L-R Rebecca Mattson, Fundraising Chair of the ABCD North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center; Anthony Petruccelli, State Senator; Aaron Michlewitz, State Representative, 3rd Suffolk District; City Council Vice President, Sal LaMattina, District 1; Lia Tota, Director of the ABCD North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center; John Drew, President and CEO of ABCD (Photo by Don West)
ABCD’s North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center (NE/WE NSC) fundraising celebration Buona Sera: An Evening with Friends raised over $32,000 to aid low-income and elderly residents of the North End and West End who turn to the Center for assistance.
NSC Director Lia Tota and all agency staff thank the generous sponsors, restaurants, celebrity hosts and wine donors who made it possible. “We are very grateful for the outstanding support and so glad everyone had a great time!” she said.
“I can’t remember when I enjoyed a fundraising event as much as I did last night,” one dinner guest declared.
The Buona Sera evening kicked off with a wine reception at Wilmer Hale on the 27th floor of 60 State Street, followed by dinner at a table for 10 at one of several premiere North End restaurants. Each table was paired with a local celebrity – an elected or public official, sports figure, media celebrity or other well-known local personality. All who participated enjoyed a fine night on the town, along with sparkling conversation with their celebrity host!
“We thank everyone who helped to make this event a grand success,” said Tota. “In this harsh economy, we need to mobilize every resource to offset federal and state budget cuts.”
Tota said that those cuts have forced the center to close its West End Senior Center and scale back services in the North End.
“We are committed to raising funds to offset those cuts,” Tota said. “Here in the North End and West End, where everyone sees affluence, there are thousands of ‘hidden poor,’ mostly elderly residents, who struggle to survive. They come to our food pantry and our hot meals; we help them access benefits and get needed health care. We provide translation services and fuel assistance and many other services. We need to raise money to keep these services going.”
The response from those who attended the event was enthusiastic! “…terrific food and great company” “…our special guest was a great addition to the party” “a truly unique, relaxing, and thoroughly enjoyable event” were just some of the comments received.
“We were pleased to hear such genuine and effusive feedback about Buona Sera in our inaugural year,” said Rebecca Mattson, Fundraising Chair for the NE/WE NSC. “What could be better than dinner in the North End with ten of your friends and colleagues around your table? And the fun of meeting a celebrity one-on-one? But it even exceeded our expectations as participants raved about the evening well after it was over.”
“We are so grateful to everyone who supported this event,” said Tota. “Our plan has always been to make this an annual event, and we look forward to next year and hopefully doubling the size!”
Tota said that the table patrons, celebrity hosts, restaurant donors, and wine reception donors all pitched in to make this event successful.
The NE/WE NSC thanks their Table Patrons: The Architectural Team; Boston Bruins / TD Garden; Boston Dermatology & Laser Center; The Chiofaro Company; Copley Wolff Design Group; Dimeo Construction Company; ICON Architects; RW Sullivan Engineers; Simpson Housing LLP; Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital/MGH; Suffolk Downs; Suffolk University; Trinity Financial; Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.; Wilmer Hale; and Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Boston.
They also thank their Celebrity Hosts: Wine Reception Special Guest BRA Director Peter Meade; Senator Anthony Petrucelli; Representative Aaron Michlewitz; City Council Vice President Salvatore La Mattina; City Councilor Felix Arroyo; City Councilor Michael Ross; City of Boston Chief Planner Kairos Shen; 98.5 Sports Hub’s Tony Massarotti; Boston Bruins’ Bob Sweeney; Boston Celtics 2011 Hall-of-Famer “Satch” Sanders; Suffolk University Vice President John Nucci; and Boston Commissioner of Elder Affairs Emily Shea .
The NSC is very grateful to the generous Restaurant Hosts whose support made this event even possible: Aragosta at Battery Wharf ; Filippo’s Ristorante; Gennaro’s 5 North Square; Mare; Prezza; Ristorante Fiore; Ristorante Lucia; Ristorante Saraceno; Terramia and Vinoteca di Monica’s.
Special thanks also go out to Wine Reception sponsors Wilmer Hale for hosting the reception; local North End merchants Cirace Liquors and Hanover Wine and Liquors for generously donating the wine; and donors CBT Architects and O’Neill Associates.
About the NE/WE NSC:
- The NE/WE NSC helps North End, West End, and Beacon Hill seniors to remain self-sufficient and to stay in the neighborhood many have called home their entire lives. They are the “hidden poor” of these communities and the majority are homebound, elderly, and immigrant. We serve over 2,400 clients per year, providing vital services such as case management for the homebound, housing and fuel assistance, medical program advocacy, food stamps assistance, food pantries, English and computer classes, health and wellness classes, social events, a drop-in center, and much more at sites in the heart of the West End and North End. All are free. For more information go to or call 617-523-8125.
Photo by Don West
L-R Lia Tota, Director of the ABCD North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center; John Drew, President and CEO of ABCD; Emily Shea, City of Boston Commissioner of Elder Affairs
Photo by Don West
Boston Celtics Hall of Famer “Satch” Sanders and Don Chiofaro of The Chiofaro Company
Photo by Don West
Spaulding Rehab Hospital and MGH dinner guests on the way to dinner at Mare in the North End