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Fayetteville School Wins $1,000 Thanks to “Superstar Volunteer”

Local Man Is Top Vote-Getter In SBLI Facebook Contest

February 12, 2013

Woburn, MA—Ed Bala of Fayetteville already earned $500 for the Ponderosa Elementary School of Mathematics last year from The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts (SBLI), for being one of 20 people across the country honored as “SBLI Superstar Volunteers” by SBLI and PTO Today in recognition of their exceptional volunteer work at their local schools. Now Ponderosa Elementary is getting an additional $1,000 from SBLI, because Ed received the most votes out of the 20 volunteers in the first-ever “SBLI Top Superstar Volunteer Contest” on the company’s Facebook page.

Ed has been volunteering at Ponderosa Elementary School of Mathematics for more than 12 years, remaining long after his own two children moved on to other schools. His resume is long and varied — classroom volunteer, five-time PTO president, chess club enthusiast, communications specialist — but it’s the joie de vivre infusing all he does that endears him to students, staff, and parents alike. Known for trotting out a wide variety of costumes for every holiday and school event, Ed has dressed alternately as an elf, a clown, an astronaut, a math wizard, or some other creative ensemble. This practice has earned him such nicknames as “Costume Guy” and “Father Ponderosa.”

Wacky costumes aside, Bala has devised a PTO handbook and continues to update it yearly. Five years ago he started a weekly email update service to keep parents, teachers, and community leaders in the loop about happenings at Ponderosa. After a tornado swept through Fayetteville in April 2011, he upgraded his emails to daily status reports and provided people with valuable emergency information after the storm.

“We congratulate Ed and the Ponderosa Elementary School of Mathematics,” said SBLI President and CEO Chris Pinkerton. “The SBLI Superstar Volunteers exemplify the outstanding efforts being made by millions of parents across the country to support their local schools, and we are pleased to recognize their important contributions.”

About The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts
Conceived by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Savings Bank Life Insurance was established in Massachusetts in 1907. The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts (SBLI) is currently licensed in 49 states and the District of Columbia, and is a leading provider of safe, low-cost life insurance products. For more information on The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts, visit or call 1-886-630-5000. For more details on the SBLI Superstar Volunteers program, visit

About PTO Today
Since 1999, PTO Today has been connecting with and serving PTO and PTA leaders and school families at schools across the country through a broad variety of print, online and in-person resources, all aimed at fostering greater parent involvement in schools. A division of School Family Media, Inc., PTO Today’s services include PTO Today magazine, more than a dozen “PTO Expo” conferences around the country, and the School Family Nights® series of parent involvement events. Learn more at and