November 11, 2012
Letter to the Editor:
Amidst the damage and devastation of hurricane Sandy, I happen to witness the amazing, compassionate and unselfish acts of the local citizens of Springfield at the Chisholm Community Center. In particular, I would like to commend Karen and Jim Bonacorda, who ran the shelter and maintained organization at a time when many victims of hurricane Sandy in our town were displaced from their homes, mainly due to no electricity and therefore no heat in their homes. I'm not certain whether Karen or Jim realized when they became certified last spring as CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team) members, that their first assignment would be Super Storm Sandy, which left many, if not all the homes in Springfield out of power for approximately 1-2 weeks.
Karen and Jim ran the town's shelters at Sarah Bailey Civic Center and Chisholm Community Center for 2 weeks, 24 hours a day/7 days a week. They both demonstrated caring and compassionate service to all who entered the shelters, paying attention to specific details to meet a variety of personals needs of many of the people who needed to stay overnight at the shelters. Through it all, they demonstrated poise in the face of adversity and tried to make each and every person who needed help feel they were important and listened to each and every complaint with a smile on their face.
I am sure Scott Seidel, Emergency Management Coordinator and Mayor Ziad Andrew Shehady realize how fortunate they were to have Jim and Karen Bonacorda run the shelters in our town, I just wanted to compliment their exemplary service, which I am sure was appreciated by all who entered the shelters, who needed heat, a hot meal and a place to stay while they waited for their electricity to be restored.
I would be remiss if I did not compliment all of the volunteers, which I am certain Karen and Jim were grateful for their assistance. Jeanine Boyll, Hope and Jeff Rosenberg, Orlanda, Danielle, Laura, Margaret, Betsy, James, Mauricio, Oxana, Renald and Monalisa. I am sorry if I left out names of volunteers from this list, because these were just the people I had the pleasure to meet while I too was volunteering.