ABOUT THE VIKING PRIDE FOUNDATION

In February 2004, a group of proud WHS alumni and community members came together to form the Viking Pride Foundation.  The Viking Pride Foundation is a non-profit that supports co-curricular activities for students and their families as well as safe inclusive spaces for these activities.  

During the time the Viking Pride Foundation was formed, the Town of Winthrop was facing significant fiscal hardship.

The property tax override had been defeated and state aid to the town drastically reduced.  All town department budgets were hit hard, but one of the hardest hit was our public school system. There were massive teacher layoffs, multiple program losses, reductions in nearly every aspect of curricular opportunities, and the implementation of costly user fees. All expenses for activities and athletics, excluding the Athletic Director’s salary, were funded through fundraising endeavors and these costly user fees.   

At the time of Viking Pride’s inception, the user fee for a co-curricular activity was $325 per season, thus a student who wished to participate in an activity all three seasons was forced to pay $975. These exorbitant fees forced families to choose a single sport or activity for their child or children, or precluded too many students from participating in a sport or activity all together.  Many families were considering private education.

The Founders of Viking Pride recognized that co-curricular activities are integral to the overall education of a student.  Co-curricular activities are an extension of a good education and support the academic mission of the school.  They reinforce the goal of teaching students to be responsible and fulfilled human beings with opportunities that develop critical thinking, character, and social skill, all while promoting a sense of membership and belonging.  Students who participate in co-curricular activity programs have higher grade point averages, better attendance records, lower drop-out rates and fewer disciplinary problems.  In addition, other cognitive factors are developed such as self-esteem, confidence, social cooperation and leadership skills.  

In today’s society, it simply is not enough to be academically successful.   Colleges, universities and even employers expect candidates to have people skills, the ability to accept responsibility and follow directions, poise, hard work, patience, teamwork and persistence in the face of setbacks.  These marketable skills are skills directly cultivated through co-curricular participation.  Every Winthrop student deserves access to the co-curricular programs that will allow him/her to excel in all aspects of life.

The initial goal of the Viking Pride Foundation was to raise $1,000,000 and use that money to lower user fees and restore the co-curricular activities that had been cut or reduced.  Through private contributions from corporations, businesses and individuals, and the dynamic energy and generosity of nearly 600 Winthrop public school alumni, family and community members the Foundation has been able to accomplish so much more.

The following is a sampling of the vital programs that were saved, restored or created by the Viking Pride Foundation:

  • Reduction of athletic fees
  • Donated $35,000 to purchase  “sport court” flooring for Larsen Rink at the Mike Eruzione Center to transform the skating rink to a year round facility for youth
  • Supplemented a new school bus, the fifth VPF school bus since 2010
  • Replenished uniforms for 10 sports programs
  • Made our third contribution to the WHS Dramatic Arts Department, solidifying VPF’s  three year $10,000 commitment to the Neil Shapiro Foundation
  • Supplemented the WHS cheerleaders’ trip to compete in the Nationals in Florida
  • Contributed to WHS Student Council’s Polar Plunge fundraiser in honor of the Special Olympics
  • Support for the Arts
  • Special Clubs (Debate Team, Math Team, Academic Team, Student Council, Personal Fitness, School Newspaper
  • Special Grant Funding
  • Library support…Outdoor club camping supplies… Photography
  • Viking Longship Program
  • Math/Literacy Projects
  • WHS Beautification Projects

Each and every donation made to the Viking Pride Foundation sends a message of continued hope, opportunity and pride to Winthrop’s school children.  

Click here to see our specific donations made to date!

 

The Viking Pride Foundation is supported by an all volunteer Board of Directors from various backgrounds in the community. Currently the board is comprised of:

Chairman

Vincent Crossman
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Suffolk University
Master of Education (School Administration) – Cambridge College
Occupation: US Government
Affiliations: Past Student Council Advisor – Winthrop High School
Massachusetts Association of Student Councils

Vice-Chairman

Carolyn Gagnon
Occupation: Social Worker
Affiliations: Cummings PTO

Treasurer

Vasilios Mallios

Bachelor of Science in Finance – Suffolk University
Occupation: Teacher – Winthrop Middle School
Affiliations: Basketball official, everything Greek

Board Members

Richard J. Fucillo
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Springfield College
Affiliations: Winthrop High School Football Coach, 10+ years

Christos Tsiotos
Juris Doctor – Suffolk University Law School

Occupation: Attorney At Law
Affiliations: Winthrop Chamber of Commerce

James Fabiano
Occupation: Owner, Fabs Liquors, Winthrop, MA
Affiliations: GFB PTO

Shannon Poulos
Occupation: Vice President – Bain Capital
Affiliations:

Angelo Vigliotta
Occupation: Owner, Galaxy Electric Corporation
Affiliations: Past-President, East Boston Chamber of Commerce

Bob Deeb
Occupation: President, MSA Mortgage Corp.
Affiliations:

Mark D’Ambrosio
Bachelor of American Studies, Colby College
Occupation: Director of Sales, Flagship Merchant Services
Affiliations: Winthrop High School Football Volunteer Coach, 2005-2010

Kelly Parker
Occupation: Winthrop Fire Department Clerk
Affiliations: High School Parent

MEMBER EMERITUS

Vincent Eruzione
Bachelor of Science – College of the Holy Cross
Occupation:Director of Athletics – Curry College, Milton, MA
Coach / Coordinator – Winthrop Legion Baseball

 

Questions? Contact us at 617-539-4VPF or email board@vikingpride.org.

Viking Pride Foundation, Inc.

PO Box 520037

Winthrop, MA 02152