Pudding fundraiser for Snyder scholarship fund
HINSDALE, N.H. — Selling pudding to fund the Matthew P. Snyder Memorial Scholarship seemed like a natural to Bridget Cummings, Snyder's mom.
"It just made sense to me," she said. "I'm not sure that a lot of people know this, but in addition to My Baby Boy, which is my nickname for Matthew, he also had the nickname 'Pudding.' He got this nickname when he was playing baseball in junior high. His coach said to the team as they were exercising that they needed to keep it up so they'd all have a six pack. Matthew informed him he would have a six pack ... a six pack of pudding cups, thereby earning him the nickname."
Snyder, a 2017 graduate of Hinsdale High School, died in a car crash on Route 63 in Hinsdale on March 19, 2018. Cummings started the scholarship last year and it made its first award during the 2019 graduation ceremony.
Cummings said she had a second reason for funding the scholarship with sales of pudding from Echo Farm, which is based in Hinsdale.
"I grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York," she said. "Matthew spent summers in New York with my parents. He loved being there, especially being around his Uncle Bob, who now owns the family farm."
Before Uncle Bob took over the Cummings Farm in Turin, N.Y., it was operated by their parents, Bob and Becky Cummings.
"Matthew was an amazing young man and I am so honored to have been his mother," said Cummings. "He was larger than life in every way and always had a way to make me smile. Matthew lived life by the horns.Our family misses him dearly, but I know I will meet him again some day."
Ciera Youmell received the first disbursement of $1,000 from the scholarship fund.
"It was very emotional," said Cummings. "Ciera was Matt's first prom date."
At the time of his death, Snyder was working at Sandri on Route 142 in Hinsdale and had just started taking business classes at River Valley Community College.
"He wasn't sure what he wanted to do, but he had a knack for math," said Cummings. "He loved [business teacher] Jodie Holmquist and was such a natural at math."
Cummings said her son was a big fan of the pudding from Echo Farms.
"I approached them last year with my idea of selling the pudding for the fundraiser and they have been fantastic to work with," she said.
The pudding comes in 18-cup, four-ounce cases for $12.50, with proceeds, about $5, above the cost of the pudding going to the fund.
"The pudding flavors we are selling are butterscotch, chocolate, rice, spiced pumpkin, tapioca and vanilla," said Cummings, who moved to Hinsdale about 14 years ago and works at the Holstein Association in Brattleboro. Orders can be placed by messaging Cummings on Facebook, by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending a check made out to her to 22 Plain Road, Hinsdale, N.H., 03451.
Order forms are also available at the Hinsdale Farmers Market on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Millstream Riverfront Park through Sept. 28. There will also be order forms available at Hinsdale High School's homecoming event on Sept. 14.
"Pickup will be at the Hinsdale Fall Festival on Oct. 12 where we will have a booth with raffles, a hot cocoa bar, hot cider and baked goods as well as a quilt raffle that is going to help pay for dugouts at the ballfield," said Cummings. Raffle tickets for the quilt can be purchased in advance by contacting Cummings.
Cummings said she has received incredible support from the Hinsdale community and Brattleboro Area Hospice and has been attending monthly meetings of The Compassionate Friends of Brattleboro.
The Compassionate Friends meet the third Sunday of every month from 2 to 4 p.m. at the West Village Meeting House. The Compassionate Friends describes itself as "A self-help organization offering friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved families that have experienced the death of a child."
"They have been phenomenal helping me get through this," said Cummings, who said the response to the pudding fundraiser has been beyond her expectations.
"Last year we sold 170 cases without even trying," she said. "This year I've already sold 60 cases."
In addition to his mother, Snyder left behind his sister Chandra and his step-father, Tim Shuffleburg.
Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 151, or email@example.com.
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