GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

February 2, 2013

Talk of the Times: Boys turn birthday into boost for Open Door

By All Hands
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — A pair of Gloucester boys who are teaming up to celebrate a joint birthday party might usually expect a lot of presents.

But that wasn’t quite what Calvin Del Vecchio, 9, and or Treely Dowd, 8, had in mind.

Instead of presents, they asked each of their guests to bring a small donation for The Open Door food pantry and human services agency. The boys received a total of $87, which they presented to Julie LaFontaine, The Open Door’s executive director.

LaFontaine gratefully accepted the gifts, and saluted Calvin’s and Treely’s youthful awareness and community spirit.

“Donations like this touch the heart and inspire us all to give what we can to help make a difference in our community,” she said.

Just rewards?

There’s an old saying about those who give are also more likely to receive.

And that held true last Saturday night at the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce’s 91st annual dinner and dance event, when Brad Pierce, owner of the Cape Ann Motor Inn, came up the winner in the 50/50 raffle.

The drawing netted Pierce $500. And it came just two days after he had opened the doors of his inn to anyone who needed a place to find shelter and had no other place to go last week when temperatures plunged into the single digits, with wind-chill factors well below zero.

The annual gala drew more than 230 people to Cruiseport Gloucester.

Tobey gets state role

Bruce Tobey has served four terms as mayor, he’s been Gloucester’s city solicitor, he’s held a seat on the School Committee, and is an at-large city councilor.

Now, he’s been named president of the Massachusetts Municipal Councillors’ Association, which announced Tobey’s election to that post on Jan. 25 at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting and trade show in Boston.

Tobey, serving his second straight term as Gloucester councilor-at-large, is also senior counsel at the Providence, R.I.-based law firm of Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC, and previously served as president of the MMA, which serves as a lobbying group working on behalf of the state’s cities and towns at the State House.

“Bruce Tobey is recognized by his colleagues as an innovative and effective leader in his city and across the state,” said Geoffrey C. Beckwith, the MMA’s executive director. “The councillors of our state have elected him to serve as president of the ... councilors’ association to advance the needs of our communities, and we are very pleased that he has accepted this key leadership post.”

As the MMCA president, Tobey will also serve on the MMA’s Board of Directors, and in that capacity, is also a member of the statewide Local Government Advisory Commission, which meets regularly with the governor and lieutenant governor to discuss issues facing cities and towns.

Honored veteran

The flag at the Veterans Center will fly this week in honor of World War II veteran Francis Xavier Jones Sr. Born March 29, 1925, he entered the U.S. Coast Guard on April 11, 1943.

The seaman first class served with the Andromeda-class attack cargo ship USS Aquarius (AKA-16) in the Pacific Theater. He also served in the Marshall Islands, the Marianas, Guam, Peleliu, Leyte and Saipan.

Jones was awarded the American Area Campaign Ribbon, the Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon with three Bronze Battle Stars, and the Philippine Liberation Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars.

He was discharged Nov. 1, 1945, and died March 12, 1995.

The flag was requested to fly in his honor by his daughter, Kathleen Jones Hitchcock of Gloucester.

Anyone wishing to fly a flag in honor of a deceased veteran can call the Office of Veterans Services at 978-281-9740.