would neither exist nor have prospered over the past thirty years.”

Dennis Chalke, Chief Financial Officer of Baystate Health, credits Craig with establishing the initial relationship with Ronald McDonald House Charities. Craig helped organize the founding Board of Directors for the house and played an integral part in engaging Shriners Hospital for Children and Baystate Health with the project. She was instrumental in raising the 2.3 million dollars needed to establish the local Ronald McDonald House. Rosemarie Zello, current development manager for the house, appreciates Craig’s fundraising prowess, stating, “She is the one who goes further, looks harder for potential donors; creating opportunity where there appears not to be any.”

Craig served one term as president of the board, has been involved in every fundraising activity, and has been a tireless advocate for the house ever since. She has served on and off the board of the Springfield House for 34 years, and currently serves as the chair of the Room Makeover Committee and secretary of the Ronald McDonald Charities Board of Western Massachusetts and Connecticut.

She is also a member, along with several fellow “original incorporators,” of the house’s advisory board. One of the original incorporators, and Pynchon medalist (2016) Gale Kirkwood, describes Craig as a “dedicated, intelligent, and positive leader,” and one who “handles everything with grace.”

More recently, Craig was involved throughout the entire process of the merger of the New Haven and Springfield Ronald McDonald Houses to form the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Craig is also an original member of the Rays of Hope Walk and the Friends of Storrs Library.

No parent wants to think about their child requiring hospitalization, let alone the logistics of lodging away from home during such a stressful period. Thanks to the efforts of Craig Carr, and the board and staff of the Ronald McDonald House of Springfield, any parent finding themselves in that situation will have one less issue to think about.

Craig and her husband Christopher live in Longmeadow and are the parents of a son, Christopher, and a daughter, Taylor.

SALLY C. FULLER Nominated by Ellen Leonard

A Childhood Literacy Rock Star

It should come as no surprise that the daughter of a high school English teacher would value literacy. Or that before she spent more than a decade working with the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation on childhood literacy projects such as Cherish Every Child and the Read! Reading Success by 4th Grade initiative, she was an active volunteer at a number of local family- and community-oriented organizations such as public television station WGBY, the Springfield Mentoring Partnership, the Pioneer Valley Girl Scout Council, Square One, Springfield School Volunteers, and the Ronald McDonald House. T

hat’s just how Sally Fuller operates.

So, although it isn’t a common occurrence, it wasn’t suprising either, that the letter from Ellen Leonard nominating Sally Fuller for the Pynchon Award included a list of five references who not only recognize the traits of a Pynchon medalist, but embody those traits: John Davis, 1996; Jack Dill, 2016; Dianne Doherty, 2008; Jeanne Gailun, 2013; and Carol Kinsley, 2003.

The Davis Foundation’s Cherish Every Child initiative aimed at priming Springfield children for success as they entered kindergarten. Under Sally’s leadership, this was accomplished by creating an environment where educators, business leaders, elected officials, and others worked together, to, in part, ensure quality education for children under age five, improve services provided to families, and create beneficial health programs for those children and their families.

The Davis Foundation feels that the initiative “has been a critical ally in the successful passage of universal Pre-K legislation in Massachusetts and has also successfully engaged the workforce development and family literacy establishment in recognizing the long-term return on investments in early education.”

Sally hands out books at housing projects. She constantly searches for ways to connect with parents. She visits neighborhood council meetings to educate residents about the importance of children reading and having books in their homes.

The success of Cherish Every Child led to the Read! Reading Success by 4th Grade initiative, and its goal of creating proficient readers of every child in Springfield by the end of third grade. With double digit results toward that goal, in large part due to Sally’s efforts as program director, the city was recognized as an All-America City by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the National Civic League in 2012 for its plan for early literacy and in 2017 for progress toward the goal. The head of this national organization refers to Sally as a “rock star.”

Sally has advised organizations on literacy, presented at national conferences, and along the way gained regional and national recognition for Springfield’s effort to improve reading proficiency.

And although Sally recently retired from the Davis Foundation, reading and early childhood literacy still loom large – as an advocate for and participant with the Massachusetts Reading Corps, a reader in the local Link to Libraries program (founded by Janet M. Crimmins and 2009 Pynchon medalist Susan Jaye-Kaplan), and literary storyteller to her four grandchildren. She also serves on the board of the Massachusetts Service Alliance, which promotes and funds administration for volunteer programs on a statewide level and on the boards of Springfield School Volunteers and the Springfield Prep Charter School.

Sally resides in Wilbraham with her husband David. They travel regularly to West Hartford, Connecticut, to be with daughter Emily, son-in-law Matt, and grandchildren Scout and Jasper; to Saratoga Springs, New York, to be with son Scott, daughter-in-law Erica, and grandchildren Jackson and Helen; and to Brooklyn, New York, to visit daughter Lindsay.

ROBERT STACY McCARROLL Nominated by James Boone

Protector of Springfield’s built environment

The letter from James Boone nominating Bob McCarroll for the Pynchon Award included the usual biographical information and list of accomplishments. It also included a list of seven references who have more than an inkling of what “distinguished service to the community” truly means – Pynchon recipients: Charles Ryan, 1981; Frances Gagnon, 1998; Dianne Fuller Doherty, 2008; Steve Hays, 2012; Jack Dill, 2016; Paul Sears, 2017; and past president of the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts (1993-94) and former Pynchon Trustee: Nancy Urbschat.

Nearly every reference has known Bob for decades, and each was mightily impressed with his singular focus of historic preservation, by way of good city planning and promotion of Springfield’s rich architectural and cultural heritage.

Urbschat describes Bob as the “protector of Springfield’s built environment,” and indeed, over the past four decades, with a career as city planner, and long-time volunteer with the Springfield Preservation Trust, Springfield Historical Commission, and Mattoon Street Arts Festival, he has worked tirelessly to make a measurable difference in the quality of life in Springfield while promoting the city he loves.

As a member of the Springfield Planning Department, Bob was instrumental in the creation of five of Springfield’s local historic districts, protecting more than one thousand buildings; later as a member of the Springfield Historical Commission he spearheaded the creation of four additional districts. He also successfully fought to preserve several historic buildings at the site of the MGM Springfield casino.

Former Springfield Mayor Charles Ryan recalls Bob as a “leader (of historic preservation) in western Massachusetts” during the 1970s – a time when there was not much interest in preservation.

In the 1980s, he developed a promotional booklet showcasing all of Springfield’s neighborhoods called “Living in Springfield, Come and Join Us.” In recent years, he created the volunteer “ChooseSpringfieldMass.com” website to encourage people to move to the city.

Bob has instituted house tours, walking tours, and programs, lectured, and led public meetings introducing residents to the value of Springfield’s built environment and the economic benefit from its restoration and preservation. Frances Gagnon, who received the Pynchon medal for her own preservation work, admires Bob’s “single-minded passion,” calling him a “true believer and a true champion” of historic preservation.

Steve Hays feels that “not a lot of volunteers want to get their hands dirty for the causes they care about, but Bob is willing to do that.” Leading by example, Bob personally purchased and restored Springfield’s second oldest home, the Bliss House, on Dale Street, then worked to have it declared a local historic district to ensure its preservation. Additionally, Bob has purchased, and either restored, or put into the hands of preservation-minded owners, several other historic properties in the city.

Since 1996, Bob has coordinated the Mattoon Street Arts Festival. He sits as a representative of the Festival on the Springfield Cultural Partnership, which oversees the Downtown Springfield Cultural District. As such, Bob has sponsored and organized an organ concert at Old First Church and helped to organize the Painted Utility Box and Painted Piano projects.

In 2016, Bob was honored as the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s “Local Preservationist” at their annual Preservation Awards.

That same year, Bob successfully led the effort to introduce and adopt the Community Preservation Act in Springfield, an initiative that helps communities preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing, and develop outdoor recreational facilities through a surcharge on real estate. He currently serves as the Springfield Community Preservation Committee’s first chairman.

After retiring in 2002 from the Planning Department, Bob volunteered every Friday morning for nearly fourteen years. He retains the same commitment and enthusiasm for the city. “He lives and breathes the city,” states Hays.

Bob has resided in Springfield since 1977 in an 1870s Victorian row house with his adopted stray cat Heathcliff.

RONALD PHILLIP WEISS Nominated by Paul Friedman

Creating an environment of giving

Ira Bryck, president of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, summed up Ron Weiss in this manner: “Ron is a genius at finding a (metaphorical) loose thread, and pulling it until your pants fall down. Not that he embarrasses anyone, just that he knows what is at the core of a faulty idea.”

Paul Friedmann, in his letter of nomination, noted Ron’s “remarkable ability to understand and solve complex problems” and his “long-term dedication and commitment to the success of the organizations he serves and to the region in which he and his family live.”

For more than 30 years, Ron has applied this innate talent to issues confronting area civic, artistic, charitable, economic, and religious organizations, and worked toward creating viable solutions that would benefit the entire region.

It was during the 1980s that Ron became aware of a ‘charitable giving drain’ in the Pioneer Valley. Large, locally owned businesses were being sold. Some of their owners were major philanthropists, and many of those were moving out of the area or spending substantial time elsewhere. Our valley needed a vehicle to attract permanent investment while sufficient connections remained. To quickly earn the necessary trust, it had to be led by volunteers trusted by prospective donors, and be flexible, transparent and staffed effectively. Ron, along with area banking, business, and civic leaders, formed the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts in November of 1990. Ron authored the trust agreement that formed the foundation, creating a unique structure that allows the foundation to directly receive, administer, and distribute funds, and also allows financial institutions that are private foundation trustees to remain as trustees after their foundations become part of the community foundation. Since its founding, the foundation has grown to include total assets of more than $150 million, with nearly 2,000 contributions totaling $10.7 million in 2017.

Foundation distributions in 2017 included $2.1 million in scholarships and loans to 800 students, and nearly 1,500 grants totaling $6.9 million.

Fellow Pynchon medalist John Gallup (1998), who along with Ron, was one of the original Community Foundation trust signers, holds Ron in great esteem: “He wanted something that would be good for the valley. He cared deeply about what we were trying to do and how we were trying to do it. He was the glue that held it all together.” To this day, Ron continues to serve as legal counsel for the Community Foundation.

Despite the impressive impact of Ron’s efforts, he is described by Katie Zobel, president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation, as a “quiet, behind the scenes kind of guy.” Gallup adds “He just does his thing with not a lot of noise.”

Ron feels strongly that a region must cultivate a vibrant artistic and cultural community in order to attract and retain business and talent. To that end, Ron has held a number of positions with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra over the past three decades, including president, and chairman during the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the symphony “struggled for its financial and musical future.” Peter Salerno, former executive director of the orchestra, credits Ron with saving the symphony during that time and preserving its quality by his work in its reorganization, imposition of tight financial controls and creation of an endowment to help replace vanishing government support and provide stability. Ron continues to serve the SSO as an officer and board member.

Ron was born in Springfield and has lived in the area for nearly his entire life. His commitment to the region has led to his additional involvement as a co-founder and former board member of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, a corporator of the Springfield Museums, past board member of Musicorda, past chairman of the Appropriations Committee for the Town of Longmeadow, immediate past chairman of the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Western Massachusetts and former board member of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts.

Ron has served his alma mater, Dartmouth College, in various alumni roles, including as a member of its Alumni Council, class president, class treasurer, club president and admissions interviewer.

And somehow, he also finds time to play violin in the Pioneer Valley Symphony.

Ron is a partner at Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP in Springfield, focusing on general representation of businesses and non-profits, mergers and acquisitions, executive employment, and estate and tax planning for business owners and professionals.

Ron resides in Longmeadow with his wife, Janet. He has two daughters, Emily and Kate, and four grandchildren, all of them smarter and better looking than he.

 

103rd William Pynchon Award

Pynchon Award Celebration: October 2018. Details to follow.

Current Pynchon Trustees

  • David Cecchi
  • Jillian Gould
  • Barbara Perry
  • Mary Shea
  • Teresa Utt
  • Scott Whitney
Pynchon Recipients
Year Name
1915 Marcus Perrin Knowlton
1915 George Dwight Pratt
1915 Donald North  
1915 George Walter Vincent Smith
1915 Charles Goodrich Whiting
1916 F. Sturgess Allen  
1916 Joshua L. Brooks  
1916 Horace A. Moses
1916 Elijah A. Newell
1916 Frank A. Perrett
1917 Embury P. Clark  
1917 Solomon Buckley Griffin
1917 Robert O. Morris
1918 Edwin C. Parsons
1919 Harold R. Buckley
1919 Thornton W. Burgess
1919 Frederick H. Gillett
1920 Harold A. Ley
1921 A. Willard Damon
1922 Mary A. (Ann) Booth
1922 Eliphalet T. Tifft  
1923 William G. Ballantine
1924 William W. McClench  
1925 George M. Hendee
1926 Nathan D. Bill
1927 Charles E. Duryea
1928 Dr. William N. DeBerry
1928 Lucy W. Mallary
1928 Henry L. Bowles
1929 Hiller C. Wellman
1929 Charles L. Long
1929 Reverend Thomas    
1929 Frederick Davis    
1930 David Allen Reed
1931 Joseph B. Ely
1931 William J. Quilty
1932 William H. Daggett  
1932 Maude Irving Tait
1933 Wallace R. Heady
1933 R. Nelson Hatt
1934 Elbert E. Lochridge  
1934 Edward A. Hall
1935 Frederick B. Sweet  
1935 William H. Stuart  
1936 George S.L. Connor
1936 Frederic Whitmore  
1936 Herman Isenburg  
1937 William Orr  
1937 William F. Adams  
1938 Frank D. Korkosz  
1938 Albert Steiger  
1939 John C. Garand  
1939 Ida F. Farrar  
1940 Waldo L. Cook  
1941 Alexander Hughes  
1941 Grace Pettis Johnson  
1942 Gilbert H. Steward  
1942 Edwin C. Bartlett  
1942 John H. Nolan  
1943 Margaret C. Ells  
1943 Edward H. Thomson  
1944 Chester Bowles  
1944 Thomas C. Fleming  
1944 Fred Stephenson  
1945 Henry A. Field  
1945 Hazel Clark  
1945 David J. Manning  
1946 Dr. Chester S. McGown  
1946 Colonel Burton A. Adam  
1947 Edward H. Marsh  
1948 Alice l. Halligan  
1948 Edward S. Bradford  
1949 James H. Higgins  
1950 Sally Leeds  
1950 Dr. William Hill  
1951 Cordelia S. Pond  
1952 Dr. Paul M. Limbert  
1952 John J. Duggan  
1953 Paul Samson  
1958 Dr. William B. Kirkham  
1959 Mary J. Foley  
1960 James J. Shea  
1960 Samuel G. Simons  
1960 Edward Kronvall  
1961 Bernard H. McMahon  
1962 Edward H. Breck  
1962 Dennis J. Brunton  
1963 Dr. Garry deNeuville Hough, Jr.  
1963 Leone E. Avery  
1964 Lt. Joseph A. Budd  
1964 Magnus F. Peterson  
1965 Frederick B. Robinson  
1965 Alfred G. Zanetti  
1966 Paul Craig  
1967 Charles M. Healy, Jr.  
1967 Maxwell H. Tasgal  
1968 Judge Donald Malcolm Macauly  
1969 Herman O. Grimmeisen  
1970 Sidney R. Cook  
1970 Rabbi Dr. Herman Eliot Snyder  
1971 Edmond P. Garvey  
1971 Charles H. Schaaff  
1972 Herbert P. Almgren  
1972 Jeremiah M. Finn  
1973 Dr. Frank E. Hurley  
1973 Romeo J. Cyr  
1974 Richard Booth  
1975 K.F. Broman  
1975 William A. Lieson  
1976 Dr. Robert W. Emery  
1976 Solomon D. Freeman  
1976 James J. Shea, Jr.  
1977 Mary H. Weckwerth  
1977 Richard C. Garvey  
1977 Donald O. Reichert  
1978 Rev. Christopher J. Weldon  
1979 Paul J. Greeley  
1979 Alexander B. Mapp  
1979 Graham King  
1980 James R. Martin  
1981 Joan F. Putnam  
1981 Charles V. Ryan  
1982 Gordon Cameron  
1982 Rita M. Tremble  
1983 Emma Wilder Anderson  
1983 Alfred A. LaRiviere  
1983 Sr. Mary Caritas  
1984 Benjamin F. Jones  
1984 Edward B. Landis  
1984 Michael P. Pagos  
1985 Edward P. Boland  
1986 C. Norman Peacor  
1986 Robert J. Van Wart  
1987 Roswell L. Derby  
1987 Rev. Joseph F. Maguire  
1988 William J. Clark  
1989 Judge Sidney R. Cooley  
1989 David Starr  
1990 Robert S. Carroll  
1990 George R. Ditomassi  
1991 Anne V. Cooley  
1991 Gerald E. D'Amour  
1991 Helen Smith Fuller  
1992 Randolph W. Bromery  
1992 Dr. Leon M. Kruger  
1992 Richard A. Stebbins  
1993 Sr. Mary Dooley  
1993 Barbara Rivera  
1994 Robert Fowler  
1994 Harriette Michaels  
1996 John H. Davis  
1997 Frank D. Gulluni  
1998 Frances Gagnon  
1998 John Gallop  
1998 Peter Picknelly  
1999 Dr. Edward Bailey  
1999 Richard Milstein, ESQ.  
2000 Albert Ferst  
2000 Sr. Jane Morrissey  
2001 Janie Friedmann  
2001 Eric Bachrach  
2002 Raymond J. Chelte  
2002 Edward M. Clark  
2003 Teofilo Alvarado  
2003 Carol W. Kinsley  
2003 R. Lyman Wood  
2004 Carl G. Erickson  
2004 Lucia M. Guiggio  
2004 Rabbi Jerome S. Gurland  
2005 Stephen T. Clay  
2005 Paul S. Doherty  
2006 Steven D. Botkin  
2006 Kimball W. Howes  
2006 Brenda J. Lopez  
2006 Vincent McCorkle  
2007 Dr. Carol A. Leary  
2007 Allen G. Zippen  
2007 Dan Roulier  
2008 Dianne Fuller Doherty  
2008 Michael J. Ashe, Jr.  
2008 Frank W. Anderson  
2009 Gary L. Fialky  
2009 Susan R. Jaye-Kaplan  
2009 Marie M. Stebbins  
2010 Barbara C. Bernard  
2010 Mary Reardon Johnson  
2010 York Mayo  
2011 Aaron Lansky  
2011 Mary Pat McMahon  
2012 Ellen Freyman  
2012 Steve Hayes  
2012 Bob Perry  
2013 Jean C. Caldwell  
2013 Jean E. Gailun  
2013 Joan Kagan  
2013 Sirdeaner L. Walker  
2014 Kathy Picard  
2015 Gary R. Bernice  
2015 Harold Grinspoon  
2015 Ronn & Donna Johnson  
2015 Sue Ellen Panitch  
2016 Michaelann Bewsee  
2016 Jack Dill  
2016 Gale Kirkwood  
2016 Brian Tuohey  
2016 Angela Wright  
2017 Susan Canning  
2017 Bob Greeley  
2017 Judy Ingis  
2017 Paul J. Sears