... and have a trip
On December 5, a "Complete the Journey" fund raising party was held at the Milano Senior Center in Melrose. The popular center has out grown its two floors in the colonial carriage house of the Beebe Estate at 201 West Foster Street. It is crying out for a reading/relaxation lounge in addition to a private area for wellness checks by the V.N.A., foot care by a podiatrist, and other health services. The need for computer introduction and instruction has blossomed among the over-sixty generation to the point where it has gone from being an adventure to a sometimes necessity. Many more computer needs will be met when the members can communicate instantly with their distant families, increase their knowledge and satisfy their creative writing talents.
At left, Frank Callahan and Grace Hart try their hands at the "scratch" table -- Grace went on to a highly successful production. At right, Roxie Ananian and Katie Brown watch the tote board.
The basement of the building (c.1897) is the target for the fund raising which, through October, had brought in $60,164 in donations and pledges toward the $150,000 goal. But October was more than a month ago. Since then (between Nov. 1st and Dec. 4th), $6,835 in donations were received. At the December 5th party, another $3,735 was received, bringing the grand total to $70,734! Successful, to say the least.
Keeping an eye on the totals board, Ralph Lepage, and at right, Melrose pianist Marie Wooldridge.
For the party, a small percentage of Massachusetts lottery tickets were purchased in recognition of those who made donations prior to November 1st. Since then, the Friends of the Aging purchased one additional $5.00 scratch ticket for every $100 donated. Attendees were asked to scratch portions of the total raffle tickets purchased, at tables in the front of the hall ... where they could be watched closely.
His Honor, Mayor Rob Dolan, endorses the seniors' expansion program, as does State Senator Richard Tisei and long-time mayor, Jim Milano.
A total of 156 tickets, costing $780, were scratched. Winning scratch tickets totaled $870, so, after all was said and done, $90 was made. Watching people scratch tickets was fun and exciting even though, unfortunately, there were no really big winners. However, one "scratcher", Grace Hart, hit small amounts on six of the ten tickets that she scratched! Hitting for the biggest amounts were Jim Oosterman, scratching a $400 winner, and Susan Krasco, a $100 winner.
An overview: People kept coming and going during the party, providing a flow of renewed support.
Honored guests, introduced by COA Executive Director Jack Beckley were former Mayor Jim Milano, Mayor Robert Dolan, and Senator Richard Tisei, all of whom expressed their best wishes for this endeavor. They then socialized with the other guests, including Alderman Peter Mortimer, President of the Melrose Cooperative Bank Jeffrey Jones, Vice-President of the same bank Jim Oosterman, and Dan O'Leary, Executive Director of Mystic Valley Elder Services.
Frank Rego, Country Hall Of Famer, provided entertainment that day. At right are COA Director Jack Beckley and Committeeperson Jean Gorman.
Tables in Tierney Hall were tastefully decorated with poinsettias and red napkins on white tablecloths. At the tea tables, the petite pastries, made by the Northeast Regional Metropolitan Vocational School students, were served along with cups of mixed fresh fruit.
Good thing about publishing on the internet -- if you can't find a name in time, come back tomorrow. Left to right, enjoying teh festivities are Peggy Kenny, June Farren, Betty Crane (in the middle) and Ruth Jeffs and an unnamed guest.
Volunteers at the Scratchers' Tables, Lottery and Donations Boards, the buffet table and cleanup crew were headed up by Jim Driscoll, Principal Volunteer Fund Raiser and his enthusiastic committee - Rosemary Behrle, Frank Callahan, Rita Dietrich, Ellen Durant, Ellie Forrest, Jean Gorman, John Kelley, Mary and Ralph Lepage, Ella Letterie, Dot O'Toole, Eileen Olsen, Joe Poirier, Marie Salamanca, Ann Spencer, Natalie Thomson, Ed Wright and Mary Young. Photographers from the Melrose Mirror were Louise Fennell, Ella Letterie and Don Norris.
Bringing in the big guns, from the left are Committeeman John Kelley, Co-op Bank President Jeffrey Jones, and Dick Mahoney.
Marie Wooldridge, Melrose, accompanied on the piano music throughout the gala occasion, breaking into a fanfare of "We're In the Money" whenever a scratch ticket produced a profit.
Guess who in panel 1; Bell-ringer Natalie Thomson, and two local townies, Kay Danieli and her buddy Jim Milano.
Mary Lepage's brother, Frank Rego accompanied himself on his 1942 guitar as he entertained with a selection of 4-star country and western songs. He showed true talent with a token of twang. No wonder he gained admittance last year to The Country Music Hall of Fame.
More power people: Standing are Mayor Rob Dolan, Bank President Jeff Jones, Alderman Peter Mortimer, and Jim Oosterman, vice president of the Co-op Bank. Seated at the right is COA member Bill Ahern.
Let the fun begin! That was the initial feeling of the committee and the generous attendees. It was soon replaced with a feeling of fellowship and new understanding of the theme of this worthwhile project, aptly named "Complete the Journey."
December 12, 2003