Thanks to some last minute donations and our annual anonymous donor who matched our total plus a little extra this year, the North End Friends of St. Francis House were able to match exactly the amount we raised last year: $18,000. “We would like to thank everyone who helped us this year, a very difficult one financially for most, as we amazingly raised this unbelievable amount of money for the most needy,” stated John Romano & Olivia Scimeca. The North End is one of the most generous neighborhoods around and we are grateful to every one,” said Kathy Carangelo.
The North End Friends started their annual event about 8 years ago, North Enders John Romano, Olivia Scimeca & Kathy Carangelo acted on Romanos plan to do something more than just give up chocolate or sweets for lent. Instead, looking to do something good for those less fortunate than them and their families. Together they hatched their plan to collect spare change and some needed personal items for the guests at St. Francis House Homeless Shelter. The event has expanded into an annual Bake Sale and Flea Market that the entire neighborhood participates in.
“This is truly an amazing event and is far more than I ever had in mind when we started this,” said Romano. “We have raised over $75,000 since we started, pretty incredible”.
The group did a few things differently this year, in January they held a raffle for a Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Championship Autographed Shirt. Thanks to our good friend Joyce Amoroso and the generosity of the Boston Bruins and the help of John & Joe at Mangia Mangia’s we raised over $2000 with the raffle. Next we added donation cans in several new stores this year along with some of those who have helped for years: Hanover Smoke Shop, Green Cross Pharmacy, Hanover Wine & Spirits, Salem Street Convenience Store, Polcari’s Coffee, Theo’s Cozy Corner, Mangia Mangia’s & Salem Street True Value. We sold Momma Romano’s famous eggplant, meatball & sausage sandwiches, had an amazing flea market and also sold homemade baked goods as well as pastries, cakes and cookies from Mike’s Pastry and Bova Bakery – two North End Family owned businesses that are tremendous and support us all year round!
Special thank you’s go out to: Anthony Virgilio, Matt Conti, Laurie D’Elia, Barbara Maldero, Mary Romano, Frank Romano, Patricia Romano, Mike Giannasoli, Lillian Ferullo, Mary Anne Tordiglione, Janet Gilardi, Diane Armstrong, John & Joe Mangia, Nazzaro Center Staff: Bob, Patty & Jeremy, Carl Ameno, Ida Depasquale & the North End Seniors, Irene Carini, Karen D’Amico, Elite Boston Landmark Realty and Greater Metro Real Estate and everyone who donated items for the flea market, baked items for the bake sale and especially those who made donations throughout the event.
“The incredible thing about this year is that several of us who organize the event were very sick leading up to and including during the event, as a matter of fact with one week to go – it was almost going to be postponed! The people above who stepped up to help, while should be no surprise, was heartfelt & humbling to me, the amount of their love and friendship is unmeasurable and will never be forgotten,” stated John Romano.
The Friends of St. Francis would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter and Passover and again say a BIG THANK YOU!