A Long History of Giving: IFMA and The Spark Center

As many of you may or may not know, IFMA Boston has maintained a strong relationship with the SPARK Center in Mattapan, MA. On January 15th of this year, SPARK had a special guest visit from the Red Sox’s Mascot Wally and few of our own chapter members. It was a wonderful opportunity for the kids to get to meet Wally and for our members to see where our donations are being put to good use. This past year’s Holiday Gala had a great turn out with donations for SPARK and we want to thank everyone who participated in helping continue what has been a great tradition in IFMA Boston’s Community Outreach.


For those of you that may not know, the SPARK Center was originally known as CAP, which stands for “Children with AIDS Program.” Former Chapter President Joe Flynn reminded me that “IFMA’s relationship with SPARK dates all the way back to the 1980’s.” In the beginning, our chapter partnered with another professional organization IBD to help us start assisting this program for children. As time went on, IBD split up and IFMA Boston made a special effort to maintain our relationship with SPARK on our own.

As a way to keep this tradition alive, our chapter has used our annual Holiday Gala to raise money and support on a consistent basis. In addition, every year our chapter’s Board of Directors makes a special trip to the SPARK Center in Mattapan to donate their time and labor to help upkeep their facility and landscaping. These two annual traditions have helped our chapter to become well-recognized as a strong supporter of SPARK, as Lori Stewart Coletti quotes: “Throughout IFMA Boston’s long history with SPARK, we have been repeatedly recognized as a consistent source of support, upon which the program has come to rely. Especially in times of economic turmoil, IFMA Boston has maintained this support through the generosity of our members, sponsors, and others who understand the vital importance of our contribution to the viability of this program.”

Today, as a part of Boston Medical, SPARK’s mission is to help Boston’s highest-risk children to build better tomorrows. SPARK provides therapeutic, medically-specialized programs for children of all ages based on the concept that all children are resilient and able to be in charge of their futures.

In order to keep this great tradition going, I implore all of members to remember SPARK when it comes to offering time and support as it has a special place in our chapter. This relationship has become a unique part of our chapter’s identity and speaks volumes to our commitment to community. In the future, it would be great for our chapter to create similar relationships and establish annual traditions for us to give back to our Boston Community. One of the great benefits of our chapter is the ability to make your voice heard, and I encourage anyone who knows of any local programs in need to reach out to me (andrew.verderame@siemens.com) or the Board to potentially create another positive relationship with our community.

  • Andrew Verderame, Community Projects Committee: IFMA Boston