VPF donates new schools buses to the School Dept.
By Cary Shuman
The Viking Pride Foundation held a dedication ceremony for the new school buses that the organization has donated to the School Department for their use by Winthrop sports teams, students, and residents.
Vincent Crossman, chairman of the non-profit group, presided over the event that was held last Friday at Miller Field.
“This is a very exciting occasion that Viking Pride Foundation has been working on for over five years now,” Crossman told the gathering. “This a great day to be from Winthrop and to be part of such a good thing here.”
Crossman said the fleet consists of a brand new, top-of-the-line school bus that has been used daily since September on the intra-town transportation route; a new, multi-function school activity bus that is designed for use in co-curricular and town (seniors, Parks and Recreation Department) activities; and two used school buses.
The Viking Pride Foundation’s generous donation is expected to save the town hundreds of thousands of dollars in the years ahead. Crossman said the donation of the buses was the result of the cooperation “between several different areas of town government.”
One area where the School Department is realizing cost savings is school field trips. “I’ve spoken with our school principals and the field trip cost has been literally cut in half and even probably more than that,” said Crossman. “It’s a very significant savings for our schools.”
Mary Lou Osborne, chairman of the Winthrop School Committee, thanked the Viking Pride Foundation for its efforts. “Since 2004, they’ve really stepped up to the plate for our children and our community,” said Osborne.
Town Manager James McKenna and Council President Jeffrey Turco also praised the foundation.
“This means anything’s possible in this town and that’s really a lift not only for what we’re seeing today but for all we do for the community,” said McKenna. “If we put our minds together and work together, we can pull it off and make it happen and we make things happens here. My congratulations to Viking Pride.”
Turco thanked each member of the Viking Pride Foundation and the many donors to the organization.
“When you can reach out and take the charitable works of the Viking Pride Foundation and put them with the taxpayer dollars, it’s a win-win for everybody and I can’t thank the members of the foundation enough for their leadership.”
Dr. Joseph Lisi, interim superintendent of schools, credited the foundation for its financial support of the school system. “Obviously we need as many innovative forms of financially supporting what we do and I think through Vincent Crossman’s efforts and Viking Pride, this is just an extraordinary effort. I’m just so impressed with the spirit of this group to really go well beyond the limits of what an organization would do to provide these buses.”
Robert A. DeLeo, speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, has been a supporter of the foundation since its inception.
“I love events such as this because this is what this town is all about,” said DeLeo. “We have people working together. There are other communities looking to do this and they’re [wondering], “How do you folks do it? How did you go out and get those buses? How were you able to raise the money? And it happened because of the people [in the Foundation] who put all their time, all their effort, and most importantly, put their heart into really caring for the people of our community. This is an unbelievably special day for the town.
“And to everyone here, a sincere thank you for every part that you played in making this a reality,” concluded DeLeo.
Crossman closed the ceremony by acknowledging the group’s board of directors, Cathie Gallivan, Chris Tsiotos, Angelo Vigliotta, Vasili Mallios, Richard Fucillo, Trucy Macero, and Al Petrilli.
“Thank you for all your hard work and it does not go unnoticed in our community,” said Crossman.