In the News

Mayor Sarno Joined with Spirit of Springfield for the 2021 City of Bright Nights Ball Sponsor and Chair Announcement

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined with Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt, MGM Springfield President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Kelley, MassMutual Foundation President Dennis Duquette, Chairwoman of the Spirit of Springfield Board Directors Attorney Melinda Phelps, and sponsors and supports at MGM Springfield’s Ball Room to announce Shawn Pace, Site Manager for Eastman’s Indian Orchard Springfield plant, as the gala’s Chair and Eastman as the sponsor. The announcement was emceed by Anthony Cignoli, President of A.L. Cignoli Company. Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi, Springfield Police Deputy Chief Rupert Daniel, State Representative Brian Ashe, Ventry Associates President Dennis Murphy and Paul Picknelly were also in attendance.

This marque event will take place Saturday, November 13, 2021 at MGM Springfield.  The theme will be ‘Cherry Blossoms Under the Moonlight’.  This will mark the third time this gala is held at MGM Springfield. 

Mayor Sarno states, “Congratulations to Mr. Shawn Pace and Eastman on this great honor!  Eastman has been a terrific corporate citizen for the City of Springfield.  When this COVID-19 pandemic hit and our public school students had to transition to virtual learning at home, Eastman stepped up and provided portable lap desks for our students to use at home.  In addition, when PPE’s were in short supply, Eastman answered my call for assistance by providing much-needed PPE’s for our city’s frontline workers.  Eastman also generously donated to the city, traffic slow-down signal lights for our East Springfield and Indian Orchard neighborhoods too.  Truly, their commitment and dedication to our Springfield is second-to-none.” 

“This marque event is such a wonderful occasion that supports the great programs and events the Spirit of Springfield puts on, from our iconic Star Spangled Springfield, Bright Nights at Forest Park and the World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast,” Mayor Sarno added.  “A special thank you to all of the sponsors and supporters who help make this event memorable and enjoyable, from MassMutual, MGM Springfield, AMR, Baystate Health, the Colvest Group, and the Picknelly Family, just to name a few.  None of this would be possible without their support and charitable giving.  You truly cannot put a price on the good feelings and positive vibes that these events provide for our residents.”

Additional support for the City of Bright Nights Ball is provided by MassMutual, which was the lead sponsor of the 2019 gala and will serve as this year’s Chairman’s Reception Sponsor.  Golden Circle Sponsors include American Medical Response (AMR), Baystate Health, The Colvest Group, Comcast, Country Bank, FR Investment Group, Gleason Johndrow Landscaping, Health New England (HNE), MGM Springfield, MP CPA, New England Business Machine, Sheraton Springfield, and the Springfield Business Improvement District.

The décor and dinner will be themed with cherry blossoms.  Andrew Jensen from JX2 Productions, and Dan Stezko with his team at Flowers, Flowers! have been hard at work designing the look in flowing pinks and flowers.  The culinary team at MGM Springfield, led by Executive Chef Chris Smigel, will serve a delicious dinner with braised short ribs, pan seared diver scallops, seared trumpet mushroom “scallops,” and a beautiful dessert complete with a touch of cherry cotton candy.

For information about being a sponsor of the City of Bright Nights Ball or purchasing tickets, contact the Spirit of Springfield at 413-733-3800 or

The City of Bright Nights Ball is the non-profit organization’s largest annual fundraiser and supports their efforts to bring the community together in celebration with iconic events that include the World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast, Star Spangled Springfield, and Bright Nights at Forest Park.

Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day.  Eastman acquired the Springfield location in 2012. The site’s products are used in Automotive glass applications such as windshields, side windows and sunroofs for weight reduction and reduced interior cabin noise, and for architectural use, offering a variety of benefits ranging from sound reduction to high impact hurricane protection.

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm