Local ‘Difference Makers’ honored for making WMass better

Among the honorees were Judy Matt and Perter Picknelly

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – People from across western Massachusetts were at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, Thursday night, to honor those who make our region better.

BusinessWest magazine started their ‘Difference Makers’ program back in 2009. 22News spoke with two honorees, Judy Matt with the Spirit of Springfield, and Peter Picknelly, who helped keep the Student Prince and Fort restaurant open.

They both told 22News they’re passionate about their work because it preserves memories and gives future generations a chance to make them.

Judy said, “Not everybody can get on a plane and go to Florida; a lot of people don’t have the resources. So we give them something to enjoy at no charge, like the breakfast and the fireworks and the pancake breakfast, and of course there’s Bright Nights.”

“Family memories at the Fort have been very heartwarming,” said Peter. “All sorts of stories like people got engaged there, their parents 50th anniversary there, or ‘First beer with my dad at the Fort.’ Those stories are great.”

Other ‘Difference Makers’ included Katelynn’s Ride, which raises money for cancer care and research, MassMutual Financial for their commitment to community, and Valley Venture Mentors, a program that mentors western Mass. entrepreneurs.

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