Remember Those in Need This Holiday Season

Remember Those in Need This Holiday Season

For the vast majority of Americans, the holiday season, which is now upon us, is a joyous time when the abundance that life offers is most apparent in a wealthy nation such as ours.

But the sad reality for many of our fellow citizens is that the holiday season brings little, if any, joy. Those who are homeless or who are barely scraping by are in no position to take part in the traditional merriment that makes the holiday season so special and memorable for the rest of us.

So we ask that during this holiday season, those of us who are among the fortunate make a special effort, no matter how small, to do something that will brighten the holidays for those for whom the holiday season brings no joy.

Giving to others is the ultimate gift that we can give to ourselves. Psychologists tell us that being kind and generous to others makes the giver feel good in a way that exceeds any form of self-gratification.

We urge all of our readers to do something, no matter how small — as simple as a donation to Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army bellringers, local food pantries, to name a few — to help those who truly are in need this holiday season.

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New Holiday Inn on Broadway Shows Strong Hotel Market

New Holiday Inn on Broadway Shows Strong Hotel Market

The new Holiday Inn on  upper Broadway, next to Mill Creek, is showing great occupancy rates and yet another

Sales Manager Joe Fiorello, General Manager Luziane Cavalcanti and Front Desk Clerk Carlota Dalomba gather at the front desk of the new Holiday Inn on Mill Creek. The new property opened about four months ago, but will have its official grand opening next week. It represents the fifth property for the Colwen Management
company in Chelsea.

strong property in the Chelsea-based Colwen Management group of hotels.

“We’re almost at 100 percent full occupancy for October,” said Joe Fiorello, director of sales for Colwen. “We’re really excited about that.”

The property officially opened on July 25.

The new, 124-room, full-service hotel gives Colwen its fourth property in Chelsea, with more than 500 rooms added since their first property – the Residence Inn – came online a few years back.

The new Holiday Inn will celebrate a blockbuster grand opening on Nov. 8.

Colwen now has the Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Holiday Inn and Homewood Suites in Chelsea. That adds to their larger portfolio of properties across Greater Boston, including the new AC Hotel in the South End of Boston and the newer property that opened last week at Assembly Row.

The new property continues the tradition of great design on the properties, with interesting lighting and lots of natural light.

The foyer includes a great sitting area, with a fireplace as well.

Since it is a full-service property, Fiorello said the free breakfast option isn’t available. Instead, they have a European-inspired breakfast buffet and a al carte items as well. They also have a full restaurant and bar on the property, which Fiorello said would likely play well to local residents of Chelsea and Revere. They will be serving popular items like steaks, lobster rolls, salmon and other dishes.

“We are under the umbrella of IHG, but we are owned and operated by Colwen Hotels,” he said. “IHG wants to use this property as a prototype hotel. When other owners come into town, they said they want to bring them here to show them the property as an example for all future builds. Colwen is very good at managing, designing and operating.”

While there are no suites like in the other properties, the rooms are large and most try to focus on a view of the marsh or the City. Each room has smart TVs and luxury bath products as well. The building is an LEED certified property.

For functions, they do have a space that is available for small functions or meetings. It holds about 60-80 people and can be divided in half. It’s called the Mill Creek Ballroom.

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Remembering Kathy Finklestein

Remembering Kathy Finklestein

They came from all walks of life, bowlers and business people, friends and family, people of all faiths and backgrounds – and what they all had in common was this: to have known Kathleen “Kathy” (Pawlak) Finklestein was to have known an extraordinary human being.

Kathleen “Kathy” Finklestein

Kathleen “Kathy” Finklestein

Many, like Joe Surette, who came with his wife, Cathy Walata, to the Welsh Funeral Home to say good-bye, said just so with their words and actions.

“She was truly one of the nicest people I ever met in my life,” said Surette. “We are all so saddened by her passing.”

Kathleen “Kathy” Finklestein died on April 10 after experiencing a sudden and overwhelming advance of cancer that had struck this brave and seemingly indestructible woman four years ago. She was 62 years old.

The daughter of the late Chester P. and Carole M. (Lombardozzi) Pawlak, Kathy grew up in the family home on Broadway. She was an excellent student who attended St. Stanislaus Parochial School on Chestnut Street, Shurtleff Junior High School, and Chelsea High School, Class of 1973.

During her high school years, she started dating another “All-A” student with a similarly warm personality and generousness, Neal Finklestein. They were married in 1979 and shared 39 years of happiness together. As Kathy’s sister, Chrissy Pawlak, told the large assemblage at the Mass at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Revere, “It was at Chelsea High School where she hit the jackpot of all jackpots, she started dating Neal. Everyone should have a Neal in their lives.”

Many knew Kathy from the candlepin bowling scene. She helped her wonderful father, “Chet,” run Chelsea Square Alleys, a place where the Pawlak family made everyone feel welcomed and safe.

Kathy became an outstanding bowler and she and her sister, Chrissy, reached the top tier of the sport when they appeared on the Channel 5 “Candlepin Doubles” professional bowling show. She also won a mixed doubles championship in the old Chelsea Record Bowling Tournament, leading the way with a record-setting, five-string score of 610.

Hall of Famer Richie “Hawk” Halas, one of so many bowlers who paid their respects to Kathy, said of his fellow professional, “As great a bowler as she was, she was an even better person.”

Known for her keen organizational skills, Kathy directed candlepin bowling leagues in Chelsea and Malden, providing bowlers with a fun night of competition and camaraderie each week.

Chelsea business owners became admirers of Kathy Finklestein and her incredible work ethic through her efforts at the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. Programs such as the Pot-O-Gold Dinner and the Brighter Holidays Committee Awards presentations brought so much enjoyment to Chamber members because Kathy put her maximum effort in to every endeavor she undertook.

Allan I. Alpert, past president of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, said Kathy, who owned Chelsea Secretarial Services, was a tremendous asset to the organization.

 “Kathy was very active as an outstanding member of the Chamber of Commerce as our secretary, and when we didn’t have an executive director, she pretty much filled the role on a voluntary basis, and would not take any compensation from the Chamber that she loved so dearly,” said Alpert. “She is really going to be missed.”

Peter Zaksheski, also a past president of the Chamber, said of Kathy, “You could not have a truer friend and confidante than Kathy. When I was Chamber president, if I were good, Kathy was the reason. She was the backbone. She was such a great person.”

The Rev. Richard A. Uftring presided over the funeral Mass at the church. He knew Kathy personally through her being a faithful parishioner and a Eucharistic Minister and her membership in the Church Crochet Club.

“Kathy lived her faith, she loved her family – this is her family of friends,” said the Rev. Uftring.

 Kathy’s cousin, Judy Covino, and sister, Chrissy Pawlak, each delivered beautiful words of remembrance.

“Kathy was all about giving and she gave it all to her involvement in the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce where you would find her on the planning committees for the Pot-O-Gold, the Christmas Holiday Children’s Holiday Party, and of course my favorite, the annual trip to Foxwoods or Mohegan,” said Covino.

“She was a great behind-the-scenes person who never took the credit. The success of so many fundraisers were the results of her tireless efforts.”

Covino noted how Kathy and Neal loved going to the Boston Garden to cheer on the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. “She also attended many Red Sox games, including Big Papi’s last game.”

Covino told how Kathy would assist others as the family caregiver.

“If you look up caregiver in the dictionary, Kathy’s picture would be right beside it. She was always there for everybody.”

Chrissy Pawlak said as time went on, “Kathy became my first and forever best friend. Following her through life was easy, even though those were really big shoes to follow. My sister was the smartest person I will ever know academically and in life.”

Chrissy recalled how much Kathy and Neal enjoyed being with their family and friends at gatherings and on trips. “I know Kathy loved every minute of it. She took over the holiday traditions, keeping everybody together at her house. The summertime was her favorite where the backyard and the pool were open and the barbecue was going.”

Chrissy perfectly articulated what everyone, including their good friend, Jimmy Manzo, will know forever, “Kathy really was a beautiful person and a blessing to the world. She was the first one to step up to help anyone. She loved doing a lot of things for a lot of people. She will always be my hero. Give mom and dad hugs and kisses. I will forever be proud to be Kathy’s sister and you, Kathy, truly were the wind beneath our wings.”

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East Boston Savings Bank’s Annual Holiday Auction

East Boston Savings Bank’s Annual Holiday Auction

East Boston Savings Bank’s 32nd Annual Holiday Auction raised over $75,000 for local charities. EBSB employees, family, friends and vendors gathered at the Danversport Yacht Club where items donated by Bank employees, family members, local businesses and vendors were auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Other items others were offered through various raffles that took place during the evening.

EBSB’s President, CEO and Chairman Richard J. Gavegnano and Executive Vice President John Migliozzi served as auctioneers for the event.  “The auction is a wonderful event and one our employees look forward each year as it brings them all together for the fun and enjoyment of giving to a good cause. We are proud of the role we play as a good neighbor in the communities we serve, and our employees continue to be supportive of those efforts” said Gavegnano.  “It’s hard to believe that the Bank has been doing this for thirty-two years. Each year the event gets bigger and the donated items are more extravagant”.

The five charities benefitting from the event are Bread of Life in Malden, Crossroads Family Shelter in East Boston, East Boston Social Centers, Greater Medford Visiting Nurse & Community Health and Citizens Inn in Peabody.  Each of these organizations received a check for $15,000.

About East Boston Savings Bank

Founded in 1848, EBSB is a proven community bank that offers products and services that meet the deposit and financing needs of both consumers and businesses. East Boston Savings Bank currently operates 32 full-service branches and operates a Mobile Banking Unit in the greater Boston metropolitan area and offers a variety of deposit and loan products to individuals and businesses located in its primary market, which consists of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk counties.

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The Words That Shook the World

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

When the members of the Second Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia in June, 1776, it was not at all clear that they eventually would declare their independence from England. Although the “shot heard round the world” had been fired at Concord more than a year earlier in April, 1775, and a de facto state of war existed in some regions of the colonies, many in America still held out hope that they could come to some sort of agreement with England regarding taxation and representation such that secession would not be inevitable.

However, with leading thinkers such John Adams making the case to break free from England, the momentum to declare independence overcame even the most skeptical of the colonists.

On July 2, the delegations from 12 states voted to declare their independence (the delegation from New York abstained) and on July 4, the various delegates signed the Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson’s words in the first sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration are among the most famous in the English language and the most widely-quoted in any language since they became published. (Although we should note that Jefferson’s use of the word “men” was quite literal, inasmuch as it did not include women, and it certainly did not include African slaves of either gender.)

However, the use of the adjective “all men” is what was most revolutionary about the Declaration. The signers themselves mostly were of America’s aristocracy — Jefferson himself was a plantation owner with many slaves — but they clearly were meant to include even those of the non-aristocratic class.

That one sentence in the Declaration upended the world order of that time. It set the stage for the French Revolution a few years later and eventually the demise of monarchies throughout the world. Our democracy as we know it today rests on the premise that every citizen should have an equal voice in the operation of our government.

So as we celebrate the holiday weekend with our friends and family, let’s remember that the freedoms we enjoy today all began with a few novel words written 240 years — and that we should not take for granted the legacy that the Founding Fathers bestowed upon us.

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Enjoy the Holidays Safely

Holiday get-togethers with family, friends, and co-workers are wonderful things, but all too many of such gatherings will result in tragic consequences that will be in the headlines the next day.

All of us should be sure not only to limit our own holiday partying, but also be the caretaker of those whom we love and care about. None of us should drink and drive and all of us should make sure that none of our fellow holiday party-goers are allowed to drive home under the influence.

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Don’t Forget Those in Need

While the vast majority of us are able to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest, and take for granted holiday traditions such as the sharing of gifts, the warm embrace at holiday gatherings of friends and family, and a nice Christmas dinner, the reality for too many among us is far different.

So we urge all of our readers whose holiday-season plates are overflowing to do something to make Christmas brighter for those who will not have a very merry Christmas. From something as simple as making a donation to the Salvation Army Santa, or the Toys for Tots, or the local Food Pantry, there is something each one of us can do to spread the Christmas spirit — and we guarantee that the warm feeling we will get when we make even the smallest donation to a charitable organization will be the best gift we can give to ourselves this holiday season.

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FBI Coat Drive

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Little Carlos Santizo tries on his brand new coat during a Holiday Party and gift giveaway sponsored by the FBI Boston Office, with many employees in attendance who will be relocating to the new Chelsea office next year. The event was in partnership with the Chelsea Police and the Chelsea Salvation Army, and was one of the first events held to connect with the community in advance of the major move from Boston to Chelsea in 2016.

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Tom Fay Jr.

Long-time residents of Chelsea were saddened to learn over the holiday weekend of the passing (after a lengthy battle with diabetes) of Tom Fay Jr., who for many years was an integral part of the fabric of our community.

Tom was a true Chelsea guy through-and through. He was a member of a well-respected family who served on the Board of Aldermen as an alderman-at-large. Although he entered politics during a tumultuous era in Chelsea in the 1970s, Tom always maintained a tone of civility and dignity for the office he held. He placed the welfare of the city above all else and understood that a person in public life always must strive to earn the respect of his colleagues and the voters.

Tom was well-known for his dedication to Chelsea Little League, serving for many years as a coach and officer. He was best-known as the manager of the Major League Indians, leading the team to a succession of city championships. He was a master of the fundamentals and built a dynasty that never will be matched. His love of the game of baseball was contagious and the players whom he mentored carried on that enthusiasm well beyond their Little League years.

Tommy also served as the manager of the Chelsea Babe Ruth program, where his teams consistently challenged for championships. The match-ups versus Revere packed the old Merritt Park.

Tommy was an outstanding player in the Chelsea Fast Pitch Softball League that filled the old Carter Park nightly for games. He was a highly-skilled player who played the outfield on some of the great teams that were perennial contenders for the title. He thoroughly enjoyed playing on the same team with his younger brother, Kenny, the team’s second baseman and an incredible bunter. Tommy Fay was a part of legendary group of players such as Bill Palladino, Bobby Halas, Red Carroll, Jim and Fran Grafton, Jimmy Cronin, Bobby Gall, and so many others who brought softball fans to their feet.

Above all else, Tom was a loving father to his three sons, Thomas III (who himself carried on his father’s legacy with the Little League Indians as a player and coach), Scott, and Todd.

Tommy Fay Jr. contributed in countless ways to the betterment of Chelsea. We know we join with our fellow residents in offering our condolences to his family. He will be missed.

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Enjoy A Safe Fourth of July

Although the long-range weather forecast seems to indicate that Mother Nature will not be very cooperative for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend (unseasonably cool temperatures with a good chance of rain in our area), we’re sure that all of our fellow Americans will find a way to celebrate the holiday in appropriate fashion.

However, regardless of where or how we do so, we hope that all of our readers will exercise restraint in their observance of our Nation’s birthday.

Back at the turn of the 20th century, Americans celebrated the Fourth in uproarious fashion. The official celebrations began at midnight with bonfires and the like, giving license to groups of unruly youths to vandalize both public and private property throughout the night.

The damage went unabated year-after-year until civic groups finally formed to bring a degree of civilized behavior to their communities’ Fourth of July festivities. Newspapers exhorted their readers to observe a “safe and sane Fourth of July.” Although many felt that the efforts of such groups would be fruitless, eventually our society came to no longer tolerate such bad behavior on our national holiday.

We obviously have come a long way since then, but too many individuals still use the Fourth of July as an excuse to drink too much, play with illegal fireworks, and act in a juvenile manner.

As surely as night follows days, the news stations and newspapers will report after the holiday about tragic events that could have been avoided if those involved had not been drinking and driving, or drinking and boating, or drinking and swimming, or allowing their children to play with dangerous fireworks. It is up to each of us not only to ensure our own safety, but that of our friends and loved ones if we are aware that they are imbibing too much. No one wants to say the next morning, “If only I had taken their keys….”

We wish all of our readers a happy Fourth of July and we hope that all will do so safely.

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