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SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – They may not be the biggest bank in Central Mass, but they sure have had the biggest impact I’ve ever seen on the local Shrewsbury community. Proving once again that they are here to define themselves as great corporate citizens, President Dave L’Ecuyer announced they they were taking a lead role in helping Shrewsbury students once again, by donating $20,000 to help sponsor the Shrewsbury High School athletic program for the coming fiscal year. This is in response to the announcement a few weeks ago that the School Committee has finally voted to allow advertising on school property, and will be offering ad packages to corporate partners who are willing to help fund our programming needs. This is something long overdue that many people, myself included, have been trying to get on the board since the Tony Bent days, and it should be a great asset at a time when we need it most.
You may recall that two years ago, Central One signed a contract with the district enabling them to build a micro-bank branch at the high school, and that has been a very successful program, helping students with access to banking on-site, as well as offering internships for students interested in pursuing a potential career in finance. They have really always helped out with local programs, something that been a big help to many causes, and cemented their position as one of the go-to institutions in the area. No doubt that down the road, these same students who were exposed to them at a young age will become lifetime clients in adulthood.
Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available for anyone who may be interested, at levels starting as low as $500 for a simple “mention” on the athletic department website, up to $25,000. Hey for all I know, if you donate enough they may just name the stadium after you!
There is a real question as to whether our students will even have access to the same level of sports programs next year, with the looming fiscal crisis. Athletics have always been a particular target at times like this, largely because of the underlying issue, on behalf of the school district, that the athletic program “runs a large deficit” and is a drag on the rest of the budget. In the viewpoint of the administration, and I’m using rounded off figures from the last time I looked at the budget, the program costs the district 600K to run, between the salary of the athletic director and coaching staff, transportation, equipment and tournament costs etc., and only brings in 300K in athletic fees. I have argued for years, however, that this is merely a misinterpretation, predicated on the fact that it’s not a mandatory program, which it obvious is based on the simple realization that every high school needs to have an athletic program anyway. In the mind of some, the sports fees generated should be able to “cover the full cost” of the program, however I have made the point that in reality, the athletic program is the ONLY program in our district that is subject to that type of analysis, and actually is the only one that generates any money. In other words, the “math department” at SHS costs 0ver $1M a year to run, and generates no money; the English department costs over 1M to run and generates no money; the athletic department costs $600k to run, and generates over $300k in fees. I say that makes it the only “profit center’ that we have, and rather than always being at the point of the fiscal sword, they should get a prize!
In any event, that wasn’t the point of the article, but rather to once again recognize Central One for all that they do for the children of Shrewsbury. If you have kids in the school, there’s one huge thing you can do to say thanks, which is to take your money out of the national lenders that couldn’t care less, and open an account at Central One. They really do an awesome job, to the point where I’ve been sending them all the mortgage business I can for my real estate clients as well. Stop into the local branch at the corner of South and Main, and chat with a representative about whatever your needs may be, and I think you’ll be surprised at all they have to offer.