A city restaurateur has come through big for the J.G. Whittier Middle School and Emmaus, Inc. just in time for the holidays.
An alumnus of Whittier Middle School, Gus Scrivanos, who owns seven Dunkin Donuts franchises in the city, has donated $25,000 to both the school and the nonprofit dedicated to combating homelessness in the city.
The seven Dunkin Donuts’ owned by Scrivanos are located at 600 Broadway, 259 Lincoln Ave, 765 Main St, 15 S. Main St & Middlesex Ave, 727 S. Main St, 215 Winter St, 407 Amesbury Rd.
According to Christiana Bartolo, a marketing and public relations coordinator for Scrivanos’ company, NGP Management, Scrivanos made the donation to Emmaus support their housing and service programs that address the complex problem of homelessness in the community.
The matching donation to Whittier Middle School will go toward expanding their computer and technology program, she said.
When informed of Scrivanos’ donation, Whittier Principal Brian Gill was left in a place he said he rarely finds himself — speechless.
“This is the first time I’ve heard of about (the donation), but what a nice man. I’m always impressed by people in Haverhill,” Gill said, adding the money is the largest private donation the school has received since he arrived as assistant principal in 2012 and since he became principal in 2014.
Currently, the school has two computer laboratories — one for PC’s and one for Apple computers — with 32 computers each, along with two iPad carts with 20 devices apiece.
In addition, the school has a cart with 20 Google Chromebooks, which teachers can rent out along with the computer labs.
“We have enough technology for 3.5 students per device,” said Gill. “We have 517 students and we started the year at 492. So the word’s out that Whittier is the place to be.”
With its test scores rising, Gill is hopeful this donation will go a long way to boosting them higher.
“The people of Haverhill are just so generous,” he said.
Margot Regan, events/marketing and communications manager for Emmaus Inc. said Monday the check will be donated at the organization’s How Street headquarters next week.
She said it is one of the largest donations made this year to the organization, which is coming off of a $16,000 haul last month on Giving Tuesday, which she said would provide 30 homeless seniors with housing.
“This will help us significantly. Each day that we have to stay open because of the cold or if there’s a blizzard, that’s not budgeted for,” Regan said. “This gives us a cushion. It’s an answered prayer.”
Haverhill Schools Superintendent James Scully said during conversations with Scrivanos, he learned that he was an alum of J.G. Whittier and desired to give back to the school he had such fond memories of.
Scully added that between the $800,000 donated by Ernie DiBurro for a new clubhouse at Trinity Stadium earlier this year — which brings his total donations to the district to over $1.5 million over the last eight years — and separate donations of over $25,000 from several donors, including Dr. John Maddox, the district’s physician, 2016 was a year when Haverhill gave back to its schools in a big way.
“I am more than grateful for these significant donations,” Scully said. “The overall private giving to our schools had been incredible, and it shows the pride we have in our schools.”
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