East Longmeadow Fire and Police departments celebrate $7,000 donation
EAST LONGMEADOW – Town officials celebrated a $7,000 donation to the East Longmeadow Fire and Police departments on July 26 from the Cory J. Garwacki Foundation.
Sarah Mahan, Cory’s sister and the foundation’s secretary, told Reminder Publications her brother was a lifelong resident of East Longmeadow and graduated from East Longmeadow High School (ELHS) in 2005.
He passed away in October 2014 after graduating with a communications degree from Westfield State University.
“He wanted to start a nonprofit and maybe do some public speaking,” she explained. “He had talked about maybe writing a book. He wanted to give back to the community, but he wanted to encourage others that … if anything in life is holding you back, you can still follow your dreams.”
Mahan said her brother battled various health issues his entire life, but “always kept a smile on his face.”
According to the foundation’s website, Garwacki was born with a rare and life threatening condition known as short gut syndrome, which meant he was missing the majority of his intestine. Cory was not expected to survive more than a few days. During his life, he endured more than 100 surgeries, including two separate organ transplants.
This year, the foundation has donated funds to Baystate Children’s Hospital and presented a scholarship to a graduating student from ELHS set to attend college in the fall.
She added the foundation also plans to host its first golf tournament at Chicopee Country Club on Sept. 18, which it hopes to make an annual event.
Town Council President Kevin Manley said the Fire Department plans on using some of the funds on uniforms for its firefighters and the Police Department is exploring ways to utilize the money.
“I think it’s great that people in this community give back to the community here, especially in light of recent events,” he added. “It’s nice to see the support for public safety professionals and first responders.”