University News

Love is All We Need

Published: November 16, 2022 | Categories: All News
Dr. Johnson surrounded by student ambassadors from WNE at the Bright Nights Ball.

It was an evening filled with Timeless Love for the 26th Annual Spirit of Springfield's Bright Nights Ball on Saturday, November 12 at the MGM Springfield’s Aria Hall.

The City of Springfield's Bright Nights Ball is the region's premiere social event of the year. Western New England University students once again had the honor of serving as volunteers for the formal gala. The event includes a gourmet dinner, dancing, and live and silent auctions to help support Bright Nights at Forest Park and the Spirit of Springfield.

Every year a cohort of 25-30 WNE students has the honor of assisting the Spirit of Springfield to deliver the premier fundraising event in the area. "This is a wonderful opportunity for WNE students to represent the University and interact with the leadership of Western MA," said Executive Director of the Delbridge Career Center at Western New England University Andrea St. James and student coordinator for this event.

More than 500 people attended. Guests included business leaders, military officers, public safety and political leaders in the Springfield area.

"Our WNE students represent the next generation of leaders who will be attending this ball, not as volunteers, but as future business, community, and political leaders in our region," said WNE Professor of Communication, Media, and the Arts who has emceed every ball since the first one was held in 1996.

The WNE students are given assignments that range from greeting guests, and selling raffle tickets to seating guests for dinner and assisting with the live auction, and they are also in attendance to add extra hands to the staff and to ensure the major event runs smoothly. The end result is a seamlessly perfect event for all to enjoy.

Criminal Justice major Brendan C. Cassidy said "It was a wonderful experience that truly brought the City of Springfield together. The night showed how connected the community is and how much of an impact one can have. It was an honor to volunteer for such an amazing event, meet great people, and support a great cause! Truly a 'bright night'!

WNE Golden Bear students who provided LOVE to the Spirit of Springfield’s 2022 Bright Nights Ball include: Sean Alvord, Jacob Benoit, Abigail Blasko, Jessica Brown, Nelson Brunette, Veronica Brunette, Brendan Cassidy, Lauren Corcoran, Alley Estrella, Courtney Farrell, Ashley Figueroa, Riley Franzo, Kathryn Henry, Ryan Hoover, Shamar Johnson, Naressa Kempadoo, Seyvon Kouao, Molly McLaughlin, Jo-Anne Muldoon, Kyle Nelson, Isabella Pullano, Carli Simons, Louis Stabile, Cameron Stansbury, Nicholas Tartsinis, Arica Wentworth, and Kyle F. Zemba.

The Spirit of Springfield brings the community together in celebration with large-scale, high-profile family-friendly events that include the World's Largest Pancake Breakfast, Star Spangled Springfield 4th of July celebration, Springfield's September 11th Remembrance Ceremonies, and Bright Nights at Forest Park, one of the top 10 lighting displays in our country.

Bright Nights light display at Forest Park, will run from November 23. to January 1. At least 40,000 cars are expected to drive through the holiday light display, which will showcase different features such as Seussland, toy land, dinosaurs, and a brand-new blizzard tunnel.