By Jack Minch
Sentinel & Enterprise
January 20, 2015
LEOMINSTER — Jim Drawbridge started a hockey team at Wachusett Regional High School in 1960 and then started a club team when he went to Hillsdale College in Michigan.
He stayed on as a coach after graduation, but when the school made hockey a varsity sport, it offered him a job in fundraising, which started him on a 40-year career.
Drawbridge retired in August but took a part-time job working 20 hours a week as the senior organizational advancement director for the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster last week.
“That means I’m in charge of fundraising,” Drawbridge said Thursday.
Drawbridge will work on the annual fundraising campaign and special projects with the club’s board of directors, according to Executive Director Donata Martin.
“He has all of the experience in working with schools and organizations similar to what the Boys & Girls Club is and will help us greatly with our fundraising,” Martin said.
Drawbridge is relieving Martin of some of her marketing and communications responsibilities, attending such civic functions as Rotary meetings.
He may eventually be able to help start a freestyle skating program, Martin said.
“I look forward to having him do some special things with the kids,” she said. “We’re fortunate to have him join our staff here.”
Drawbridge has worked at several colleges and universities, including Rhode Island School of Design, Bryant University and New England College.
“I was the first fundraiser at Nichols College, and I was at Proctor Academy in New Hampshire,” he said.
For the last 13 years of his career, he worked for RuffaloCODY, which provides fundraising services for nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities.
Drawbridge made the connection with the Boys & Girls club through his wife, Cynthia Payne. She works with Byron Martin, who is the husband of Donata. He asked if Drawbridge would be interested in part-time work.
“It’s a fabulous organization, and I’m very impressed with the members of the board and Donata, who is the executive director, for an organization as young as they are,” Drawbridge said. “I think they have had significant accomplishments and are making an impact for the young people in Fitchburg and Leominster.”