Saturday, December 22, 2007

Shirley RTC Making A Difference

The Shirley Republican Town Committee has been very active lately and has been doing some great work. We think they deserve a little recognition for making a real difference in their communities and overseas. Kendra Dumont is the Shirley RTC Chair and she has been working with former State Representative candidate Kevin Hayes - what a team!

1) Loaves & Fishes

"On Saturday, the day before operation cookie drop, the SRTC did a collection for our local food pantry (Loaves & Fishes) we collected several hundred dollars worth of food. The Holidays are the busiest of times for most area residents, sharing the best that this time of year has to offer with family and friends, planning family festivities and looking forward to giving and getting.

There are those among us who do not share these feelings of joy and celebration, rather they are concerned with providing a meal and some small gift to those near and dear to them. Our local papers brought our attention to those in need and a organization willing to provide that service.

The Shirley Republican Town Committee, with the help of a caring community answered the call and its members got to experience, first hand, the truest meaning of the holidays. On December 1st , Republican Town Committee members organized by the Chair, Kendra Dumont, traveled throughout Shirley, Ayer and as far away as Acton and Westford picking food items up from people who wanted to give a little something to those with a little less. Arriving at the local Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in mid-afternoon an entire pick-up truck full of donated items including Turkeys, Dry goods, Fruit Juices, Pastas, Cereal, canned fruits and vegetables and much more was released to a grateful Loaves and Fishes staff.

Committee members got a tour of the facility and found out that Loaves and Fishes supports 7 surrounding communities, not only with food, but educational opportunities, health initiatives, clothing, and during the Holiday Season provides toys for parents to give to their children as well as gift items for children to give to their parents. Kendra Dumont observed that not many people are aware of all the outstanding services that are provided and was especially touched by the gift area and stated that this committee will endeavor to help again. She also expressed grateful appreciation to all those that gave in support of this effort and will be sending a personal thanks from the committee to those who gave of their time and money to make another families holidays a special time."

2) Operation Cookie Drop

Left to Right:

Bruce Novak - RTC Member
Jeanne Kangas - Vice Chair, Mass Republican Party
Kendra Dumont - Chair, Shirley RTC
April Cole - Friend of the RTC
Col. Michael Belcher - Cdr. 25th Marine Regiment, Devens RFTA (Attended to show support for the effort)
Lucy Lindley - RTC Member
Kevin Hayes - RTC Treasurer
Mark Prow - RTC Member

"Off in some distant corner of Iraq, in harms way, a group of some two hundred United States Marines will be receiving special holiday packages which will hopefully make a brief period of their 24/7 lives a little bit special, let them know complete strangers support and care about them, and give them a taste of home for the holidays. The Shirley Republican Town Committee, chaired by Kendra Dumont and a group of concerned citizens from Ayer lead by Ed Orr worked tirelessly over the last month to insure these particular Marines were not forgotten. Caring individuals from all over central Massachusetts responded, along with local business’s to help our troops.

On December 2nd, we had over 35 volunteers gather in two rooms provided by Michael Egan, Director of Sales and Marketing, Devens Common Center and packed and vacuum sealed over three hundred dozen home baked cookies, so that each Marine would receive at least one dozen. These cookies were then boxed with assorted personal care items. Twenty of these containers received special treatment and specific items, from Kendra Dumont and some of the other female volunteers as these boxes were for 20 female Marines assigned to this unit. Snack items are a big hit according to the Unit 1st Sgt. So hot cocoa, single coffee and tea packets, pringles, slim jims, gum and other assorted items were used to fill each individual bag.

We wanted the Marines to have a complete holiday experience. Hundreds of holiday cards were mailed courtesy of the Mary Rowlandson Elementary School in Lancaster and Page Hilltop Elementary School, and Ayer Middle School. Each and every donation was of value in particular the financial contributions as the shipping costs - all 125 boxes exceeded eleven hundred dollars!

In addition to the gracious donation of the space both Ed. Orr and Kendra Dumont wanted to extend thanks to the following business’s and individuals that made this event a success; Lancaster Teachers, Renee Robinson, Gail Sticklor and Nancy Kulis, Page Hilltop Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Adamson, and several other Ayer Page Hilltop and Middle School teachers, American Family Link of Leominster, Custom Courier, DCU, Devens Grill, HUB International, Hannafords of Lunenburg and Ayer, Prokowiew Electrical, Sentry Security/Investigations, Shirley Town Republican Committee, Snip-its Hair Salon, Kath B Hair, Spring Hill Marriott, Devens Common Center, Thelma Dumont, Ed/Jenn Orr, Beth Grant, Robbi Orr, Laurie/Kevin Hayes, Kendra/Bryan Dumont, Elaine/John/John III and Lauren Gailey, Mark Prokowiew, Doug Crossman, Kay/John Tohline, Sharon/Jim Lucchesi, Dan/Karen Rau, Pam/Warren Bisson, Penny/Rich Halpin, Bruce/Gina Novak, Pauline Conley, Maria Delrosario, Brian Burke, Kathy Burgintino, Katrina Grossi, Jeanne Kangas, John Conney, Dottie Hoare, April Cole, Kate/Steve Cantwell, Lucie Lindley, Elizabeth/Steve Grant, Rene Zajon, Paul Wilson, Kathy/Ray Bergantino.

We especially want to thank St. Anthonys in Shirley and Father Derosia for supplying and blessing religious medals for the troops.

The appearance of Colonel Belcher, Commanding Officer of the 25th Marine Regiment, Devens RFTA provided a much welcomed moral lift to the 30 to 35 volunteers. The Colonel stayed for the entire event, and at the conclusion of the event, he presented Ed Orr coordinator of the Ayer Volunteer effort and Kendra Dumont, Chair Shirley Republican Town Committee, coordinator of the Shirley effort, a Commanders Coin and Marine Coffee mug in appreciation of the total effort.

Each participant also received a certificate of Appreciation from the Command group of the Massachusetts American Legion. A special thanks is offered to the entire staff at the Ayer Post Office for their assistance in planning, setting up an appointment, and processing the 125 boxes."