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From left, Jeff Sorenson, Westerly Lions Club; Paul Kuhn, Westerly Lions Club; Kasim Yarn, R.I. Office of Veterans Affairs; Amy Grzybowski, Westerly Education Center; Dan Marantz; Westerly Lions Club and Celeste Santilli, Westerly Lions Club.

The Westerly Lions Club recently donated $15,000 to Westerly Education Center for the addition of a conference space and offices at the center's Friendship Street location. Jeff Sorensen, former president of Westerly Lions Club, presented the check to Executive Director Amy Grzybowski and Kasim Yarn, executive director of the Rhode Island Office of Veterans Affairs. With the added capacity, the veterans affairs office will be able to provide services to local veterans and eliminate the need to drive to Warwick.

“I’ll remind all that this is the second significant fundraising effort by the Westerly Lions Club for Westerly Education Center, and we’re grateful to Westerly Lions Club for their ongoing generosity to us and the community that will benefit from a wider choice of workforce development training options,” said Grzybowski said. “Only three in 10 Rhode Islanders hold a postsecondary degree, certification or credential, and we know that nine out of 10 jobs created after the last recession will require postsecondary education. Helping the workforce acquire the education and training they need to be prepared for those jobs is absolutely critical, and our center is doing all it can to help people get good jobs.”

“The Westerly Lions Club is proud to continue our support of the Westerly Education Center,” said Paul Kuhn, Lions Club president. “Our motto is 'We Serve,' so we are happy to help the education center grow and fulfill its mission.”

Opened in 2017, Westerly Education Center is expanding so it can add more workforce development programs and a Pearson testing site. The construction of a mezzanine area in the hands-on side of the building will feature additional office space and conference areas. With the additional space, the center will be able to increase programs and services for veterans and establish regular office hours for the R.I. Office of Veteran Affairs.

“The Westerly Lions Club’s donation will provide greater access to veteran services, including educational opportunities, to our veterans living in this area of the state. On behalf of the Office of Veterans Affairs and all veterans, I want to thank members of the Westerly Lions Club for their generosity and commitment to those who have served,” Yarn said.

Shown from left are Westerly Lions Club members Jeff Sorensen and Club President Paul Kuhn; Kasim Yarn, executive director of the Rhode Island Office of Veterans Affairs; Amy Grzybowski, executive director of the Westerly Education Center; and Westerly Lions Club members Dan Marantz and Celeste Santilli.

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