Framingham Online News

Curtis Family Thanksgiving Fundraiser Dance & Raffle

October 21, 2012 (3:51 am EST)
Filed under: Around Town by News Staff
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)
Eagles Grill
44 Park St.
Framingham, MA

Or by contacting:

Diane Lynch
(508) 380-3637


The Curtis Family Thanksgiving Dinner Needs You!

November 9, 2011 (7:58 pm EST)
Filed under: Around Town by Randy Harris
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


#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:


#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:


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.


#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.


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.

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

July 23, 2011 (3:18 am EST)
Filed under: Arts / Culture by Randy Harris

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]

Common Ground Rocked the Common

July 16, 2011 (12:06 am EST)
Filed under: Arts / Culture by News Staff

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Hometown band "Common Ground" played to a huge audience last night at the Framingham Centre Common.

"Common Ground" plays the Allman Brothers' classic "One Way Out" at Concert on the Green, Framingham, MA, July 15, 2011

Drawing a diverse mix the crowd included families with small children, teens, "twenty-somethings", baby-boomers, empty nesters, retirees and seniors --- all peacefully co-existing for a few hours to enjoy the open-air "Concert on the Common".

Covering tunes from Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers, Traffic and ...[read more]

The Infractions Funky Music Fills the Common

July 1, 2011 (8:54 pm EST)
Filed under: Arts / Culture by News Staff

FRAMINGHAM, MA - The Infractions packed the house in a July 1st, 2011 performance at the Framingham "Concerts on the Green".

Due to rain last week, this was the first night a band played this year in the free summer concert series that's been running on the Framingham Centre Common every year since 1996.

The Infractions "Play That Funky Music"

This was also the first time a new stage, built by students from Keefe Tech was used.

Aside from the music, the crowd was also treated to ...[read more]