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    Big Y Gives $5K to Fund Documentary

    Donation supports local high school

    Gary Bernice directs the Sci-Tech band, in an image from the proposed documentary's Kickstarter site

    As part of its continuing community outreach, Big Y Foods has donated $5,000 to help make a documentary film about the Springfield High School of Science and Technology band. The contribution helped the school, which is located in Big Y's Massachusetts hometown, exceed its goal of $35,000 by the Dec. 9 deadline.

    Big Y President and COO Charlie D'Amour presented the donation to Sci-Tech bandleader Gary Bernice, a video of which can be found here.

    The Sci-Tech band consists of about 500 students, most of whom have never played an instrument before, with much of the instruction carried out by the students themselves. The organization is notable for its high graduation rate (95 percent) versus that of the rest of the school (45 percent). Springfield High is in danger of being taken over by the state if its graduation rate and standardized test scores don't improve.

    Funded by an online Kickstarter campaign with an ultimate goal of $85,000, the documentary will be made by Florence, Mass.-based husband-and-wife filmmaking team Larry Hott and Diane Garey, of Florentine Films, best known for its long-form television documentaries by Ken Burns. The Walpole, N.H.-based company plans to release the production next spring.

    Family-owned and -operated Big Y, one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, operates 63 stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts.

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