UMass members raise scholarship fund

READY FOR ACTION: Joe Piscitello, his son Evan and brother, Local 888 leader Nicholas Piscitello, get ready to drop the puck as UMass Lowell and UConn players face off before the Nov. 17 game.

READY FOR ACTION: Joe Piscitello, his son Evan and brother, Local 888 leader Nicholas Piscitello, get ready to drop the puck as UMass Lowell and UConn players face off before the Nov. 17 game.

More than 200 members, friends and family were on hand for Local 888’s UMass Lowell Hockey Night, which had the men’s River Hawks face off against the UConn Huskies on Nov. 17.

The hockey game came on the heels of a successful drive by Local 888’s UMass Lowell chapter to raise an endowment that will annually fund a student scholarship. As a result, chapter chair Nicholas Piscitello was asked by the university to take part in the opening ceremonies of the game.

He then forwarded the ceremonial puck to his nephew Evan. The scholarship will go to a family member of someone in the Local 888

Professional Administrative Chapter at the university, which represents about 580 workers. Secondarily, the winner of the scholarship will also be determined by financial need.

Piscitello said that the scholarship drive raised $28,000, more than the target, in only 2½ years. Both the chapter and Local 888 members contributed, including through payroll deductions. For starters, the endowment will cover two, $500 scholarships. The scholarship amount will grow as the endowment grows.

“For many of our members, working at UMass Lowell is more than a job — it is about contributing to something larger, serving students and enriching our community,” said Piscitello, a graduate of the school. “This is a great opportunity to create a living benefit that will grow and last for generations.”

He said the scholarship will help fill a role that the state has not kept up with: providing an affordable college education. UMass students face escalating tuition costs and fees.

To top off the event, the River Hawks soared to a 3-0 shutout victory.

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