The men who bought shares formed the first Board of Directors, of which Mike Bakos Jr, Don Gladu, and Rene Barthelette were members. With a lot of hard work from Fran Hamel, Don Gladu, Roland Lamothe, Mike Bakos Jr, Henry Peets and Rene Barthelette and many others, they refurbished the building to make a hall downstairs and meeting rooms upstairs.
Later on they moved on to bigger and better things when a group of members went to see Mr. Katz at Springfield Sugar, who had taken over ownership of Merciers Market. Though not one of our faith, he donated $1000.00 to our Council to help defray our expenses.
Henry Peets had taken over presidency of the Board of Directors and was very instrumental in all phases of our growth and accomplishments. He spearheaded the renovations and remodeling that took place. He was the driving force behind this and our future growth.
And then came a cool evening when the Board of Directors were to meet with another Brother Knight about some fixtures the Big Y had for sale at Jumbo supermarket. Jumbo had closed and was being taken over by the D'amour brothers, who were the owners of the Big Y supermarket chain. Henry Peets, Paul Beaulieu, Warren Wentworth and Rene Barthlette were talking outside the store after their visit inside and the comment was made that they could have the biggest bingo in Chicopee if they had a place like this, and Paul Beaulieu suggested they look into renting it. They went to Ernie LaFlamme and Carmeno Danielle, who in turn went to see the D'Amours. They came back and told the board it was not for rent, but for sale, and the asking price for the whole complex was $450,000.00 but this was to high for them. Ernie and Carmeno went back, and after a long discussion with Gerry and Paul D'Amours, came back with a price of $350,000. At a meeting with the members it was voted to buy the property.
That was in 1979. This building, which was previously a Jumbo Foodmart and made it and 10 satellite stores that were there into what it is today.