FALL RIVER, MA - The SouthCoast Mentoring Initiative for Learning, Education and Service, Inc., otherwise known as SMILES, a program of People, Incorporated, hosted its 6th annual Miles for SMILES walk/run/bike/skate-a-thon on Sunday March 23, 2014 at UMass Dartmouth.
This year, and with the support of our community, Miles for SMILES raised over $75,000 to support SMILES and its mission to help children realize their personal and educational potential through a large-scale one-to-one mentoring program. With the backing of such fundraising initiatives, SMILES is able to continue to provide mentors to the children in our community.
Local businesses, organizations and supporters participated in this event by becoming sponsors and forming teams of walkers, runners, bikers and skaters. Nick Christ, President of BayCoast Bank has supported the SMILES Program since its inception and as our Title Sponsor for the sixth year in a row, Nick and his “Just Right” crew showed their support with tremendous team presence and were voted the team with most spirit! Joseph Baptista, Jr., President of Mechanics Cooperative Bank and his team have been huge supporters, too, of the SMILES Program and People, Incorporated. Mechanics Cooperative Bank came away with top honors for Top Fundraising Team and Joe Baptista was given the title of Top Fundraiser – certainly, a well-deserved and timely title!
“This year was an overwhelming success and was the most attended event to date. We are incredibly grateful to all the businesses, organizations, committee members, participants and volunteers who continually support SMILES and contribute to the success of this event”, remarked Pamela O’Neill, Vice President of Communications and Administration. “The sixth Annual Miles for SMILES event was a wonderful way to support an organization that is making a positive impact on the community as it strives to improve the high school graduation rate by connecting caring adults with kids on a one-to-one mentoring basis. Our achievements are in part due to the support we receive from organizations such as BayCoast Bank, Title Sponsor, Presenting Sponsor, Anthony F. Cordeiro Insurance Agency, Community Sponsors Arbella Insurance Group and Bristol County District Attorney Samuel Sutter, Mission Sponsors, Lafrance Hospitality Company, Mechanics Cooperative Bank, Saint Anne's Hospital and UMass Dartmouth and our SMILE Sponsors, Bristol Pacific Homes, Inc., Boston Flooring, Kitchen Sales, Inc., Rua-Dumont-Audet Insurance Agency, Inc. and St. Anne’s Credit Union.
"Miles for SMILES is the one major fundraising event for the SMILES program each year," continued O’Neill. "The money that we raised will be put right back into the community by sustaining our SMILES Programs in the region. We are extremely fortunate to run a program such as SMILES and are equally fortunate to have the continued support from our community partners.”