fundraiser

Support Beyond Walls at The Blue Ox on June 14

Come celebrate and support Beyond Walls at The Blue Ox on June 14, 2017.

The Blue Ox has graciously offered Beyond Walls 10% of the restaurant’s proceeds and ALL the proceeds of a Beyond Walls signature cocktail on the night of June 14, 2017!

Come out, enjoy some great food, and feel good that you are also supporting Beyond Walls, a local community group instituting several public art projects around Lynn, Mass.

Tables are going fast–for reservations, visit: www.theblueoxlynn.com/#reservations

Saugus salutes seniors

ITEM PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Brendan Patterson walks into Stackpole Stadium to receive his diploma.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — One hundred ninety six graduates crossed the stage and entered the next phase of their lives at a crowded Stackpole Field Friday night.

Among the Saugus High School class of 2017 graduates was Valedictorian Rachel May. While introducing her, teacher Kevin Fontanella told a story about a split second decision to move out of the way of a 75-pound-suitcase falling down an escalator, leaving May in its path while on a class trip.

“Helicopter teacher I am not,” said Fontanella, who jokingly called it a teaching moment and a real-world physics problem.

After screeching louder than Fontanella thought possible, May stopped the suitcase with her own, thus solving the problem and learning how to defy the laws of physics, he said.

The largest class in the school, May pointed out that, at almost 200 students, the odds were that six of them would end up having twins, many would get tattoos, at least one would regret their tattoo, and more than 150 would gain weight. But she added that the class had a knack for defying the odds and that they had left their mark on the school.

School committee veterans bowing out

“The class of 2017 will remain long after our building is torn down,” she said. “And yes, that was a shameless plug to go out and vote for a new school.”

May raised $2,000 for the Northeast Animal Shelter by organizing the Stroll for Strays, a fundraising walk held at Breakheart Reservation last June.

The shelter is located in Salem and is one of New England’s largest no-kill shelters for cats and dogs. May began walking dogs and cleaning kennels at the shelter to fulfill a service project requirement for the National Honor Society.

She was also the first high school student to receive the Saugus Public Library Foundation’s annual Readers Make Good Leaders Award in 2016. Principal Michael Hashem said he nominated her for the honor because of her community service efforts, her grades, and she fits the description of a well-rounded student.

While many of the graduates will go on to further their education or enter the workforce, at least five will serve in the United States military.

“We are leaving Saugus high a much better place than when we found it,” said Salutatorian Kristina Italiano. “Wherever you end up, continue to leave that place better than when you found it. Surround yourself with people who, like the class of 2017, also want to leave places better than when they found them.”


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte

Arc keeps family afloat in Swampscott

ITEM PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK
Lisa Rainer slides paper into the shredder as her sister Julie Cummings looks on.

By PAUL HALLORAN

The Rainer family has gone to great lengths to provide their daughter and sister, Lisa, with the best opportunities for a healthy and productive life, despite the challenges of a physical and developmental disability. And they would be the first to admit Northeast Arc has been a valued partner in that endeavor.

“We’ve been given supports we didn’t even know we needed,” said Julie (Rainer) Cummings, Lisa’s sister.

Lisa, 58, who is deaf and intellectually disabled, has been living in an Arc-supported house in Swampscott for the past 25 years. She loves her full-time job at Northeast Arc’s Heritage Shredding company in Danvers, and enjoys traveling. She also participates in Arc recreation programs.

“We love the supports she gets, the opportunities she’s had, and the unending love she receives from Northeast Arc,” Cummings said. “We couldn’t be happier with her program.”

When Lisa was a toddler and Ron and Carol Rainer were looking for play groups appropriate for her, they found Northeast Arc. Lisa would join other children with developmental disabilities in church halls and at local Elks Clubs, wherever space could be found. It turns out that she wasn’t the only one who benefited from the experience.

Ron and Carol got to meet other parents and share stories and frustrations faced by families in that situation. It brought into focus the challenges that lay ahead.

Lisa was enrolled in a school in Randolph but she was not progressing. At that time, Ron explained, deaf people were actually discouraged from learning sign language, and her inability to communicate led to frustration that at times manifested itself in physical behavior.

The Rainers looked far and wide for the right placement for Lisa, and their search resulted in Carol and Lisa moving to Wichita, Kan., when Lisa was 10 so she could attend the Institute of Logopedics.

Ron still remembers the first time his daughter communicated with them, using sign language to say, “Hi, mom. Hi, dad.”

“I could cry again just thinking about it,” Ron said.

Killing a beast in Malden

After 10 years in Kansas, Lisa moved back to Swampscott and rejoined the Arc family. After she graduated from the Protestant Guild for the Multiply Handicapped in Watertown, the Rainers were looking for a residential placement that worked for her, but  at that time there were no residences for individuals with hearing impairment and developmental disabilities. They would change that.

Ron and Carol collaborated with Temple Israel in Swampscott to host a fundraiser, with half of the proceeds going toward a down payment for an Arc residence for the deaf and developmentally disabled. That led to the purchase of a Victorian on Wave Street in Lynn, where Lisa lived with seven other individuals facing the same challenges. It was the first residence of that type in the region, if not the country, according to Susan Ring Brown, chief development officer at Northeast Arc.

“We had to create a community experience for her,” Ron Rainer said.

Helping Arc open that residence was just one instance of the Rainers’ long-standing support for and involvement with the Arc. Everyone in the family has donated time and treasure to the organization. Carol, Julie, and Lisa’s brother, Rob, have all been board president, with Carol serving four terms. Julie is currently a board member. The Rainers have donated and raised money for the Arc over the years.

When health issues forced Carol to take a step back, she had a frank conversation with Julie. “My mom told me it was my turn to step in,” said Cummings, who embraced the mandate from mom. Julie is active on the Arc board, and she especially enjoys meeting and helping individuals who benefit from the services the Arc provides.

“I prefer the doer side and being hands-on,” said Cummings, who enjoys being on the board’s residential committee. “It gives us a chance to get out to houses and meet the staff and residents in a private setting.”

As if they needed more evidence of the profound effect of Northeast Arc in their lives, the Rainers were overwhelmed with the level of support provided to Lisa – and, by extension, the entire family – when Carol died last November.

“Lisa was so supported by her team,” Cummings said. “They were able to explain to her what happened. The support from the staff was unbelievable.”

That was simply the latest example of the Arc being there for Lisa as she continues her life journey as a happy, productive member of society who does not allow her disabilities to hold her back.

“We couldn’t be prouder of what she’s accomplished,” Ron Rainer said, and you can certainly understand why.

For more information visit www.bit.ly/possibilityfund.

 

HOME is where the heart is for filmmakers

ITEM FILE PHOTO
The Lynnway was the site in which snapshots and video footage from Cambodia, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala were displayed May 16.

By BILL BROTHERTON

LYNN — As celebrations go, this one is pretty special.

Thursday, a festive block party will be outside and inside Raw Art Works’ headquarters in Central Square. The creativity and individuality of many of the 1,200 or so youngsters, age 7 to 19, who benefit from the nonprofit’s free programs will be on full display.

Perhaps you’ve seen the video projections from the HOME project that have brightened three city buildings the past three nights. Those will move inside Thursday, joining the newest gallery exhibition of more than 200 art pieces created by RAW youth, exploring many aspects of home.

The opening reception is free and open to the public. It starts at 6 p.m. A DJ will add to the fun. There will be light refreshments and inexpensive food offered by local restaurateurs. The senior scholarship award winners will be announced at 7 p.m. RAW co-founder Mary Flannery said everyone is invited, not just those who call RAW or Lynn home.

A “huge house” will be set up outside of RAW’s Central Avenue building and attendees will also get to don virtual reality glasses for a unique experience, said Flannery.

Alex Ashley, development operations manager, said the HOME theme connected the youth, their families and their Lynn community. Twenty RAW groups explored how we can all feel at home in our lives, and the power of envisioning what we want to bring into our future homes and community. Youngsters shared their family traditions, heritage and culture and further explored issues of inequality, social justice and belonging, including the complexity of what it means to be an American.

Lightning Coffee to strike in Lynn

The new exhibition has been supported by software giant Adobe. Two years ago, Adobe searched worldwide for innovative youth arts organizations for its Creative Catalyst Awards. RAW is one of just seven organizations in the world to receive this designation.

“We have a longstanding relationship with Adobe, because of our film programs,” said Flannery. “As a Creative Catalyst, we were invited to apply for Adobe’s Innovation Grant. ‘Put a project in front of us and wow us,’ we were told. The immigration issue was blowing up and, about a week before the deadline, Chris Gaines, the creative director of our Real to Reel Film School, came up with the HOME idea.”

RAW developed a proposal around the theme of home and was awarded a grant to introduce new technology into its programming. The grant is also funding a series of productions and projects focused on telling uniquely American stories about immigration, home and belonging. The Innovation Grant was given to only three other organizations in the United States, with RAW the only one on the East Coast. Two RAW students were among 25 worldwide who received Adobe scholarships.

“We asked for a $175,000 grant,” said Flannery, with a smile. “They said, ‘No. We’re sorry. We have to award you $225,000.’” Adobe executives were blown away by the RAW HOME proposal.

Success stories are nothing new for Flannery and her hard-working co-workers. Saturday night, some 400 people attended BASH: Party with a Purpose, raising $260,000. Flannery said it was their most successful fundraiser yet.

HOME is truly where the heart is for the creative young filmmakers and artists at Raw Art Works. Come celebrate their success.


Bill Brotherton is the Item’s Features editor. He can be reached at bbrotherton@itemlive.com.

Can’t keep a good (fire)man down

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Saugus firefighter Marco Tirella returns from a run on the ladder truck.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — Firefighter Marco Tirella returned to full duty Monday just eight months after he suffered injuries that resulted in the amputation of five of his toes and about half of his right foot.

“The first doctor I had in the hospital asked what I did for a living and I told him I was a firefighter,” said Tirella, 28. “That doctor said I wouldn’t return back to work. I was definitely nervous in the beginning. All I wanted to do as a little kid was be a firefighter.”

While riding his motorcycle, Tirella was struck by a car that ran a red light in Groveland, traveling about 30 miles per hour. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to the injuries to his foot, he suffered road rash, cuts, and bruises. He underwent emergency surgery and pins were placed in his toes to keep them straight. He was sent home to wait for improvements and hope for blood flow to be restored, but three weeks later, part of his foot was amputated.

Fire Chief Michael Newbury said he and Deputy Chief Donald Shea visited Tirella the morning after the accident.

“He was in a bad way,” said Newbury. “His foot was elevated and he had had surgery the night before. You could tell right off the bat it was a serious injury. I saw a couple of young people who were worried about their future. (He and his wife) were recently married and had just purchased a home. I reassured him that if he wanted to get back to work, he would.”

Lynn man sideswipes 3 cars, police say

When they got back to the car, Newbury said they were optimistic, setting a bet that he would be back to work in a year.

“The whole department stood together to rally around Marco, but at the end of the day, all of this is on Marco,” said Newbury. “He made the decision to push back and get back to work. Marco realized what kind of job he hand and how precious life was when this happened. Marco’s the person who took it on his own and went out and made sure he got back to work.

Tirella, who was with the Saugus Fire Department for four years before the accident, returned to work on light duty in the Fire Prevention office in November. A licensed electrician, he also assisted with inspections and paperwork, said Newbury.

Tirella was fitted with with a few different prosthetics before he found the fit that worked best for him. While on the search, the Saugus Fire Department organized a fundraiser to help cover the costs of a new prosthesis with a custom fit.

Tirella trained with the department’s four newest members: Matthew Smith, Joshua Mullen, Sean Bohannon, and Martin Hyppolite over the past three weeks and demonstrated he was more than capable of doing everything necessary to complete the job, said Newbury.

“We both wanted to make sure that I could do everything the same as I could before,” said Tirella. “People would think that climbing a ladder is very different without your foot. But I work with a great group of guys. That really motivated me to get back to work.”


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

 

Online plant sale to help river restoration

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — The Saugus River Watershed Council is having an online plant sale to benefit river restoration and environmental education programs.

The Gardens in Bloom fundraiser can be accessed on the organization’s homepage at www.saugusriver.org. Shoppers can choose from 18 perennial and annual plants and spring bulb packages from Dutch Mill Bulbs.

Half of the profit from each plant sold will go to the council, which works to protect and restore the natural resources of the Saugus River Watershed.

Traffic fine increases could net city $300K

The council chose plants with a variety of colors. Hanging strawberry plants, everbearing strawberry plants, tiger lily flower bulbs, lavender astilbe plant, stella d’oro daylilies, bleeding hearts, hosta plants, and jaguar flower bulbs are just a few of the options.

Each will cost $10.

Shipping costs will be based on the number of packages. A flat fee of $10 will cover the cost of shipping one to four plants; $12 for five to 10 plants; $12 for 11 to 17 plants, $16 for 18 to 24, and free ground shipping for 25 or more.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte

Zion Baptist Church marks 115 years

ITEM PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
The committee for the 115th anniversary of Zion Baptist Church, from left: Brenda Womack, David Murray, Thelma Riley, the Rev. Dr. Kirk B. Jones, Starry Poe, Rochelle Bluefort, Brenda Newell, and Deacon Jerry Alleyne.

By GAYLA CAWLEY

LYNN — Zion Baptist Church will celebrate its 115th anniversary in June, marking the occasion with a banquet fundraiser and a service.

Zion Baptist Church is the oldest continuous black church on the North Shore in the same location, according to Deacon Gerald Alleyne.

The anniversary is on June 22, 115 years after Zion Baptist Church opened its doors in 1902. A two-day celebration will mark the anniversary, with a jazz banquet on Saturday, June 24 at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Wakefield, from 5 p.m. to midnight. The next day there will be a service at Zion at 10:30 a.m.

The church has survived two fires, one in 1949, that required the church to be rebuilt, according to a history of the church provided by Alleyne.

Rev. Dr. Kirk B. Jones, the senior pastor, said to come back from the fires demonstrates their commitment to God, to their faith and to the community. He said the church is a resource of inspiration for its members, but it’s also a source of social strength to the community.

“So, as pastor, I see us embracing our past so that we can draw strength to do those things that they did and even more in today’s world,” Jones said.

Animal magnetism at Lynn Museum

Jones said money raised from the banquet will in turn help the church support its continued general programs, other ministries in the greater Lynn community, and a program it has to support those recovering from addiction. He said the banquet is a sign of the church’s commitment through linking spirituality and jazz, something it wants to expand on.

Thelma Riley, anniversary chair, said the goal is to raise $115,000, and the church has asked the congregation and the community for a dollar for every year the church has been in service.

The roots of Zion Baptist Church started with the Loyalist movement during the end of the American Revolution, and the freed slaves who came to Nova Scotia with the promise of land, freedom and work. Around 1880, a considerable number of Negroes who had settled around Annapolis Royal, Digby and Weymouth, Nova Scotia, then settled in Lynn. This group became so large that they wanted their own church to worship, according to a history of the church provided by Alleyne.

“I think it says a lot in the form of being faithful and steadfast,” said Brenda Newell. “When you think about 115 years ago, those persons coming from Nova Scotia, I’m sure that they came with a dream and not knowing what to expect, and when they arrived here and started their small congregation, it was just their faith that I think kept them going and the congregation grew. All that love that was brought here, instilled in the hearts of parishioners, it’s still here today. That has never ceased and that’s something that we can grow on, encouraging each other, loving each other.”


Gayla Cawley can be reached at gcawley@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

Businesses joining to help Saugus schools

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — Local businesses will raise money for Saugus Public Schools for the 25th year in a row.

The 2017 Taste for Education fundraiser will be Monday, May 1 from 6-9 p.m. at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers. The annual event is sponsored by the Saugus Business Education Collaborative.

Guests mingle while tasting menu items from participating restaurants. The evening is billed as an opportunity for business owners to meet and form relationships with each other. Last year, more than 330 people attended and more than $17,000 was raised for the fund.

Each Saugus elementary school principal chose to use the money to purchase Chromebooks for students.

Nahant Town Meeting chases ambulances

Among the dozens of local restaurants, caterers, chefs and businesses participating this year are Kelly’s Roast Beef, Kowloon Restaurant, Prince Pizzeria, Victor’s Italian Cuisine, The Tumble Inn Diner, Fuddruckers, J & M Specialty, Caryn’s Sports Bar, Piantedosi Baking Company, Inc., Out of Asia,  Sweet Deal, Teresa’s Italian Eatery, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, Edible Arrangements, The Lenox Hotel, and Casa Vallarta.

SBEC president John Smolinsky will serve as the master of ceremonies. Perfect Parties will provide music and Balloonatics will bring the balloons. The evening will also feature several raffles, silent, and live auctions.

Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at each of the public schools, the Saugus Public Schools Administration Building and North Shore Bank’s Route 1 branch.

 

Consider the progress we’ve made, Kennedy says

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Donna Coppola, left, and Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy have a word during Kennedy’s re-election kickoff.

By THOMAS GRILLO

LYNN — Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy kicked off her campaign for a third term Wednesday night at a crowded fundraiser in the Porthole Restaurant.

Kennedy, a Republican, will face state Sen. Thomas McGee in what is expected to be a hotly contested race.  Last month the Lynn Democrat, who has served in the state Senate since 2002, announced his intention to seek the corner office.  

In mentioning McGee in her remarks, Kennedy said the two of them have been in public life for more than two decades and each of them have records that should be scrutinized.

“I hope all of you will base your vote in this election, not on personalities, not on political parties, not on family connections, but on who has done the most to bring improvements to our great city,” she said.

Kennedy became mayor in 2009 when she beat Mayor Edward “Chip” Clancy by 27 votes of the more than 16,000 ballots cast. In 2013, she bested Timothy Phelan by a 59 to 41 percent margin.

The mayor reminded the crowd what Lynn was like in 2010, the year she took office. She said Sluice, Flax and Goldfish ponds were infested with invasive weeds, several parks lacked lights for night games, there were few options for seniors to save on their real estate taxes, the General Electric Factory of the Future site had been vacant for more than 10 years, the Thurgood Marshall Middle School was in need of replacing, the Lynn Auditorium had just three shows a year, the downtown was filled with litter, and if teens wanted a summer job, they needed help from an elected official.

“Today, the ponds are clean, Barry Park and Wyoma Baseball Field have lights, there’s a nightly street sweeping schedule in the downtown, we implemented a way for income-eligible seniors to work off $600 from their property tax bills, there’s a lottery for summer jobs, the Lynn Auditorium is air conditioned and booked, the Factory of the Future is the new home for Market Basket, and we built a new middle school,” she said. “I ask for your support as we continue this progress for the next four years.”

I think I can make a difference, McGee says

The event attracted many of the city’s elected officials and candidates for office, as well as supporters.

Elaine Letowski, an insurance writer who moved to Lynn in 2003, said she attended the event because she strongly backs Kennedy.

“She’s good for our city, she says no when you have to say no,” she said. “We don’t have enough money for everything. She’s working on the budget, makes good decisions, keeps our taxes down, and is making Lynn a better place to live.”

Eileen Spencer, a real estate broker at Annmarie Jonah Realtors, said Kennedy has helped revitalize the downtown.

“Judy has done a phenomenal job for the city,” she said. “What I like most of all is what’s she’s done to improve the Lynn Auditorium and that is bringing business to the downtown.”

The mayor’s fundraiser comes one day after a team of consultants told officials that without corrective action, the city’s budget is projected to have an $8.6 million deficit in 2017 and in each of the next five years.

The PFM Group, based out of Philadelphia, provided a grim prescription to City Hall: No raises for city employees, freeze hiring, contract EMS services to a private company, and eliminate 35 city jobs.

Kennedy did not ignore the city’s financial troubles in her speech.

“I want to be real, not everything is rosy and, of course, we have some difficulties, such as balancing the budget,” she said. “But I’ve been quietly looking to officials at the federal level … and I expect to return to Washington in the coming months to meet with the new Trump administration to see what I can do for my city.”


Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.

 

Big names at fundraiser for Northeast Arc

COURTESY PHOTO
Tom Gould, owner of Treadwell’s Ice Cream and Peabody city councilor-at-large, and Gabriella Foley of Swampscott are just two of the participants in Northeast Arc’s fashion show fundraiser.

Swampscott’s Kim Carrigan, host of the Boston.com Morning Show on WRKO-AM,  will host Northeast Arc’s “An Evening of Changing Lives” fundraiser on April 29 at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers.

For the first time, the event will feature more than a dozen local celebrities, dignitaries, and business leaders in a fashion show.

Each of these volunteers will be paired with individuals whose lives are changed as a result of the community’s support of the Northeast Arc’s services. They will walk the runway in clothes supplied by Brooks Brothers and the Gap at the Northshore Mall; J. Mode in Salem; Infinity Boutique in Swampscott; and lululemon.

Northeast Arc is a Danvers-based nonprofit that helps children and adults with disabilities become full participants in the community.

The event will also serve to honor Jeffrey Musman of Nahant, a partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

“Jeffrey has been a longtime supporter of the Arc, serving as an instrumental member and past president of our board,” said Jo Ann Simons, CEO. “Jeff’s firm has been at the forefront of employing individuals with disabilities.”

Here comes the sun in Malden

The evening will include a wine tasting by Kappy’s Fine Wine & Spirits, dinner, and an auction. Hank Morse of the Loren & Wally Show on 105.7 WROR will serve as auctioneer.

Fashion show participants include Jay Ash, Massachusetts secretary of housing and economic development; Lauren Beckham-Falcone of the Loren & Wally Show; RoAnn Costin, president of Reservoir Capital Management; Jim Ellard, CEO of New England BioLabs; Tom Gould, owner of Treadwell’s Ice Cream and Peabody city councilor-at-large; Elisa Holt, 2015 Mrs. Massachusetts; Mitch Holt of Liberty Mutual; Steve Immerman, president of Montserrat College of Art; Chris MacKenzie, office managing partner at RSM Boston; Daniel Miller, anchor and reporter at FOX 25; Quincy Miller, president of Eastern Bank; Kendra Petrone of Magic 106.7; Marty Willis, chief marketing officer of TIAA; and Mikki Wilson, director of marketing and business development at Cabot Wealth Management.

Sponsorship opportunities and tickets to the event are available.  For more information, contact Susan Ring Brown at srbrown@ne-arc.org or (978) 624-2487.

Classical alumni look to $1 million goal

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Paul Stafford, president of the Alumni & Friends of Lynn Classical High School, left, and Principal Gene Constantino plan a fundraiser.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

LYNN — Lynn Classical High School principal Gene Constantino projects that in two years, the Alumni and Friends of Lynn Classical High School will have given $1 million in college scholarships to students.

The group formed in 1995 and awarded $500 scholarships to 10 students in its first year. In 2014, the group stepped up efforts and began raising money through fundraising events of about 150 people.

Last year, the Alumni and Friends gave more than $84,000 to 85 recipients. Paul Stafford, a retired teacher and president of the group, is planning the fourth annual fundraiser for March 23 at Prince Pizzeria’s Giggles Comedy Club in Saugus. The event will feature a comedy show, dinner, and several raffles.

Stafford graduated from Classical in 1961 and spent 27 of 37 years of his career at the school. When he first attended Suffolk University, he spent $800 on tuition for the year, he said.

“It’s just too expensive today,” Stafford said. “The cost of a college education has become so expensive. These young men and women graduating need all the help they can get. This is my way of helping them get the education they’ve been dreaming of.”

Four of his children and two of his grandchildren are also alumni.

“Classical is an important part of my life — I’m happy to do what I can,” he said.

To bee or not to bee

In addition to the awards given by the Alumni and Friends, Classical also has a scholarship program run by the guidance department. The $500 to $5,000 awards are established by businesses, or in someone’s name, such as The Michele Durgin Memorial Scholarship, named for the Item features writer and popular Lynn teacher who was killed in an automobile crash on Jan. 28.

The awards are handed out on a separate award night; this year the awards banquet will be June 1 at the school and the Alumni and Friends ceremony is May 30 at St. Michael’s Hall, said Constantino.

Tickets to the fundraiser at Prince Pizzeria, which begins at 6:30 p.m., are $25 each and must be purchased in advance. The price includes pizza, salad, entertainment and raffle tickets.

“It fits with our motto to connect with the past and contribute to the future,” Stafford said. “The fundraiser brings members of the Classical family together and it raises funds for scholarships for (the students’) future.”


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte

Snow Ball ‘will have something for everyone’

By BILL BROTHERTON

LYNN Not everyone loves Valentine’s Day.

Corey Jackson, managing director of Arts After Hours, realizes that. But he believes everyone even those who have had relationships crash and burn will have a lovely time at his organization’s annual Snow Ball fundraiser, set for Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Lynn Museum.

“It’s a real fun way to get everybody out,” said Jackson. “No matter if you’re pro Valentine’s Day or anti Valentine’s Day, you’ll have a great time.”

Jackson said there will be two boards set up, one where pro-romance messages can be posted and another for anti-romance screeds.

“We found the most outrageous collections of magnetic poetry,” added Jackson, with a bit of sinful glee. One magnetic poetry kit, D-bag Poet, contains words including “beatdown”, “cougar”, “drunk”, “hottie” and “fo sho.”

The Mixed Up Pick Up Lines option features such expressions as “astronaut pants”, “piece of heaven” and “your clothes”.

The Love choice includes mushy words like “dream”, “hug”, “goddess” and “smile”.

The Erotic kit includes, umm well, words too hot for this family newspaper.

Attendees will also be able to send old-fashioned valentine cards “like the ones you sent to your crush in elementary school,” said Jackson. “The old-school valentines will be hand-delivered to other guests of your choosing in the room.”

Love messages will be announced via microphone and there will be a kissing / photo booth.

The event also features hors d’oeuvres, desserts (whoopie pies!), cash bar and dancing to live music from The Free Downloads, a high-energy cover band that’s fronted by Lynn native Sheree Dunwell.

The Free Downloads can also be heard in new movie “The Comedian” starring Robert DeNiro. They were recently profiled in The Item.

From a small town to the big screen

“The Snow Ball will have something for everyone, whether or not you’re in love at the moment,” said Jackson.

The Arts After Hours’ seventh theater season schedule will also be announced. “Next to Normal,” the Tony- and Pulitzer prize-winning family drama about a woman dealing with mental illness, kicks things off in March. Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and the outrageous “Bat Boy: The Musical” will follow. All will explore characters that fall outside the bounds of society.

“The outsiders presented in this season’s productions are exiles from their homes, their families, their kingdoms, and themselves or they never quite fit in from the beginning,” said Jackson. “They symbolize how we all fight to find our place in life, to recapture what was lost, or to create a new normal.”

Snow Ball tickets, at $25, can be purchased at artsafterhours.com, by calling (781) 205-4010 or by visiting Arts After Hours’ Facebook page. Money raised will help fund the nonprofit’s mission to engage and transform downtown Lynn through the experience of live theater.

Newton lesson can be Massachusetts win


Bill Brotherton is The Item’s Features editor. He can be reached at bbrotherton@itemlive.com.

Thomas Hutton parade raises $2K for charity

PHOTO BY PAULA MULLER
Brian McKinnon and Michaela Maher sit on the G/J Towing float in memory of Lt. Thomas Hutton in Nahant.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

NAHANT Good deeds are continuing in the name of a veteran town police lieutenant who founded Nahant’s Christmas parade in 1995.

Despite bitter temperatures, about 65 gathered for the 21st annual Thomas Hutton Santa Parade this weekend and more than $2,000 was raised for local charities. The parade was renamed last year for the longtime officer who saw the joy a Christmas parade brought to Lynn and decided to bring the same to Nahant.

Hutton died in September 2015, almost nine months after sustaining serious injuries from a fall on a patch of ice in his driveway. He had retired from the Nahant Police Department in 2014 following 42 years of service.

Map for Christmas Eve Santa Parade

At an annual Santa Parade Fundraiser one week before the parade, tickets, raffles and donations raised enough money to fund two scholarships for Nahant students, a $500 donation to Item Santa, and $500 for My Brothers Table, said event organizer Roz Puleo.

The scholarship recipients, two high school students who went to the Johnson Elementary School, will be announced in June at the school’s graduation ceremony, said Puleo.

This year’s big raffle prize was a cruise to Bermuda valued at about $3,500, won by Nahant residents John and Lauren Sherlock.

The donation to Item Santa will help provide needy children with toys this holiday. Now in its 50th year, the Item Santa fund endeavors to make Christmas a little brighter for those who are less fortunate.

This year’s parade featured 12 floats and 60-70 participants.

“It’s great to see it carry on in his name,” said Puleo, who was a longtime friend of Hutton and worked alongside him on parade preparations each year. “We intend to keep it going. Hopefully it will get bigger and bigger. The snow affected it this year.”

Hutton’s son Jeffrey Hutton of Peabody, inherited his father’s tradition last year when he said he couldn’t just sit back and watch, knowing that it was the first without his father.

He and his mother Beverly, who now lives in Salisbury, rode on a homemade float and added a new family tradition.

“They stopped at Tommy’s grave and put flowers on the grave,” Puleo said. “It was nice. I think it’s something (Jeffrey) likes to do. He said it’s something that’s going to continue. As long as Tommy’s parade continues, he’s going to continue.”


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte

Holiday party becomes Item Santa fundraiser

COURTESY PHOTO
Pictured from left to right are Andrew Lindsey, Josh Hodgdon, Codi Sullivan, with Nick Grzela below.

For Andrew Lindsey, growing up in Lynn exposed him to not just the joys of the holidays, but the struggles. When he read an article in The Daily Item about a single mother who said she was having a hard time providing Christmas gifts for her three children, he wanted to help.

“My friends and have all been blessed with good Christmases and opportunities and we thought it would be nice to give this mom a chance to do that for her children as well,” Lindsey wrote in an email to The Item.

web-iteam-santa-2Owen O'Rourke

Josh Hodgdon and Andrew Lindsey present Susan Conti of The Daily Item with the $582 they collected for the Item Santa fund. Huron Consulting is going to match their contribution with $500.00.

Along with a few of his friends, Lindsey decided to host a ugly sweater-themed holiday party. But a party alone wasn’t enough. And with that, the party became a fundraiser for Item Santa.

The friends sold tickets to attend the party, along with asking local businesses for gift card donations. The Lazy Dog, Tony’s Sports Bar, Rolly’s and Carrabba’s all donated gift cards, Lindsey said.

Prizes were raffled, including a brand-new television and movies donated by Nick Grzela, one of the organizers. Huron Consulting in Boston, who employs Grzela’s mother, also agreed to match the total donation up to $500.

“We had a lot of fun planning and organizing the event,” Lindsey wrote to The Item. “We hope that it becomes an annual tradition and we can build on it and continue to raise money for a good cause.”

Mom of 3 asks for holiday boost

Saugus restaurant raises $100K for Dana Farber

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Joe Pace, the owner of Rosaria Restaurant in Saugus, had a fundraiser on Nov. 6 for The Dana Farber Cancer Center that raised more than $100,000. 

By MICHELE DURGIN

 SAUGUS — Most people would agree that restaurants are considered to be among the most difficult businesses to succeed. The obstacles and challenges are both time and money-consuming and often prove to be too difficult to overcome. For Joe Pace, 69, owner of Rosaria, a popular and highly regarded eatery in Saugus, those challenges were overcome. And this restaurant, with its takeout bakery and deli, as well as three other restaurants in the Boston area, are testaments to Pace’s work ethic and belief in the value of surrounding himself with the right people.

Pace was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and he is taking on this challenge with the same positive attitude and support of the many loved ones in his life, also known as “the right people.” Instead of letting self pity and dark thoughts rule his day, Joe is choosing to spend his time in the light, focused on helping others who are facing the scourge of cancer.

“I have been so fortunate in my life,” said Pace. ” And I am grateful to the family and friends who have been with me for so many years. I am blessed to have them by my side as I face this illness. Right now I feel good and I’m fighting this enemy every day. I am being treated at The Dana Farber Cancer Center and everything about the center is wonderful. The doctors and staff don’t get any better. I was happy to sponsor a fundraiser to benefit the center. I am even happier to say that over $100,000 was raised and close to 450 people came to the event.”

The evening was called “A Night of Giving Back” and was held at Rosaria.Guests enjoyed music, hors d’oeuvres and a live auction of donated prizes  that included gift certificates to area eateries, as well as sports items, game tickets and memorabilia. Former Bruin and Hockey Hall of Famer, Johnny Bucyk donated an autographed hockey shirt that brought in more than $500. And a  Boston Celtics ball, signed by the team, was also a big hit on the auction block, raising another $500, according to Pace.

Pace, a native of Italy, came to the United States as a young boy in 1955. He calls himself a proud Italian immigrant and said he is grateful to his parents for bringing him here and displaying a solid work ethic for him to learn from. He became a U.S. citizen in 1962, but still has ties to his birthplace and visits when he can. In fact, he traveled to Sicily about three months ago.

“I hope I can get back there again. Right now I am focusing on my health and making sure all four of my restaurants are successful and well run. I have over 130 employees and it’s important to me that all of them are OK.”

And so, as Pace battles on against the heartless competitor known as cancer, he is keeping his head and his hopes up.

“I want to set a good example for my grandchildren,” he said. “It’s important that they know people are wonderful and we can meet and make great friends wherever we go. Each day is a gift. It’s so important to try to give back as much as possible and continue on with a full heart and a thankful spirit.”

Washington Square Residence offers Home Sweet Home

SPONSORED BY THE WASHINGTON SQUARE RESIDENCE.

Fundraiser May 6th at The Lynn Memorial Auditorium.

For more than a century there has been a special place in downtown Lynn that has been called home for many individuals.  The Lynn Home for Young Women provides an affordable, safe, and welcoming place to live.  Executive Director Lisa Connolly said the private non-profit corporation has continued to fund its mission to provide “a home away from home” since its inception in 1912.

“Though tremendous changes have occurred over the past one hundred plus years, the commitment of the Lynn Home for Women has not,” she said. “We continue to assist women from those just starting out on life’s journey to those starting over. And anyone in between.”

LHW was the brainchild of leaders of the Young Women’s Temperance Union of the late-1800’s. The group gathered sponsors and established a “reading and rest room” on Market Street to offer respite for young women who came to Lynn to work in the shoe factories. What started as a single room for young women working in the city has grown to include two buildings on Broad Street, which have since been merged into one through an extension renovation.

Lynn Home for Young Women/Washington Square Residences (WSR) residents reflect the diversity of Lynn itself. Individuals range in age from 18 to more than 70 years of age. They include students, disabled individuals, survivors of domestic violence, working women, and retirees.  They have come from Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, Alabama, Oklahoma, Lynn and many other places, but one thing that they all have in common is they each call LHW/WSR home.

Loretta Cuffe-O’Donnell,  who serves as president of LHW Board of Directors, has ties with the organization that go back a generation. “My mother used to help women get housing there,” O’Donnell said. “As a child I had friends who lived in LHW. It did so much for young women over the years. It used to be for women only but we have opened our doors to men as well,” she said. “It’s a beautiful place to live where people can get a good meal and support they need.”

O’Donnell pointed out the two buildings underwent a $6 million renovation in 2010. The Broad Street facility is environmentally friendly and houses 43 residents in furnished single occupancy rooms with private or shared bathrooms and studios. LHA/WSR has six shared kitchens, laundry facilities, a computer room, foyer and large back yard. It houses a professional food service and a large dining room where dinner is served four nights a week.

Resident Jessica Tower, who is a graduate student at Salem State University, said she enjoys the  camaraderie of the communal dinners.

“It makes meal planning and budgeting easier for me,” she said. “There are four nights I don’t have to worry about cooking and it gives me more time to dedicate to school work.”

O’Donnell pointed out that WSR is constantly evolving and expanding its programs to meet the needs of the residents. “WSR is going forward and doing even more today than it had in the past,” she said.

Connolly added WSR was innovative when it was founded and has continually adapted to meet the changing needs of individuals in the community and it is a housing model that other agencies are trying to recreate.

“Recently we were contacted by a group from Notre Dame University regarding SRO (single room occupancy) style housing,” she said. “A group of 10 students spent the day with our staff, residents and management gleaning best practices for supportive, affordable, single occupancy housing in the fight to address housing insecurity in our society today.”

One resident said WSR is a place where she was able to seek refuge from an abusive relationship and begin to put her life back together in a supportive and safe environment.

“I was stuck in an unsafe place where I didn’t belong,” she said. “Moving here helped me by offering me a new beginning and it is helping me get to a place where I should be in my life.”

“New Beginnings” is focal point of what WSR offers and is an apt name for its fund raising event on May 6, at 8 p.m. in the Lynn Memorial Auditorium. Bill McGuinness is hosting ”New Beginnings” which includes a dazzling array of local and national talent. Members of the bands Boston and Beatlejuice will come together in the return of the super group Spring Rain.  Local favorites include the Lynn Public Schools Jazz Band, Community Auditions winner Sheree Dunwell, Don White, and The Dirty Floorboards. Rounding out the musical extravaganza are Jim Dennis, Not Sure Community and Carolyn Cole. Tickets are $42, general admission, and are available at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium Box Office in Lynn City Hall, by calling 781- 599-7469 or online at www.lynnauditorium.com.

Story by Deb Glidden. 

(Photo is of the dining room at residence).

Washington Square Residence: An Art for Creating A Happy Home

SPONSORED BY THE WASHINGTON SQUARE RESIDENCE.

 

Fundraiser May 6th at The Lynn Memorial Auditorium.

For more than a century there has been a special place in downtown Lynn that has been called home for many individuals.  The Lynn Home for Young Women provides an affordable, safe, and welcoming place to live.  Executive Director Lisa Connolly said the private non-profit corporation has continued to fund its mission to provide “a home away from home” since its inception in 1912.

“Though tremendous changes have occurred over the past one hundred plus years, the commitment of the Lynn Home for Women has not,” she said. “We continue to assist women from those just starting out on life’s journey to those starting over. And anyone in between.”

LHW was the brainchild of leaders of the Young Women’s Temperance Union of the late-1800’s. The group gathered sponsors and established a “reading and rest room” on Market Street to offer respite for young women who came to Lynn to work in the shoe factories. What started as a single room for young women working in the city has grown to include two buildings on Broad Street, which have since been merged into one through an extension renovation.

Lynn Home for Young Women/Washington Square Residences (WSR) residents reflect the diversity of Lynn itself. Individuals range in age from 18 to more than 70 years of age. They include students, disabled individuals, survivors of domestic violence, working women, and retirees.  They have come from Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, Alabama, Oklahoma, Lynn and many other places, but one thing that they all have in common is they each call LHW/WSR home.

Loretta Cuffe-O’Donnell,  who serves as president of LHW Board of Directors, has ties with the organization that go back a generation. “My mother used to help women get housing there,” O’Donnell said. “As a child I had friends who lived in LHW. It did so much for young women over the years. It used to be for women only but we have opened our doors to men as well,” she said. “It’s a beautiful place to live where people can get a good meal and support they need.”

O’Donnell pointed out the two buildings underwent a $6 million renovation in 2010. The Broad Street facility is environmentally friendly and houses 43 residents in furnished single occupancy rooms with private or shared bathrooms and studios. LHA/WSR has six shared kitchens, laundry facilities, a computer room, foyer and large back yard. It houses a professional food service and a large dining room where dinner is served four nights a week.

Resident Jessica Tower, who is a graduate student at Salem State University, said she enjoys the  camaraderie of the communal dinners.

“It makes meal planning and budgeting easier for me,” she said. “There are four nights I don’t have to worry about cooking and it gives me more time to dedicate to school work.”

O’Donnell pointed out that WSR is constantly evolving and expanding its programs to meet the needs of the residents. “WSR is going forward and doing even more today than it had in the past,” she said.

Connolly added WSR was innovative when it was founded and has continually adapted to meet the changing needs of individuals in the community and it is a housing model that other agencies are trying to recreate.

“Recently we were contacted by a group from Notre Dame University regarding SRO (single room occupancy) style housing,” she said. “A group of 10 students spent the day with our staff, residents and management gleaning best practices for supportive, affordable, single occupancy housing in the fight to address housing insecurity in our society today.”

One resident said WSR is a place where she was able to seek refuge from an abusive relationship and begin to put her life back together in a supportive and safe environment.

“I was stuck in an unsafe place where I didn’t belong,” she said. “Moving here helped me by offering me a new beginning and it is helping me get to a place where I should be in my life.”

“New Beginnings” is focal point of what WSR offers and is an apt name for its fund raising event on May 6, at 8 p.m. in the Lynn Memorial Auditorium. Bill McGuinness is hosting ”New Beginnings” which includes a dazzling array of local and national talent. Members of the bands Boston and Beatlejuice will come together in the return of the super group Spring Rain.  Local favorites include the Lynn Public Schools Jazz Band, Community Auditions winner Sheree Dunwell, Don White, and The Dirty Floorboards. Rounding out the musical extravaganza are Jim Dennis, Not Sure Community and Carolyn Cole. Tickets are $42, general admission, and are available at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium Box Office in Lynn City Hall, by calling 781- 599-7469 or online at www.lynnauditorium.com.

Story by Deb Glidden. 

(Photo is of some of the art provided to 

decorate the Washington Square Residence 

for its tenants. Taken by Cassie Vitali).

Washington Square Residence: An Art for Creating A Happy Home

SPONSORED BY THE WASHINGTON SQUARE RESIDENCE.

 

Fundraiser May 6th at The Lynn Memorial Auditorium.

For more than a century there has been a special place in downtown Lynn that has been called home for many individuals.  The Lynn Home for Young Women provides an affordable, safe, and welcoming place to live.  Executive Director Lisa Connolly said the private non-profit corporation has continued to fund its mission to provide “a home away from home” since its inception in 1912.

“Though tremendous changes have occurred over the past one hundred plus years, the commitment of the Lynn Home for Women has not,” she said. “We continue to assist women from those just starting out on life’s journey to those starting over. And anyone in between.”

LHW was the brainchild of leaders of the Young Women’s Temperance Union of the late-1800’s. The group gathered sponsors and established a “reading and rest room” on Market Street to offer respite for young women who came to Lynn to work in the shoe factories. What started as a single room for young women working in the city has grown to include two buildings on Broad Street, which have since been merged into one through an extension renovation.

Lynn Home for Young Women/Washington Square Residences (WSR) residents reflect the diversity of Lynn itself. Individuals range in age from 18 to more than 70 years of age. They include students, disabled individuals, survivors of domestic violence, working women, and retirees.  They have come from Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, Alabama, Oklahoma, Lynn and many other places, but one thing that they all have in common is they each call LHW/WSR home.

Loretta Cuffe-O’Donnell,  who serves as president of LHW Board of Directors, has ties with the organization that go back a generation. “My mother used to help women get housing there,” O’Donnell said. “As a child I had friends who lived in LHW. It did so much for young women over the years. It used to be for women only but we have opened our doors to men as well,” she said. “It’s a beautiful place to live where people can get a good meal and support they need.”

O’Donnell pointed out the two buildings underwent a $6 million renovation in 2010. The Broad Street facility is environmentally friendly and houses 43 residents in furnished single occupancy rooms with private or shared bathrooms and studios. LHA/WSR has six shared kitchens, laundry facilities, a computer room, foyer and large back yard. It houses a professional food service and a large dining room where dinner is served four nights a week.

Resident Jessica Tower, who is a graduate student at Salem State University, said she enjoys the  camaraderie of the communal dinners.

“It makes meal planning and budgeting easier for me,” she said. “There are four nights I don’t have to worry about cooking and it gives me more time to dedicate to school work.”

O’Donnell pointed out that WSR is constantly evolving and expanding its programs to meet the needs of the residents. “WSR is going forward and doing even more today than it had in the past,” she said.

Connolly added WSR was innovative when it was founded and has continually adapted to meet the changing needs of individuals in the community and it is a housing model that other agencies are trying to recreate.

“Recently we were contacted by a group from Notre Dame University regarding SRO (single room occupancy) style housing,” she said. “A group of 10 students spent the day with our staff, residents and management gleaning best practices for supportive, affordable, single occupancy housing in the fight to address housing insecurity in our society today.”

One resident said WSR is a place where she was able to seek refuge from an abusive relationship and begin to put her life back together in a supportive and safe environment.

“I was stuck in an unsafe place where I didn’t belong,” she said. “Moving here helped me by offering me a new beginning and it is helping me get to a place where I should be in my life.”

“New Beginnings” is focal point of what WSR offers and is an apt name for its fund raising event on May 6, at 8 p.m. in the Lynn Memorial Auditorium. Bill McGuinness is hosting ”New Beginnings” which includes a dazzling array of local and national talent. Members of the bands Boston and Beatlejuice will come together in the return of the super group Spring Rain.  Local favorites include the Lynn Public Schools Jazz Band, Community Auditions winner Sheree Dunwell, Don White, and The Dirty Floorboards. Rounding out the musical extravaganza are Jim Dennis, Not Sure Community and Carolyn Cole. Tickets are $42, general admission, and are available at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium Box Office in Lynn City Hall, by calling 781- 599-7469 or online at www.lynnauditorium.com.

Story by Deb Glidden. 

(Photo is of some of the art provided to 

decorate the Washington Square Residence 

for its tenants. Taken by Cassie Vitali).

Washington Square Residence: An Art for Creating A Happy Home

SPONSORED BY THE WASHINGTON SQUARE RESIDENCE.

 

Fundraiser May 6th at The Lynn Memorial Auditorium.

For more than a century there has been a special place in downtown Lynn that has been called home for many individuals.  The Lynn Home for Young Women provides an affordable, safe, and welcoming place to live.  Executive Director Lisa Connolly said the private non-profit corporation has continued to fund its mission to provide “a home away from home” since its inception in 1912.

“Though tremendous changes have occurred over the past one hundred plus years, the commitment of the Lynn Home for Women has not,” she said. “We continue to assist women from those just starting out on life’s journey to those starting over. And anyone in between.”

LHW was the brainchild of leaders of the Young Women’s Temperance Union of the late-1800’s. The group gathered sponsors and established a “reading and rest room” on Market Street to offer respite for young women who came to Lynn to work in the shoe factories. What started as a single room for young women working in the city has grown to include two buildings on Broad Street, which have since been merged into one through an extension renovation.

Lynn Home for Young Women/Washington Square Residences (WSR) residents reflect the diversity of Lynn itself. Individuals range in age from 18 to more than 70 years of age. They include students, disabled individuals, survivors of domestic violence, working women, and retirees.  They have come from Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, Alabama, Oklahoma, Lynn and many other places, but one thing that they all have in common is they each call LHW/WSR home.

Loretta Cuffe-O’Donnell,  who serves as president of LHW Board of Directors, has ties with the organization that go back a generation. “My mother used to help women get housing there,” O’Donnell said. “As a child I had friends who lived in LHW. It did so much for young women over the years. It used to be for women only but we have opened our doors to men as well,” she said. “It’s a beautiful place to live where people can get a good meal and support they need.”

O’Donnell pointed out the two buildings underwent a $6 million renovation in 2010. The Broad Street facility is environmentally friendly and houses 43 residents in furnished single occupancy rooms with private or shared bathrooms and studios. LHA/WSR has six shared kitchens, laundry facilities, a computer room, foyer and large back yard. It houses a professional food service and a large dining room where dinner is served four nights a week.

Resident Jessica Tower, who is a graduate student at Salem State University, said she enjoys the  camaraderie of the communal dinners.

“It makes meal planning and budgeting easier for me,” she said. “There are four nights I don’t have to worry about cooking and it gives me more time to dedicate to school work.”

O’Donnell pointed out that WSR is constantly evolving and expanding its programs to meet the needs of the residents. “WSR is going forward and doing even more today than it had in the past,” she said.

Connolly added WSR was innovative when it was founded and has continually adapted to meet the changing needs of individuals in the community and it is a housing model that other agencies are trying to recreate.

“Recently we were contacted by a group from Notre Dame University regarding SRO (single room occupancy) style housing,” she said. “A group of 10 students spent the day with our staff, residents and management gleaning best practices for supportive, affordable, single occupancy housing in the fight to address housing insecurity in our society today.”

One resident said WSR is a place where she was able to seek refuge from an abusive relationship and begin to put her life back together in a supportive and safe environment.

“I was stuck in an unsafe place where I didn’t belong,” she said. “Moving here helped me by offering me a new beginning and it is helping me get to a place where I should be in my life.”

“New Beginnings” is focal point of what WSR offers and is an apt name for its fund raising event on May 6, at 8 p.m. in the Lynn Memorial Auditorium. Bill McGuinness is hosting ”New Beginnings” which includes a dazzling array of local and national talent. Members of the bands Boston and Beatlejuice will come together in the return of the super group Spring Rain.  Local favorites include the Lynn Public Schools Jazz Band, Community Auditions winner Sheree Dunwell, Don White, and The Dirty Floorboards. Rounding out the musical extravaganza are Jim Dennis, Not Sure Community and Carolyn Cole. Tickets are $42, general admission, and are available at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium Box Office in Lynn City Hall, by calling 781- 599-7469 or online at www.lynnauditorium.com.

Story by Deb Glidden. 

(Photo is of some of the art provided to 

decorate the Washington Square Residence 

for its tenants. Taken by Cassie Vitali).

Washington Square Residence: An Art for Creating A Happy Home

SPONSORED BY THE WASHINGTON SQUARE RESIDENCE.

 

Fundraiser May 6th at The Lynn Memorial Auditorium.

For more than a century there has been a special place in downtown Lynn that has been called home for many individuals.  The Lynn Home for Young Women provides an affordable, safe, and welcoming place to live.  Executive Director Lisa Connolly said the private non-profit corporation has continued to fund its mission to provide “a home away from home” since its inception in 1912.

“Though tremendous changes have occurred over the past one hundred plus years, the commitment of the Lynn Home for Women has not,” she said. “We continue to assist women from those just starting out on life’s journey to those starting over. And anyone in between.”

LHW was the brainchild of leaders of the Young Women’s Temperance Union of the late-1800’s. The group gathered sponsors and established a “reading and rest room” on Market Street to offer respite for young women who came to Lynn to work in the shoe factories. What started as a single room for young women working in the city has grown to include two buildings on Broad Street, which have since been merged into one through an extension renovation.

Lynn Home for Young Women/Washington Square Residences (WSR) residents reflect the diversity of Lynn itself. Individuals range in age from 18 to more than 70 years of age. They include students, disabled individuals, survivors of domestic violence, working women, and retirees.  They have come from Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, Alabama, Oklahoma, Lynn and many other places, but one thing that they all have in common is they each call LHW/WSR home.

Loretta Cuffe-O’Donnell,  who serves as president of LHW Board of Directors, has ties with the organization that go back a generation. “My mother used to help women get housing there,” O’Donnell said. “As a child I had friends who lived in LHW. It did so much for young women over the years. It used to be for women only but we have opened our doors to men as well,” she said. “It’s a beautiful place to live where people can get a good meal and support they need.”

O’Donnell pointed out the two buildings underwent a $6 million renovation in 2010. The Broad Street facility is environmentally friendly and houses 43 residents in furnished single occupancy rooms with private or shared bathrooms and studios. LHA/WSR has six shared kitchens, laundry facilities, a computer room, foyer and large back yard. It houses a professional food service and a large dining room where dinner is served four nights a week.

Resident Jessica Tower, who is a graduate student at Salem State University, said she enjoys the  camaraderie of the communal dinners.

“It makes meal planning and budgeting easier for me,” she said. “There are four nights I don’t have to worry about cooking and it gives me more time to dedicate to school work.”

O’Donnell pointed out that WSR is constantly evolving and expanding its programs to meet the needs of the residents. “WSR is going forward and doing even more today than it had in the past,” she said.

Connolly added WSR was innovative when it was founded and has continually adapted to meet the changing needs of individuals in the community and it is a housing model that other agencies are trying to recreate.

“Recently we were contacted by a group from Notre Dame University regarding SRO (single room occupancy) style housing,” she said. “A group of 10 students spent the day with our staff, residents and management gleaning best practices for supportive, affordable, single occupancy housing in the fight to address housing insecurity in our society today.”

One resident said WSR is a place where she was able to seek refuge from an abusive relationship and begin to put her life back together in a supportive and safe environment.

“I was stuck in an unsafe place where I didn’t belong,” she said. “Moving here helped me by offering me a new beginning and it is helping me get to a place where I should be in my life.”

“New Beginnings” is focal point of what WSR offers and is an apt name for its fund raising event on May 6, at 8 p.m. in the Lynn Memorial Auditorium. Bill McGuinness is hosting ”New Beginnings” which includes a dazzling array of local and national talent. Members of the bands Boston and Beatlejuice will come together in the return of the super group Spring Rain.  Local favorites include the Lynn Public Schools Jazz Band, Community Auditions winner Sheree Dunwell, Don White, and The Dirty Floorboards. Rounding out the musical extravaganza are Jim Dennis, Not Sure Community and Carolyn Cole. Tickets are $42, general admission, and are available at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium Box Office in Lynn City Hall, by calling 781- 599-7469 or online at www.lynnauditorium.com.

Story by Deb Glidden. 

(Photo is of some of the art provided to 

decorate the Washington Square Residence 

for its tenants. Taken by Cassie Vitali).

Washington Square Residence: An Art for Creating A Happy Home

SPONSORED BY THE WASHINGTON SQUARE RESIDENCE.

 

Fundraiser May 6th at The Lynn Memorial Auditorium.

For more than a century there has been a special place in downtown Lynn that has been called home for many individuals.  The Lynn Home for Young Women provides an affordable, safe, and welcoming place to live.  Executive Director Lisa Connolly said the private non-profit corporation has continued to fund its mission to provide “a home away from home” since its inception in 1912.

“Though tremendous changes have occurred over the past one hundred plus years, the commitment of the Lynn Home for Women has not,” she said. “We continue to assist women from those just starting out on life’s journey to those starting over. And anyone in between.”

LHW was the brainchild of leaders of the Young Women’s Temperance Union of the late-1800’s. The group gathered sponsors and established a “reading and rest room” on Market Street to offer respite for young women who came to Lynn to work in the shoe factories. What started as a single room for young women working in the city has grown to include two buildings on Broad Street, which have since been merged into one through an extension renovation.

Lynn Home for Young Women/Washington Square Residences (WSR) residents reflect the diversity of Lynn itself. Individuals range in age from 18 to more than 70 years of age. They include students, disabled individuals, survivors of domestic violence, working women, and retirees.  They have come from Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, Alabama, Oklahoma, Lynn and many other places, but one thing that they all have in common is they each call LHW/WSR home.

Loretta Cuffe-O’Donnell,  who serves as president of LHW Board of Directors, has ties with the organization that go back a generation. “My mother used to help women get housing there,” O’Donnell said. “As a child I had friends who lived in LHW. It did so much for young women over the years. It used to be for women only but we have opened our doors to men as well,” she said. “It’s a beautiful place to live where people can get a good meal and support they need.”

O’Donnell pointed out the two buildings underwent a $6 million renovation in 2010. The Broad Street facility is environmentally friendly and houses 43 residents in furnished single occupancy rooms with private or shared bathrooms and studios. LHA/WSR has six shared kitchens, laundry facilities, a computer room, foyer and large back yard. It houses a professional food service and a large dining room where dinner is served four nights a week.

Resident Jessica Tower, who is a graduate student at Salem State University, said she enjoys the  camaraderie of the communal dinners.

“It makes meal planning and budgeting easier for me,” she said. “There are four nights I don’t have to worry about cooking and it gives me more time to dedicate to school work.”

O’Donnell pointed out that WSR is constantly evolving and expanding its programs to meet the needs of the residents. “WSR is going forward and doing even more today than it had in the past,” she said.

Connolly added WSR was innovative when it was founded and has continually adapted to meet the changing needs of individuals in the community and it is a housing model that other agencies are trying to recreate.

“Recently we were contacted by a group from Notre Dame University regarding SRO (single room occupancy) style housing,” she said. “A group of 10 students spent the day with our staff, residents and management gleaning best practices for supportive, affordable, single occupancy housing in the fight to address housing insecurity in our society today.”

One resident said WSR is a place where she was able to seek refuge from an abusive relationship and begin to put her life back together in a supportive and safe environment.

“I was stuck in an unsafe place where I didn’t belong,” she said. “Moving here helped me by offering me a new beginning and it is helping me get to a place where I should be in my life.”

“New Beginnings” is focal point of what WSR offers and is an apt name for its fund raising event on May 6, at 8 p.m. in the Lynn Memorial Auditorium. Bill McGuinness is hosting ”New Beginnings” which includes a dazzling array of local and national talent. Members of the bands Boston and Beatlejuice will come together in the return of the super group Spring Rain.  Local favorites include the Lynn Public Schools Jazz Band, Community Auditions winner Sheree Dunwell, Don White, and The Dirty Floorboards. Rounding out the musical extravaganza are Jim Dennis, Not Sure Community and Carolyn Cole. Tickets are $42, general admission, and are available at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium Box Office in Lynn City Hall, by calling 781- 599-7469 or online at www.lynnauditorium.com.

Story by Deb Glidden. 

(Photo is of some of the art provided to 

decorate the Washington Square Residence 

for its tenants. Taken by Cassie Vitali).

Washington Square Residence: An Art for Creating A Place to Call Home

SPONSORED BY THE WASHINGTON SQUARE RESIDENCE.

For more than a century there has been a special place in downtown Lynn that has been called home for many individuals.  The Lynn Home for Young Women provides an affordable, safe, and welcoming place to live.  Executive Director Lisa Connolly said the private non-profit corporation has continued to fund its mission to provide “a home away from home” since its inception in 1912.

“Though tremendous changes have occurred over the past one hundred plus years, the commitment of the Lynn Home for Women has not,” she said. “We continue to assist women from those just starting out on life’s journey to those starting over. And anyone in between.”

LHW was the brainchild of leaders of the Young Women’s Temperance Union of the late-1800’s. The group gathered sponsors and established a “reading and rest room” on Market Street to offer respite for young women who came to Lynn to work in the shoe factories. What started as a single room for young women working in the city has grown to include two buildings on Broad Street, which have since been merged into one through an extension renovation.

Lynn Home for Young Women/Washington Square Residences (WSR) residents reflect the diversity of Lynn itself. Individuals range in age from 18 to more than 70 years of age. They include students, disabled individuals, survivors of domestic violence, working women, and retirees.  They have come from Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, Alabama, Oklahoma, Lynn and many other places, but one thing that they all have in common is they each call LHW/WSR home.

Loretta Cuffe-O’Donnell,  who serves as president of LHW Board of Directors, has ties with the organization that go back a generation. “My mother used to help women get housing there,” O’Donnell said. “As a child I had friends who lived in LHW. It did so much for young women over the years. It used to be for women only but we have opened our doors to men as well,” she said. “It’s a beautiful place to live where people can get a good meal and support they need.”

O’Donnell pointed out the two buildings underwent a $6 million renovation in 2010. The Broad Street facility is environmentally friendly and houses 43 residents in furnished single occupancy rooms with private or shared bathrooms and studios. LHA/WSR has six shared kitchens, laundry facilities, a computer room, foyer and large back yard. It houses a professional food service and a large dining room where dinner is served four nights a week.

Resident Jessica Tower, who is a graduate student at Salem State University, said she enjoys the  camaraderie of the communal dinners.

“It makes meal planning and budgeting easier for me,” she said. “There are four nights I don’t have to worry about cooking and it gives me more time to dedicate to school work.”

O’Donnell pointed out that WSR is constantly evolving and expanding its programs to meet the needs of the residents. “WSR is going forward and doing even more today than it had in the past,” she said.

Connolly added WSR was innovative when it was founded and has continually adapted to meet the changing needs of individuals in the community and it is a housing model that other agencies are trying to recreate.

“Recently we were contacted by a group from Notre Dame University regarding SRO (single room occupancy) style housing,” she said. “A group of 10 students spent the day with our staff, residents and management gleaning best practices for supportive, affordable, single occupancy housing in the fight to address housing insecurity in our society today.”

One resident said WSR is a place where she was able to seek refuge from an abusive relationship and begin to put her life back together in a supportive and safe environment.

“I was stuck in an unsafe place where I didn’t belong,” she said. “Moving here helped me by offering me a new beginning and it is helping me get to a place where I should be in my life.”

“New Beginnings” is focal point of what WSR offers and is an apt name for its fund raising event on May 6 at 8 pm in the Lynn Memorial Auditorium. Bill McGuinness is hosting ”New Beginnings” which includes a dazzling array of local and national talent. Members of the bands Boston and Beatlejuice will come together in the return of the super group Spring Rain.  Local favorites include the Lynn Public Schools Jazz Band, Community Auditions winner Sheree Dunwell, Don White, and The Dirty Floorboards. Rounding out the musical extravaganza are Jim Dennis, Not Sure Community and Carolyn Cole. Tickets are $42, general admission, and are available at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium Box Office in Lynn City Hall, by calling 781- 599-7469 or online at www.lynnauditorium.com.

Washington Square Residence: Help Them to Keep Offering A Home Sweet Home

SPONSORED BY THE WASHINGTON SQUARE RESIDENCE.

For more than a century there has been a special place in downtown Lynn that has been called home for many individuals.  The Lynn Home for Young Women provides an affordable, safe, and welcoming place to live.  Executive Director Lisa Connolly said the private non-profit corporation has continued to fund its mission to provide “a home away from home” since its inception in 1912.

“Though tremendous changes have occurred over the past one hundred plus years, the commitment of the Lynn Home for Women has not,” she said. “We continue to assist women from those just starting out on life’s journey to those starting over. And anyone in between.”

LHW was the brainchild of leaders of the Young Women’s Temperance Union of the late-1800’s. The group gathered sponsors and established a “reading and rest room” on Market Street to offer respite for young women who came to Lynn to work in the shoe factories. What started as a single room for young women working in the city has grown to include two buildings on Broad Street, which have since been merged into one through an extension renovation.

Lynn Home for Young Women/Washington Square Residences (WSR) residents reflect the diversity of Lynn itself. Individuals range in age from 18 to more than 70 years of age. They include students, disabled individuals, survivors of domestic violence, working women, and retirees.  They have come from Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, Alabama, Oklahoma, Lynn and many other places, but one thing that they all have in common is they each call LHW/WSR home.

Loretta Cuffe-O’Donnell,  who serves as president of LHW Board of Directors, has ties with the organization that go back a generation. “My mother used to help women get housing there,” O’Donnell said. “As a child I had friends who lived in LHW. It did so much for young women over the years. It used to be for women only but we have opened our doors to men as well,” she said. “It’s a beautiful place to live where people can get a good meal and support they need.”

O’Donnell pointed out the two buildings underwent a $6 million renovation in 2010. The Broad Street facility is environmentally friendly and houses 43 residents in furnished single occupancy rooms with private or shared bathrooms and studios. LHA/WSR has six shared kitchens, laundry facilities, a computer room, foyer and large back yard. It houses a professional food service and a large dining room where dinner is served four nights a week.

Resident Jessica Tower, who is a graduate student at Salem State University, said she enjoys the  camaraderie of the communal dinners.

“It makes meal planning and budgeting easier for me,” she said. “There are four nights I don’t have to worry about cooking and it gives me more time to dedicate to school work.”

O’Donnell pointed out that WSR is constantly evolving and expanding its programs to meet the needs of the residents. “WSR is going forward and doing even more today than it had in the past,” she said.

Connolly added WSR was innovative when it was founded and has continually adapted to meet the changing needs of individuals in the community and it is a housing model that other agencies are trying to recreate.

“Recently we were contacted by a group from Notre Dame University regarding SRO (single room occupancy) style housing,” she said. “A group of 10 students spent the day with our staff, residents and management gleaning best practices for supportive, affordable, single occupancy housing in the fight to address housing insecurity in our society today.”

One resident said WSR is a place where she was able to seek refuge from an abusive relationship and begin to put her life back together in a supportive and safe environment.

“I was stuck in an unsafe place where I didn’t belong,” she said. “Moving here helped me by offering me a new beginning and it is helping me get to a place where I should be in my life.”

“New Beginnings” is focal point of what WSR offers and is an apt name for its fund raising event on May 6 at 8 pm in the Lynn Memorial Auditorium. Bill McGuinness is hosting ”New Beginnings” which includes a dazzling array of local and national talent. Members of the bands Boston and Beatlejuice will come together in the return of the super group Spring Rain.  Local favorites include the Lynn Public Schools Jazz Band, Community Auditions winner Sheree Dunwell, Don White, and The Dirty Floorboards. Rounding out the musical extravaganza are Jim Dennis, Not Sure Community and Carolyn Cole. Tickets are $42, general admission, and are available at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium Box Office in Lynn City Hall, by calling 781- 599-7469 or online at www.lynnauditorium.com.

Washington Square Residence: Help Them to Keep Offering A Home Sweet Home

SPONSORED BY THE WASHINGTON SQUARE RESIDENCE.

For more than a century there has been a special place in downtown Lynn that has been called home for many individuals.  The Lynn Home for Young Women provides an affordable, safe, and welcoming place to live.  Executive Director Lisa Connolly said the private non-profit corporation has continued to fund its mission to provide “a home away from home” since its inception in 1912.

“Though tremendous changes have occurred over the past one hundred plus years, the commitment of the Lynn Home for Women has not,” she said. “We continue to assist women from those just starting out on life’s journey to those starting over. And anyone in between.”

LHW was the brainchild of leaders of the Young Women’s Temperance Union of the late-1800’s. The group gathered sponsors and established a “reading and rest room” on Market Street to offer respite for young women who came to Lynn to work in the shoe factories. What started as a single room for young women working in the city has grown to include two buildings on Broad Street, which have since been merged into one through an extension renovation.

Lynn Home for Young Women/Washington Square Residences (WSR) residents reflect the diversity of Lynn itself. Individuals range in age from 18 to more than 70 years of age. They include students, disabled individuals, survivors of domestic violence, working women, and retirees.  They have come from Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, Alabama, Oklahoma, Lynn and many other places, but one thing that they all have in common is they each call LHW/WSR home.

Loretta Cuffe-O’Donnell,  who serves as president of LHW Board of Directors, has ties with the organization that go back a generation. “My mother used to help women get housing there,” O’Donnell said. “As a child I had friends who lived in LHW. It did so much for young women over the years. It used to be for women only but we have opened our doors to men as well,” she said. “It’s a beautiful place to live where people can get a good meal and support they need.”

O’Donnell pointed out the two buildings underwent a $6 million renovation in 2010. The Broad Street facility is environmentally friendly and houses 43 residents in furnished single occupancy rooms with private or shared bathrooms and studios. LHA/WSR has six shared kitchens, laundry facilities, a computer room, foyer and large back yard. It houses a professional food service and a large dining room where dinner is served four nights a week.

Resident Jessica Tower, who is a graduate student at Salem State University, said she enjoys the  camaraderie of the communal dinners.

“It makes meal planning and budgeting easier for me,” she said. “There are four nights I don’t have to worry about cooking and it gives me more time to dedicate to school work.”

O’Donnell pointed out that WSR is constantly evolving and expanding its programs to meet the needs of the residents. “WSR is going forward and doing even more today than it had in the past,” she said.

Connolly added WSR was innovative when it was founded and has continually adapted to meet the changing needs of individuals in the community and it is a housing model that other agencies are trying to recreate.

“Recently we were contacted by a group from Notre Dame University regarding SRO (single room occupancy) style housing,” she said. “A group of 10 students spent the day with our staff, residents and management gleaning best practices for supportive, affordable, single occupancy housing in the fight to address housing insecurity in our society today.”

One resident said WSR is a place where she was able to seek refuge from an abusive relationship and begin to put her life back together in a supportive and safe environment.

“I was stuck in an unsafe place where I didn’t belong,” she said. “Moving here helped me by offering me a new beginning and it is helping me get to a place where I should be in my life.”

“New Beginnings” is focal point of what WSR offers and is an apt name for its fund raising event on May 6 at 8 pm in the Lynn Memorial Auditorium. Bill McGuinness is hosting ”New Beginnings” which includes a dazzling array of local and national talent. Members of the bands Boston and Beatlejuice will come together in the return of the super group Spring Rain.  Local favorites include the Lynn Public Schools Jazz Band, Community Auditions winner Sheree Dunwell, Don White, and The Dirty Floorboards. Rounding out the musical extravaganza are Jim Dennis, Not Sure Community and Carolyn Cole. Tickets are $42, general admission, and are available at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium Box Office in Lynn City Hall, by calling 781- 599-7469 or online at www.lynnauditorium.com.

Showing love for baby Brady

Photo BY PAULA MULLER
Brady’s grandmother, Nancy Gorman, and Brady’s great-grandfather, Henry Gorman, pose with a family photo of Brady and his parents, Bob and Christine Ellis, during the fundraiser for Brady Robert Ellis at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall in Lynn on Friday.

By JACQLYN CULWELL
FOR THE ITEM

LYNN — Life can be full of unexpected and often discouraging twists and turns, and Bob and Christine Ellis certainly couldn’t have seen what was going to happen to them, and their baby son Brady, last Nov. 17.

The day started the way all others did for 4-month-old Brady: a little play time, followed by feeding time with his grandfather. Then it all changed. He was found unresponsive on his playmat, and was rushed first to the Salem Hospital’s emergency room, and then to the Massachusetts General Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

He had slipped into cardiac arrest, and was left with brain damage due to lack of oxygen. Though numerous in-depth tests followed, the family has been left with no explanation for the incident. Doctors, according to friends, have described the baby’s episode as “near-SIDS” (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). But one thing is certain. Brady’s life, and those of family and friends around him, changed radically that day.

Emily and Michael Cross, friends of the Ellises, helped to organize a fundraiser that took place at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall last Friday night. With banners made by Andreas Grawe, donations of food, a live band, raffles, and lots of love and encouragement from friends and family, it became a night full of hope for the now six-month-old Brady and his parents, former Lynners who now live in Peabody.

“This is our first event for Brady,” said Emily Cross. “My husband and I are members here, so it worked out well. The amount of support is truly amazing.”

“We have a lot of food donations from places around the area. Spinelli’s, Coach Pete’s, Periwinkles, Tides, Fauci Pizza … the list goes on. It’s a little overwhelming, but really heartwarming,” she said.

Liz Snider, Christine’s sister, said that after three weeks of intensive care at Mass. General, Brady was transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. There, Brady receives the care he needs daily to survive.

“The staff at Spaulding are training Bob and Christine to take care of Brady,” Snider said. “He has a (tracheotomy) to help him breathe, and a (gastrostomy) tube that feeds him. He receives an hour of physical, occupational, and speech therapy daily.

“He’s getting the best care possible,” Snider said.

Bob Ellis’ sister, Lauren Naugle, says the entire family is having a tough time coming to grips with what happened.

“It’s especially hard when the entire family is affected as a whole and collectively sharing the heartache and worry,” she said. “Before all of this, Brady was such a good baby. He always smiled, and was just so happy and content.

“Now,” she said, “he’s just a different Brady. He has shown us the true importance of family, faith and love and most importantly, standing together. My hope for Brady, just as I’m sure it is for all of us here, is that he continues to get better, get stronger and keep fighting.”

Ellis’ younger brother, Anthony Votano, said that even though Brady’s condition is unpredictable, and extremely worrisome, family is the backbone in times of trouble.
“We have to stand together through this as a family unit, pray and believe that he will be able to get through this,” Votano said. “We’re all staying strong for Brady. We have to.”

Hearty souls take polar plunges

PHOTO BY PAULA MULLER
Andrew Richard, Amanda Skahan and Ashley Donovan, from left, all of Lynn, emerge from taking a dip at Short Beach in Nahant on New Year’s Day.

BY JACQLYN CULWELL

Every year, volunteers from the North Shore trade their New Year’s Day mornings for a chilly few seconds in the ocean, all to benefit good causes.

The freeze-fest started at 11 a.m. Friday when participants from Swampscott took the Polar Bear Plunge at Fisherman’s Beach. The hearty souls dashed into the water to honor Swampscott residents Billy Ryan and Darren Spinney, both of whom died in September. Proceeds from the plunge will be split between the All-Blue Foundation and The Spinney Children Education Fund.

Malachy McAdams, a 12-year-old from Marblehead who did the plunge for the third year in a row, said that the cold dip is helping him train for the USA Junior Olympic Luge Team. Accompanied by his parents, Chris and Kelly and their dog Ruffles, they were glad to donate to the cause.

“I do this because it’s fun,” Malachy said with a smile on his face, wrapped tightly in a towel. “I was out of the water faster than I was in. You wear shoes because it’s rocky. It was cold, so cold!”

Chuck Borgioli, Ed Palleschi and Steve Hunt of Swampscott took the plunge together to honor Spinney. Borgioli, who arrived at 9:30 to start the fire, stood with a smile as he warmed up. Hunt took the plunge for Spinney and the Swampscott High swim team after his run in the Salem Road Race; and Palleschi arrived just in time to jump into the water.

“This was our first time and we did it for Darren,” Borgioli said, alongside his friends. “It was freezing but worth it.”

At noon on Short Beach in Nahant, citizens of Lynn gathered together to take their own chilly dip, called “Freezin’ for a Reason.” This year, the beneficiary was the Lynn Special Needs Camp in hopes to raise money to help buy a splash pad.

Pat Finnigan and his older brother Terry stood among the crowd after the plunge.

“Oh my God,” Pat Finnigan shivered. “I woke up this morning and I said why not. It’s my first year and even though it was cold, it felt good to do it. What better way to start off the New Year than to be as awake as possible?”

“We’re hearty New Englanders taking the plunge for a good cause and after this we’re going skiing in Vermont!” Terry Finnegan said.

Fellow Lynner Sean Reid stood, wrapped in a towel like many others, warming up after taking the plunge as well.

“I can’t even describe the feeling. I was all tingly. It was cold but it’s going to a good cause so I was happy to do it.”

Classical High School staff members Christine Lander and Laura Durant stood with their sister, Beth Watson, and good friend George Sonia of Lancelot Janitorial after taking the plunge.

“After this, we’re going to Tony’s Pub,” Sonia said. “Proceeds are going to the fund. This whole thing really is awesome,” said Sonia.

Brendan Crighton, a representative of Lynn, who also took the plunge, was happy to see everyone.

“It was everything I thought it would be and more. This is the biggest crowd I’ve seen. It really is for a great cause and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

 

Fundraiser event to benefit Lynn stroke survivor

LYNN — Mary Borrelli had accomplished a major milestone in her career: In December of 2009, after 25 years working in Lynn schools, she became principal of the Hood Elementary School, the same school she’d attended as a child.

But only two months later, the lifelong Lynn resident suffered an arteriovenous malformation, a stroke that caused bleeding on the left side of her brain.

“Sometimes I cry now because I only got to be a principal for two months,” she said.

This month, Borrelli and her friends will hold a benefit event, “A Day With Mary,” as a chance to catch up with the many people who reached out to her when she fell ill. She vividly recalls the names of numerous people who helped her on her journey to recovery and believes those connections are the lifelines that have sustained her.

“I think it is a godsend for me to have all these people in my life that can do things with me and for me,” she said.

But back in 2010, things were a bit scarier. Borelli underwent a tracheotomy and feeding tube placement at Massachusetts General Hospital before being transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital for intensive therapy.

Although the episode initially left her unable to speak, Borrelli gathered her strength and channeled her inner student. Determined to talk again, she immersed herself in therapy and studied flashcards.

“All I could do was say the word on the card, but that was good enough for me,” she said. “I thought maybe it can get better, but at the beginning I was a little bit sad because what was I going to do for the rest of my life?”

When Borrelli speaks, her emotion is visible, and she uses hand gestures to help recall specific events, names and dates.

Nancy Pantazopoulos, a close friend of Borrelli, remarked how Mary was such an expressive person before the stroke.

“The one thing you knew with Mary was her expressive talking, and that was taken away,” she said. “That is what she’s had to learn all over again.”

But like a true educator, Borrelli found a way to turn the stroke into a unique teaching opportunity.

“I am a practice patient,” Borrelli said. “The Boston University second year graduate students want some hands-on experience, so I volunteer every Friday for the fall semester to go in and they practice on me.”

Borrelli has been the subject of Boston University students who studied her during an intensive treatment program for stroke survivors She was involved in the documentary “After Words” and also participated in a 10-week program to test an iPad therapy app called “Constant Therapy.”

Tony Borrelli, Mary’s brother, said it wasn’t just his sister’s work ethic and willingness to participate in studies that made her an attractive subject. He explained that his sister’s age prompted a lot of attention from medical professionals.

“Having a stroke at age 48 doesn’t happen often,” he said. “So when Mary was in the stroke ward at Mass General or Spaulding, she was the youngest patient by about 10 or 12 years.”

Borrelli recently celebrated her 53rd birthday, and she has much to be thankful for. Through therapy, Borrelli has gradually become more independent. She is back at Lincoln-Thompson Elementary School teaching children in the English as a Second Language program. She also completed an adapted driving program two weeks ago so that she can receive her license.

The last step for Borrelli will be completing renovations that are necessary for her to live comfortably in her childhood home. In October, physical therapy students at Boston University created Hope for Mary’s Home, a fundraiser to help alleviate the cost of renovations.

That fundraiser ended in December, and now Borrelli’s friends have taken over. Borrelli said she still needs an adjustable bed and a chairlift so that she can reach the second floor. Due to safety concerns, Borrelli has been confined to the first floor of her two-story home for more than three years, traveling upstairs only once under the supervision of her physical therapist.

The fundraising event, “A Day With Mary” was thought up by friends as a way to reconnect with those who supported Borrelli while she was hospitalized.

“We don’t get to see those people any longer because they have busy lives,” Tony Borrelli said. “When they see her at this event, they are going to be amazed because her speech and her mobility, so much has changed. ”¦ It’s a party, a celebration of Mary’s life and her recovery.”

Friend and event organizer Tony DiFillipo took a moment to express his gratitude to those who have already extended a helping hand, including Jim Appleton of Rolland Appleton Company and City Councilor Darren Cyr.

Citizens for Adequate Housing annual fundraising gala set

PEABODY — Citizens for Adequate Housing celebrates its 30th anniversary with the Raising the Roof 2013 gala, the organization’s cornerstone fundraising event of the year. It will take place at Danversport Yacht Club on Friday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $100 per person and can be purchased at http://citizens.eventbrite.com or by calling 978-531-9775. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

“Raising the Roof symbolizes how far the community has come in furthering the mission of ending family homelessness over the past three decades,” says Corey Jackson, the new executive director of Citizens for Adequate Housing. “We look forward to celebrating our mission while fueling this work with much-needed support from the community.”

Channel 5’s “Eye Opener” news anchor Randy Price returns for his fifth year as the event’s master of ceremonies alongside Jackson as auctioneer. More than 250 guests are anticipated to attend, and will enjoy passed wine from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., hors d’oeuvres, food stations, a cash bar, a moving video presentation, lively music from The Guy Ford Band and incredible auction items.

Auction items include vacations to many locations throughout the world, amazing dining experiences, exquisite bottles of fine wine, art and jewelry from some of the most well known artists on the North Shore, and foursomes to some of the most prestigious golf courses in the area, including Kernwood and Andover Country Club. World Series Champion Red Sox merchandise from Johnny Gomes and David Ross will be auctioned off, as well as tickets to a 2014 Red Sox vs. Yankees game. New England Patriots merchandise includes a signed Tedy Bruschi photo with Tom Brady and tickets to a Patriots vs. Browns game in excellent seats with VIP parking at Gillette Stadium. “It’s outstanding how much support grows each and every year from our community,” says Allison Genetelli, auction chair and Citizens for Adequate Housing board member. “Everyone is going to leave with some amazing items.”

Leading event sponsors include North Shore Bank, Wells Fargo, Solimine Development Corporation, Converge Diagnostic Services, Sage Bank, Analogic, Eastern Bank and Prova. “North Shore Bank is pleased to be involved in helping those who have become or are at risk of becoming homeless,” says David LaFlamme, the bank’s president and CEO. “We are excited to see the community joining us in this fight to end the cycle of homelessness and hope to see you all at this year’s event.”

For more information, please visit http://cahns.org.