The ABCD North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center (NE/WE NSC) held its annual Thanksgiving luncheon on Friday, November 16th. The turnout was impressive, with nearly 70 seniors from both the North End and West End neighborhoods enjoying a hearty meal of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, corn, salad, and more. There was still plenty of room for pumpkin pie!
NE/WE NSC Advisory Board Chair Andres Molina helped serve the hungry crowd as he does every year. Also in attendance was NE/WE NSC Advisory Board Member Victor Brogna, as usual on trumpet. The dulcet tones of “Ain’t She Sweet?” filled the drop-in center against the backdrop of lively chatter. Director Maria Stella Gulla gave a moving tribute to Barbara Maldero for her support of the NE/WE NSC through the years, which includes personally donating to many holiday meals and encouraging neighborhood sponsors of events with desserts.
At the luncheon, the center revived the tradition of honoring monthly birthdays, and the group shared birthday cake in honor of the November birthdays. Going forward, NE/WE NSC will be observing birthdays on the last Friday of each month. Those interested in celebrating a birthday should let staff at the center know.
State Senator Joe Boncore and City Councilor Lydia Edwards made the rounds with their legislative aides to wish their constituents a happy Thanksgiving, and to donate some much-needed gift cards for the purchase of turkeys and other holiday staples. Representative Aaron Michlewitz, having to be out of town, sent Legislative Aide Patrick Lyons with gift cards to visit with seniors.
Additionally, the center gratefully acknowledges Greg and Caryn Antonelli of GTA Landscaping; Steven Colarusso of Antonio’s Cucina Italiana in the West End; Al and Maryann Giorgio of La Famiglia Giorgio’s; and Mary Guarino and the team at Church on the Hill for turkey donations. Regina Cleri, for the fifth year in a row, organized a food drive to stock the center’s food pantry shelves, as did Strada 234. Robin Sidell of North Street Grille held a community night at her restaurant and gave a generous check to purchase turkeys. Thanks to all mentioned and many more, no one who came to the center’s doors went without a bountiful feast for Thanksgiving! All served had a hearty meal at the luncheon with turkeys and food to take home to enjoy in the following days. It is the NE/WE NSC’s goal to give each senior or family in need a gift card or turkey and, thanks to its benevolent supporters, the center can.
This year, in comparison to last, the NE/WE NSC saw an increase in the need for turkeys and food donations to provide holiday meals and holiday baskets for seniors. Winter has settled in abruptly with snow in November and real-feel temperatures in the single digits. More than ever, the center remains especially thankful to elected officials, businesses, and donors for their support. Simply put, with the outpouring of love, support, and kindness from their communities, the NE/WE NSC provided nourishment in its warm and cozy drop-in center for all who knocked on their doors for a Thanksgiving feast or other assistance. Without you, none of this would have been possible. The NE/WE NSC extends its deepest thanks to you.
Those who are interested in joining the fun for weekly hot lunches and monthly events and celebrations should contact the NE/WE NSC at 617-523-8125. New clients must sign up for a free membership with ABCD. Happy Thanksgiving!