Framingham Online News

Curtis Family Thanksgiving Fundraiser Dance & Raffle

Filed under: Around Town by News Staff at 3:51 am on October 21, 2012
Tickets for the 2012 Fundraiser Dinner/ Dance to support the Curtis Family Thanksgiving in Framingham.

Be sure and grab a few tickets to the 2012 Fundraiser Dance to support the Curtis Family Thanksgiving in Framingham.

FRAMINGHAM, MA - It's almost time for the 22nd Annual Curtis Family Thanksgiving Dinner!

A Fundraising Dance and Raffle are being held to support this important community event.

On Saturday, November 10th, 2012 there will be a Dance at the Eagles Hall featuring live music by the Off the Hook Band.  Join your friends and neghbors for an evening of dancing, cocktails and  a wonderful array of  hors d'oeuvres which will be served throughout the night.  Tickets are $25.00 per person and can be purchased in advance or at the door.

On November 22nd, 2012, Mark and Karen Curtis, along with volunteers of all ages and backgrounds will once again peel, chop, and prepare meals to support their annual thanksgiving feed hosted in the banquet room at the Framingham Eagles Club.

As they have in the past, Mark and Karen, together with an army of volunteers will open up at noon and stand ready to serve a hot meal to anyone that comes through the door. For those unable to attend, they plan to deliver more than 500 meals to the elderly and others that may be less fortunate.  Last year, nearly two-thousand Thanksgiving meals were served!

 

The OFF THE HOOK Band, (photo, 2012)

The OFF THE HOOK Band, (photo taken at Concert on the Green, Framingham, MA, summer of 2012)

Thanksgiving Raffle!

Thousands of dollars worth of items, services and gift certificates are also being raffled off.  Raffle tickets are $10.00 with 100% of the proceeds supporting the Curtis Family Thanksgiving Dinner.

Winning raffle numbers will be drawn and prizes awarded throughout the night of the dance, (you do not need to be present to win --- but why miss all the fun?)

 

Raffle Tickets to support the 2012 Curtis Family Thanksgiving in Framingham

$10 Raffle Tickets are being sold to help support the 2012 Curtis Family Thanksgiving Dinner in Framingham.

Raffle Prizes include: a Bose Wave Radio, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins tickets, Kitchen Aid Mixer, and a variety of gift certificates including Love Those Nails, the Oregon Club, Samba Sushi/Steak, Beerworks, and many other local establishments!

 

Tickets to the dance and/or the raffle can be purchased at:

Maenzo Hair Salon
440 Franklin St. (in the old CO-OP Shopping Center)
Framingham, MA
508-872-1778, (Tony Maenzo)
Or:
Eagles Grill
44 Park St.
Framingham, MA
508-820-0600

Or by contacting:

Diane Lynch
(508) 380-3637
Email: lynchied@gmail.com

 ###


20th Annual Salute To Framingham Honorees Named

Filed under: General Interest by News Staff at 3:07 pm on January 25, 2012
Framingham High School Foundation - 20th Annual Salute to Framingham (2012)

The 20th Annual Framingham High School Foundation ''Salute to Framingham'' will be held on Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 at the Sheraton Framingham.

FRAMINGHAM, MA - The Framingham High School Foundation has announced the 20th Annual Salute to Framingham honorees.

In 1992, the Salute to Framingham was created to honor individuals for their outstanding commitment and service to Framingham's youth. These honorees join a select group of people who have made a real difference in the lives of the children of Framingham.

On Thursday, March 22nd 2012, Salute to Framingham will honor Mark & Karen Curtis and Dave Gudejko.

Since 1989, Mark and Karen Curtis have been sponsoring a free Thanksgiving Day dinner for those in need. With the help of volunteers, Mark and Karen Curtis have prepared and served traditional Thanksgiving meals to thousands of needy families for more than two decades. Last year, at the "Curtis Family Thanksgiving", nearly 1,700 people had a free, hot Thanksgiving dinner either delivered to their door or served to them at Eagles Hall in Framingham.

The annual Curtis Family Thanksgiving dinner brings together more than 400 members of the community including local business owners, Framingham Girl Scouts, students from Fuller Middle School and Framingham High School and members of Framingham Youth Hockey who donate supplies, money or their time to follow the example that Mark and Karen Curtis have set for the last 23 years.

As owners/operators of the Eagles All-American Grill, the Curtis' service to the Framingham community continues year round with service to senior residents of Memorial House and the Callahan Senior Center. Through the years, Mark & Karen Curtis have been also a part of community family events ranging from Concerts on the Common to the groundbreaking at Bowditch Field.

Dave Gudejko has been involved in the town of Framingham since moving here in 1978. For almost three decades, Dave has been active in Framingham Baseball in many capacities including serving as president of both Little League and Framingham Babe Ruth. He has coached, chaired many fundraising activities and answered the call whenever he was asked. In addition, Dave worked closely with Framingham Parks and Recreation Department as field liaison where he scheduled fields for more than 1,000 players.

For many years, Dave volunteered to get up before sunrise on cold Sunday mornings to make sure that the kids got safely onto buses to enjoy the Framingham Parks and Recreation department's ski and snowboard program. That same attitude and spirit was brought to the Marian Boosters when as past president he helped shape that organization. Additionally, Dave has coached CYO basketball and administered many youth programs through St. Bridget's CYO including community outreach programs, ski trips and bowling.

This year, the Salute to Framingham will present the Jim O'Connor Community Service Award to the Framingham Co-operative Bank Charitable Foundation. Named for former FHS Athletic Director and founder of the Salute to Framingham, this award honors an organization whose work benefits the youth of Framingham. The Framingham Co-operative Bank Charitable Foundation was established by Framingham Co-operative Bank in 1998 as a reflection of its long-standing commitment to the local community.

In addition to these honorees, the Salute program also recognizes Framingham teachers and staff who make each day "special" in our public schools, and also acknowledges graduating FHS students who positively impact the school community.

The 2012 "You Are Special" recipients are:

  • Rebecca Morrison, Barbieri Elementary
  • Sharon Silverman, Brophy Elementary
  • Deb Hobin, Brophy Elementary
  • Elizabeth Jeffery, Dunning Elementary
  • Heather Degnan, McCarthy Elementary
  • Miriam Lapa Silva, Potter Road Elementary
  • Jill CoatesPotter Road Elementary
  • Kerri O'Brien, Stapleton Elementary
  • Deb Phillips, Cameron Middle School
  • Lisa Columbo, Fuller Middle School
  • Vanda Figueiredo, Fuller Middle School
  • Otto Johnson, Walsh Middle School
  • Nancy Hulme, Walsh Middle School
  • Susan DeSimone, FHS
  • Janice Laakko, FHS
  • Jayne Carney, Special Education Department
  • Literacy Program, Woodrow Wilson Elementary - honoring the entire team at Woodrow Wilson for their work with the school-wide vocabulary intiative.

The Salute to Framingham will take place on Thursday, March 22nd at 6:00pm at the Sheraton Framingham Ballroom.

Complete details and ticket information are available at www.salute-to-framingham.com

Proceeds from the Salute to Framingham benefit the Framingham High School Foundation. All proceeds from the event are used to benefit FHS students by supporting activities, the arts, and athletics at the school.

###


The Curtis Family Thanksgiving Dinner Needs You!

Filed under: Around Town by Randy Harris at 7:58 pm on November 9, 2011
Karen & Mark Curtis looking over a ''Thank You'' card made by Framingham Girls Scouts.

Karen & Mark Curtis looking over a ''Thank You'' card made by Framingham Girls Scouts.

FRAMINGHAM, MA - It's almost Thanksgiving, and while many families in Framingham are wondering if they should cook at home and invite company, or accept an invitation to visit with friends or relatives for a turkey dinner -- others are just wondering where they'll get their next meal, or where they'll sleep tonight, or are elderly, disabled or shut-in and might be alone for the holiday.

When Mark Curtis, owner of the Eagles All American Grill, (located in the Eagles Club at 55 Park Street, in Downtown Framingham), realized there were so many needy people who might go without Thanksgiving dinner, he stepped up to the plate -- the Thanksgiving dinner plate that is!

Mark and his wife Karen, their five children, and countless other relatives, friends and volunteers have helped to make The Curtis Family Thanksgiving at The Eagles a Framingham tradition for the past 22 years.

Each year the number of people needing a meal has grown. The first year only about 20 people showed up for the free dinner.   Last year over 1600 meals were served -- that number up considerably from the just 1200 or so meals the Curtis family served in 2009, and doubling the 2008 dinner when they only served 800 people.

This year Mark and Karen have actually been reaching to out to more people and more organizations -- making sure anyone who might need a Thanksgiving meal knows they can get one.

When I spoke to Mark he told me Karen is very compassionate about making sure veterans are taken care of, so they contacted Peter Harvell, Framingham Veterans' Agent and asked him to let veterans and their families know they were welcome to come to the Eagles on Thanksgiving for a meal -- or if they needed it, and preferred to eat at home, that a Thanksgiving dinner would be delivered to them.

The Curtis family has also reached out to Christine Alessandro, Executive Director of BayPath Elder Services to make sure any seniors involved in that organization's programs would not be without dinner this Thanksgiving.

Mark and Karen also keep in contact with Lisa Horning, Director of Resident Services for the Framingham Housing Authority. Lisa helps make a list of low-income families, seniors, disabled individuals and anyone else living in FHA housing, and makes sure they all have Thanksgiving dinner too.

In the past, The Curtis Family has plated individual meals -- if someone needed one, two or more, all they needed to do was call and let Mark and Karen know how many they needed. This year Mark is hoping to be able to provide complete family style meals -- hot and ready to eat family size portions that will make the holiday feel a bit more traditional for those in need.

The FHS Flyers Hockey team -- equipped with vegetable peelers, ready to lend a hand to prepare Thanksgiving dinners, (2010 photo).

The FHS Flyers Hockey team -- equipped with vegetable peelers, ready to lend a hand to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, (2010 photo).

Do they do it all them themselves?

For the first 20 years, Mark and Karen never asked for donations.  They paid the entire cost for all the food themselves, and used their own employees, family members and friends to put the dinner together, served everyone and cleaned up afterward.  Their reward was knowing they had helped those in need.

Over the years, as word of their generosity spread, others began to make donations and offered to help. Mark and Karen get a lot of pleasure when they see someone who was down on their luck one year, appreciated the kindness and the meal, then return another year in better shape wanting to make a donation or offering to help prepare food, serve others, or deliver meals.

In 2009, realizing that many area churches, the Salvation Army, the Framingham Civic League and other Framingham organizations would not be serving Thanksgiving meals, Mark and Karen got worried that they wouldn't be able to afford to feed everyone who might show up.

They had never asked for donations before -- although there were several area businesses that had volunteered to help.  When I spoke with Mark he mentioned a few --- there's Paul Bernardi and Steve Bremmer at Imprint Graphics, (59 Fountain Street, Framingham, MA), who each year donate all the silk screened signs and posters for the dinner -- including this year for the  "23rd Annual Curtis Family Thanksgiving".

Then there's the Framingham Baking Company, (840 Waverly Street, Framingham, MA), which year after year donates dinner rolls and breads used to make the hundreds of pounds of stuffing for the dinner.

Mark told me John and Joe Tomacz of TJ's Spirits, (355 West Union Street  Ashland, MA), asked what they could do to help, and when Mark asked what they'd like to contribute, the brothers told him, "Whatever you need!"

And of course, there's Tony Maenzo owner of Maenzo's Hair Design, (444 Franklin Street, Framingham, MA). Tony and his Off The Hook Band provide the entertainment and help organize an annual dinner/dance to help raise funds for the Thanksgiving dinner.

And then there's Dianne Lynch. Dianne volunteered a few years ago to deliver Thanksgiving meals to shut-ins and elderly Framingham folks and found herself feeling so grateful to be involved with the Curtis Family Thanksgiving that she's taken on the role of fund-raiser.  Dianne starts in the middle of the summer soliciting corporate donations -- asking businesses to donate items for a fund-raising raffle. She and Tony (Maenzo) then organize the raffle for the night of the dinner/dance. As time gets closer to Thanksgiving she manages food donations, and shows up the week of Thanksgiving to do whatever else she can to help.

When Cheryl Tully Stoll heard that the Curtis Family Thanksgiving Dinner was in need of a fundraising boost last year, she put her marketing and communications experience to work and sent out letters on email lists and to the media to get a quick infusion of donations. This year she did the same, and worked with the United Way to create a way for people to donate online -- and to provide a means for businesses who need a tax deductible receipt from a registered 501(3)(c) non-profit to get one.

There are many more people and businesses that have donated to, or otherwise supported the dinner including: BOSE Corporation, Ken's Steak House, Samba, Clean Machine, Framingham Cooperative Bank, The Oregon Club, Collotta's Barber Shop, Alumni House, Love Those Nails, Beerworks, Eastern Bakers Supply, and many, many other businesses and individuals.

The squash guys doing some prep work the night before Thanksgiving last year.

The squash guys doing some prep work the night before Thanksgiving last year.

What can you do to help?

I asked Mark what he needs the most for this year's dinner.

In typical fashion, the first thing that came to mind wasn't to ask for money or help cooking, serving or washing all the pots, pans -- he wanted me to make sure I mentioned "reaching out to those in need".

Mark and Karen want to make sure nobody in the Framingham area goes without a Thanksgiving dinner, So...

#1 on the list of How To Help, is to reach out to those in need -- veterans, seniors, disabled persons, homeless or down-on-their-luck individuals and families and let them know all they need to do is show up at Eagles Hall on Thursday November 24, 2011, (starting at 12:00 noon and running until everyone is fed), and they will have a hot, traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner!  No questions asked, nothing expected in return.

If someone can't get themselves to the Eagles, all they have to do is call ahead of time and get their name and address on the list and volunteers will deliver meals to them! Below are few contact names and numbers to request meals:

  • Eagles All American Grille, Mark & Karen Curtis ... (508) 820-0600
  • Framingham Veterans' Agent, Peter Harvell ... (508) 532-5515
  • Framingham Housing Authority, Lisa Horning ... (508) 879-7562
  • Baypath Elder Services, Christine Alessandro ... (508) 573-7200

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#2 on the list of How To Help is by donating money.

Mark wouldn't ask -- I had to practically pry it out of him.  The simplest way to donate is to stop in at the Eagle's All American Grill, 55 Park St., Framingham, MA, 01702.

Stop in any time between now and Thanksgiving, (they're open Monday-Saturday 11am to 8pm and  'til 9pm on Fridays -- they're also open for brunch Sundays from 10:30am until 2pm). Cash or checks in any amount will be gratefully accepted.

Click here to enlarge map or get driving directions...
The Eagles All American Grill is located at 55 Park Street, in Downtown Framingham, (just off Franklin Street, near South Common and the former Registry of Motor Vehicles building). Click map to enlarge or for driving directions.

If you can't get to Downtown Framingham but still want to donate, The United Way has offered to act as a "fiscal agent", and will be forwarding 100% of your donation directly to the Curtis Family!  In addition the United Way will provide a tax deductible receipt from a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit.

You can donate online using a credit card, or send a check in the mail.

Donate to Curtis Family Thanksgiving through the United Way website!

Be sure to check off ''Curtis Family Thanksgiving Dinner'' when making your online donation!

To donate online using your credit card: CLICK HERE and complete the simple online form!

You decide how much you want to give, then check off "Curtis Family Thanksgiving Dinner", (as shown at right), fill in your name, address and credit card info and you're done!

If you prefer to donate using a check, make check payable to: "Curtis Family Dinner/United Way" and drop it off or mail to: United Way of Tri-County, 46 Park Street, Framingham, MA 01702.

The United Way will automatically send a receipt to anyone donating $250.00 or more, (if you donate less and would like a tax deductible receipt you must request one).

For more information about tax deductible donations, contact Paul Mina of the United Way at 888-811-3291 (M-F 8am-5pm) .  On top of providing this service, The United Way is also donating $500.00 to the Curtis Family Dinner this year!  Once again, the web address for online donations is:  www.unitedwaytri-county.org/care/donate

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#3 on the list of How To Help is donating food, paper goods and other items.  For information about what types of items can be accepted, please contact Dianne Lynch at (508) 380-0682, or by sending email to: lynchie@vzw.blackberry.net

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

People from all walks of life, roll up their sleeve and help peel potatoes, cut carrots and get the massive amount of food read for the Thanksgiving dinner.

People from all walks of life roll up their sleeve and help peel potatoes, cut carrots and get the massive amount of food ready for the Thanksgiving dinner.

#4 on the list of How To Help is to help prepare the meals.  Simply show up at the Eagles on Wednesday November 23, 2011 anytime after 5:30pm and spend some time helping peel and cut up potatoes, carrots, squash and other vegetables and do other food prep work to get ready for the next day.

You'll have lots of company including Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Framingham Flyers sports teams and people from every walk of life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#5 on the list of How To Help is to volunteer on Thanksgiving day.  People are needed starting at 9:30am on Thursday November 24th, 2011 to help finish the prep work, plate and pack meals for delivery, deliver meals to shut-ins, to help serve food, clear tables, wash pots, pans and dishes and clean up afterwards.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks to Mark, Karen and the entire Curtis family for bringing the community together and helping feed people in need at Thanksgiving. Their mission is compelling and contagious and should remind us all of the two words that make up the name of this truly American holiday -- Thanks, and Giving.
###

Off The Hook at Concert On The Green

Filed under: Arts / Culture by Randy Harris at 3:28 pm on August 6, 2011

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Off The Hook band members Tony Maenzo (rhythm guitar), Ed Alderman (lead guitar), Renee Summer (vocals), Beth Gooch (vocals), Flavio Portugal (bass) and Chris Chipagio (drums) drew one of the largest crowds seen on the Framingham Village Green from well before the concert's 6:30p.m. start time -- and played into the night, leaving the crowd wanting more.

Off The Hook,  a Framingham, MA based "soulful funky rock band ", living up to the description playing its rendition or "Spooky" at Concert on the Green, August 5, 2011.

The Framingham based band mixed it up playing tunes that ranged from the Grateful Dead's "Dancing In The Street" to Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats", an original instrumental written by lead guitarist Ed Alderman, and tunes like ...[read more]


3 Swingin' Tenors, 2 Artists, 1 Night of Fun On Common

Filed under: Arts / Culture by Randy Harris at 3:18 am on July 23, 2011

FRAMINGHAM, MA - The "3 Swingin' Tenors" entertained young, old and everyone in between for the July 22nd, 2011 "Concert on the Green", a free concert series held on the Framingham Center Common each Friday night throughout the summer.

Kids play as couples dance to a 1950's doo-wop medley by the "3 Swingin' Tenors"

The trio The 3 Swingin' Tenors;  Jack Alessi, Steve Marvin and Jim Porcella performed their repertoire of medleys and generational favorites -- with a few improvisational stories and a bit of joking around between sets.

The Framingham Park & Recreation Department is now in charge ...[read more]


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