The Estates on Admiral’s Hill to Celebrate Spring with Open House

The Estates on Admiral’s Hill to Celebrate Spring with Open House

The Estates on Admiral’s Hill, part of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, will hold a Spring Open House for its two assisted living residences in Chelsea on Thursday, April 26 from 2-5 p.m. This event is the perfect opportunity to see what life at an assisted living is all about.

There will be one-on-one consultations with Executive Director Yari Velez and Director of Admissions Kristen Donnelly; they will provide tours as well as answer any questions about senior living.

Located on scenic Admiral’s Hill at 201 Captains Row in Chelsea, The Estates is comprised of a traditional assisted living residence, Cohen Florence Levine Estates, and a specialized and memory care residence, Florence & Chafetz Home for Specialized Care. Amenities include fresh, delicious meals, cozy café with home-made baked goods, hair and nail salon, library, living room, great room for concerts and shows, welcoming dining room with private chef and outdoor courtyard area for seasonal recreational activities.

“We are thrilled to open our doors and invite the public to this special spring time celebration,” states Yari Velez, Executive Director of the Estates. “Our staff and our residents are looking forward to meeting area seniors and their families. Spring is a time of new beginnings and moving to an assisted living can be a wonderful change. You’ll meet new friends, have access to first class amenities and, most importantly, enjoy a worry-free lifestyle.”  Velez added, “Our residents are so important to us – they really are like family.”

Individuals who RSVP to the open house ahead of time will receive a beautiful floral plant. Please call Kristen Donnelly at 617-887-0826 or email kdonnelly@chelseajewish.org to confirm attendance.

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Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony Set for Sunday in Chelsea Square

Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony Set for Sunday in Chelsea Square

By Cary Shuman

The Tobin Bridge Chabad of Everett, Temple Emmanuel and the Walnut Street Synagogue will host a Hanukkah menorah lighting ceremony Sunday in Chelsea Square.

Hanukkah, also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights, began Tuesday night and continues for eight days.

Rabbi Yisroel “Sruli” Baron said the City of Chelsea was very welcoming to holding the event in the city.

“We reached out to City Manager Tom Ambrosino and he was very helpful and encouraging in setting up this ceremony,” said Rabbi Baron, who is the spiritual leader of the new Tobin Bridge Chabad that is housed in the former Congregration Tifereth Israel on Malden Street in Everett, just over the Chelsea border. Tobin Bridge Chabad is an affiliate of Chabad of the North Shore.

Ambrosino will deliver the city greetings at the event that was an initiative of Tobin Bridge Chabad. The city manager and former Revere mayor will also have the honor of lighting the shamash candle, which is the ninth branch of the menorah.

Rabbi Oksana Chapman of Temple Emmanuel and Rabbi Lila Kagedan of Congegration Agudas Shalom (Walnut Street) will join Rabbi Baron in leading the ceremony. The two local congregations are co-hosting the holiday gathering.

City Council President Leo Robinson will lead a delegation of Chelsea officials expected to be in attendance.

Rabbi Baron invites Chelsea residents to attend the candle lighting ceremony that will begin at 5:30 p.m.

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The Estates on Admiral’s Hill to Hold Holiday Open House Tuesday, Dec 5 at 201 Captains Row in Chelsea

The Estates on Admiral’s Hill to Hold Holiday Open House Tuesday, Dec 5 at 201 Captains Row in Chelsea

The Estates on Admiral’s Hill (www.admiralshill.org) will hold a holiday open house for its two assisted living residences on Tuesday, December 5 from 3pm to 5pm. Amidst holiday treats, lively piano music and hot chocolate by the fireplace, attendees will meet Executive Director Yari Velez and her talented team. One-on-one discussions and personalized tours will be provided as well as the opportunity to meet the current residents.

Located on Admiral’s Hill at 201 Captains Row in Chelsea, The Estates is comprised of two separate residences: Cohen Florence Levine Estates, a traditional assisted living and Florence & Chafetz Home for Specialized Care, a residence for those in need of additional support services.  Amenities include fresh healthy meals, a 24-hour café with home-made baked goods, hair and nail salon, library, living room, great room for concerts and shows, dining room and outdoor courtyard area for seasonal activities.

“This open house is a chance for area residents to personally meet our amazing staff and residents and find out, first hand, what assisted living is all about,” explains Executive Director Yari Velez.  “In addition to personalized tours, we can answer questions about the affordability of assisted living as well as the tax credit program.” She added, “Finding the right place to live for seniors can be a complicated process; our goal is to make the process as easy as possible.”

The open house will be held from 3pm to 5pm on Tuesday, December 5 at 201 Captains Row in Chelsea. To RSVP to the open house and/or schedule a private tour, please call Terry Halliday at 98-854-1825 or email thalliday@chesleajewish.org. thalliday@chelseajewish.org

Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, a highly respected leader in senior living, employs over 1200 people and provides care to over 800 individuals daily, with campuses in Chelsea and Peabody, MA. Offering a full continuum of services, Chelsea Jewish Lifecare (www.chelseajewish.org) is redefining senior care and re-envisioning what life should be like for those living with disabling conditions. The eldercare community includes a wide array of skilled and short-term rehab residences, ALS and MS specialized care residences, traditional and specialized assisted living options, memory care, independent living, adult day health, geriatric care management, home care, personal care and hospice agencies that deliver customized and compassionate care.

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Amazing

Amazing

CHEL_20171102_A1

Photographer Dr. Marshal Reiner and Ansu Kinteh, RN, of Chelsea Jewish Elderly Care stand in the room dedicated to Dr. Reiner’s work. Reiners amazing wildlife and landscape photography from around the world was on display last Thursday, Oct. 26, in the annual Chelsea High and Chelsea Jewish Elderly Care joint art show.

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Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home Celebrates Dramatic $16 Million Renovation

Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home Celebrates Dramatic $16 Million Renovation

Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home (CJNH), the flagship property of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, recently completed a spectacular $16 million renovation. Residents, families, friends and community officials joined Chelsea Jewish Lifecare to celebrate this tremendous milestone on Wednesday, June 21 at Lafayette Avenue in Chelsea.

Cutting the ribbon at the ceremony signaling the completion of the $16 million renovation project at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home are, from left, Gilda Richman, Chelsea Jewish Lifecare (CJL) chairwoman of the board, Betsy Mullen, CJL chief operating officer, Edward Stewart, Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home executive director, Adam Berman, CJL president, and Barry Berman, CJL chief executive officer.

Cutting the ribbon at the ceremony signaling the completion of the $16 million renovation project at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home are, from left, Gilda Richman, Chelsea Jewish Lifecare (CJL) chairwoman of the board, Betsy Mullen, CJL chief operating officer, Edward Stewart, Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home executive director, Adam Berman, CJL president, and Barry Berman, CJL chief executive officer.

Founded in 1919 by Lena Goldberg, the original goal of CJNH was to create a welcoming home for neighboring elders. Now, nearly 100 years later, the concept has come full circle. The completely renovated five story building reflects a legacy Green House® skilled nursing model, with kitchens on every floor, warm and spacious gathering spaces and an abundance of glass and natural light. The residence also features a new café, rehab gym, chapel and courtyard. It is a far cry from a traditional nursing home.

A Skilled Nursing Residence that Feels like Home

 “What’s so unique about our model is that we’ve combined contemporary design elements with the traditional concept of making one’s home as warm and inviting as possible.” He added, “In essence, we are going back to our roots.”

Traditional nursing homes rely upon one central kitchen to prepare food for the entire facility. At CJNH, each of the three residential floors features two modern and aesthetically appealing kitchens, which is an integral part of the renovation. The aroma of freshly-cooked food on every floor truly reinforces the home concept. Residents have choices of what they eat – and when they eat it. Living rooms with fireplaces and spacious dining rooms complete the area, providing a warm and comfortable space for residents to gather and enjoy good food.

In terms of the layout, the lower lobby houses the chapel and staff offices. A café and bakery, rehab gym, and salon and spa are all located on the main lobby. There are three floors on the upper level, which can accommodate up to 120 residents.

The Nursing Home of the Future

CJNH is more than just a renovated skilled nursing facility; it reflects an exciting trend in long-term senior care. “We believe this model of care has the potential to change the face of nursing homes throughout the country,” explains Barry Berman, CEO of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “The home environment can easily be replicated by other skilled nursing facilities, vastly improving the quality of life for our nation’s elders.”

About Chelsea Jewish Lifecare

Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, a highly respected leader in senior living, employs over 1200 people and provides care to over 800 individuals daily, with campuses in Chelsea and Peabody, MA. Offering a full continuum of services, Chelsea Jewish Lifecare (www.chelseajewish.org) is redefining senior care and re-envisioning what life should be like for those living with disabling conditions. The eldercare community includes a wide array of skilled and short-term rehab residences, ALS and MS specialized care residences, traditional and specialized assisted living options, memory care, independent living, adult day health, geriatric care management, home care, personal care and hospice agencies that deliver customized and compassionate care.

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Vintage Chelsea:Well-Known Businessman Mario Zullo Dies at the Age of 90

By Cary Shuman

Lifelong Chelsea resident Mario Zullo (right) greets his friend, world heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano, at a Boston restaurant.

Lifelong Chelsea resident Mario Zullo (right) greets his friend, world heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano, at a Boston restaurant.

Family and friends are remembering Mario Zullo, a member of one of Chelsea’s most prominent families, as a respected business owner and a larger-than-life figure for decades who knew people from all walks of life and every corner of Chelsea.

Mr. Zullo, who had nine brothers and two sisters,  died on Sept. 30, 2016 surrounded by his loving family. He was 90 years. He was the son of Christopher and Angelina Zullo.

There was a touch of irony that Mario died on the week the Jewish New Year was being observed. Growing up on Maverick Street in a city with thousands of Jewish residents, Mario had many Jewish friends who shared his love of life, knew his close-knit family well, and enjoyed the sport of boxing as much as he did.

Mario became the Chelsea connection to Rocky Marciano, the Brockton Bomber who became the heavyweight champion of the world and retired with an undefeated record. Mario served as Rocky’s publicist and confidante and the champion’s visits to Chelsea were frequent. It was Mario who brought the then-world champ Marciano to Chelsea for the Columbus Day Parade in which he and the champ occupied a convertible with then-Mayor Andrew P. Quigley.

Former heavyweight champion John Ruiz, the first Latino to win the title, also came to value Mario’s career advice and guidance.

Mario’s personality and street-smart eloquence – sometimes using Yiddish expressions – were infectious. His cleaning store, Park Cleaners, was a place to receive not only great service from Mario and his beloved wife, Elena, but to receive advice and discuss the issues of the day.

Daughter Judi Festa and her husband, William “Chuck,” and daughter Diane Zullo are proud members of the family living in Peabody. Mario’s sister, Barbara Libby, a well-known volunteer at the Chelsea Senior Center, is the lone surviving sibling.

Mario’s nieces and nephews, Angela Zullo, Michael Zullo, Richard Zullo, and twins Paul Zullo and Lisa Zullo, the children of former amateur boxing champion Michael “Mickey” Zullo and Jeanette (Fantasia) Zullo, were among the local carriers of the family’s charm, charisma, and mystique. The Zullos were generous, personable, and kind, and like their uncle and parents, the Zullo children’s warmth was genuine and welcoming to people in all communities.

 Mr. Zullo had three grandchildren, Alana Rikeman, Giana Festa, and Joseph Breda.

He attended Chelsea High School and entered the U.S. Navy. He started a dry cleaning business handling the needs of the nearby Chelsea Naval Yard. He was in the dry cleaning business for decades, opening his first store in Chelsea. His store was at the corner of Park Street and Everett Avenue, just a few doors down from Kirshon Paint.

 The love of his life was Elena (Cianfrocca) Zullo, who died in 2014.

“It was love at first sight,” said Judi. “They had their wedding reception at Revere City Hall. They were always together.”

Mario struck up a friendship with Rocky Marciano, who knocked out 90 percent of his opponents and held the championship from 1952 to 1956. A world-renowned figure, Rocky chose to spend a lot of his time away from the ring with Mario, whom he trusted and considered a real friend.

“Mario went to every one of his fights,” said Judi. “Rocky would train at Grossinger’s in New York and he wanted Mario to be around him.”

Part of the strong connection with Rocky was attributed to Mario’s comfortableness with people of all backgrounds.

“Mario was comfortable with people no matter what their status or caliber was,” said Judi. “When he met somebody, they wanted to be around him. The Jewish people loved him. They invited him to the synagogue and to celebrate the holidays.”

One time on a family trip to Las Vegas, Mario took a seat next to two multi-millionaires – one a businessman and the other a movie producer.

“By the time the show started, Mario had them eating out of his hand,” said his daughter. “I cannot even tell you how people just gravitated to him.”

Judi said she and her sister inherited their father’s outgoing personality and ability to connect with people. Mario was the center of attention at family gatherings, she related.

 Judi said Park Cleaners became Mario’s platform, working alongside his beloved wife.

“He solved everyone’s problems at the store,” said Judi. “He made friends with everybody and knew how to make people feel important. John Ruiz became one of his buddies. Whenever you went in to the store, Mario and his wife were together. They were great dancers, too.”

Mario loved Chelsea with all his heart. “He and Andrew Quigley had a great relationship. They were very close,” said Judi. “There was a great photo in the Chelsea Record of Mario, Andrew, and Rocky riding down Broadway in a controvertible during the Columbus Day Parade.”

Mario was healthy through his later years but following a bout with pneumonia, he became a resident of a nursing home in Peabody.

“Mario’s care at the nursing home was awesome,” said Judi. “He was like the mayor of the nursing home. He would go around meeting people. I used to bring him cookies and my sister would bring him things.

“The other residents would tell me, ‘we love your father, he always has those cookies.”

From his early days on Maverick Street to the final days of a wonderful life, Mario was always giving to others and making people feel good about themselves.

That’s the Mario Zullo that Chelsea will never forget.

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Obituaries 06-30-2016

Maureen Conway

Avid reader and music lover

Maureen F. Conway of Revere passed away in Boston on June 5. She was 82 years old.

An avid reader who loved music, Maureen was born in Revere on February 3, 1934 to Frances and Harold Parsons. She was the mother of Susan Corea and her husband, Joseph of Pelham, NH, Nancy Conway of Chelsea, the late Richard H. Conway and his wife, Leslie of Lewiston, ME, Paul Conway of Revere, Frank Conway and his wife, Maureen of Derry, NH, Maureen Dingee and her husband, David of Chicopee. She was the grandmother of 10; great grandmother of six and aunt of many nieces and nephews. Maureen is also survived by her sisters, Jean Gonzales of Tewksbury and Margeret Parsons of Haverhill. She was predeceased by Richard H. Conway (son), David Parsons and Ella Gleitzman.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Maureen’s name to: The Home for Little Wanderers, 10 Guest St., Boston, MA 02135. Private services.

Laura Wangrocki

Former member of Ladies of Revere Moose and Chelsea Golden Agers

Laura J. (Mongiello) Wangrocki passed away on June 23 at Care One of Peabody where she had recently been rehabilitating and receiving supportive care. She was 94 years old.

Born in Revere, the beloved daughter of the late Luigi and Elvira (Monzione) Mongiello, she grew up in and attended schools in Chelsea. She was married to Joseph E Wangrocki and settled in Revere where she resided for more than 45 years. Her husband predeceased her in 1970. Laura worked as a nurse’s aide for many years before retiring several years ago. She was a past and former member of the Ladies of the Revere Moose and the Chelsea Golden Agers.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was also preceded in death by her son. Louis A. Wangrocki in 1976 and two sisters, Antoinette Turmminello and Josephine Weiner. She is survived by her brother and sister, Richard L. Mongiello and Mary Mongiello, both of Chelsea and brother–in-law David Weiner of Salem. She was the cherished aunt of Rachel and Martin Finn of No. Reading, Cheryl and Brian Gideon of Salem, Robert and Janet Weiner of Wakefield, the adored great aunt of Matthew Finn and Alicia Saro and she is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. To send expressions of sympathy, please visit

www.WelshFuneralHome.com

Viola Bradley

Proud of her Armenian heritage, her heart was always in Chelsea

Viola (Kalkanajian) Bradley passed away unexpectedly Wednesday morning, June 29 at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home where she was receiving rehabilitative care for the past several weeks. She was 92 years old.

Born and raised in Chelsea, she was the daughter of the late Nishon and Bertha (Sultanian) Kalkanajian. Viola, who attended Chelsea High School, was proud of her Armenian heritage. She married William S. Bradley and together they raised their family of one son and three daughters in their Chelsea home.

Her beloved husband passed away in 1976 and Viola worked hard performing hand labor for local factories and manufacturers. But she most enjoyed and is best remembered from her 25 year career as a retail sales lady working at Bradlee’s in Chelsea.

A longtime Chelsea resident, she made her home together with her daughter and late son-in-law in Revere for the past 16 years. But her heart always remained in Chelsea, volunteering at the Salvation Army providing meals to young children, actively participating at the Chelsea Senior Center volunteering on many committees arranging events and activities.

She traveled to Fort Lauderdale Florida every winter for the past 20 years. A vibrant and independent soul she would continue to go outside of her home utilizing the ride or local taxis for transportation to visit with family and friends. She enjoyed life until a recent fall limited her mobility which she was determined to overcome actively rehabilitating at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home.

She was the beloved wife of the late William S. Bradley; devoted mother of Hugh “Butch” Bradley and his wife, Leenie of Woburn, Helen Dobbyn of Saugus, Nancy Voltero and her husband, Michael of Revere, Deborah Clayman of Revere and her late husband, Richard, and Loreen Bradley of Sandwich. She was the dear sister of John Kalkanajian and his wife, Barbara of Danvers, Patricia McKenna and her husband, Kenneth of Wilmington, the late Mary Stanuchenski and her late husband, Frank, and Viola’s twin sister, the late Helen Kalkanajian. She was the cherished grandmother of Erin Mateo, Michael Voltero, Jr. and his wife Ivy, William Bradley and his wife, Eileen, John Dobbyn, Jr., Brad Voltero, and Erica Colombo and the adored great grandmother of Maggie Bradley, Franklin Mateo, Max Bradley, Cassandra Mateo, Ryan Dobbyn, Bronson Petrillo, Payton Petrillo and Bree Dobbyn.

Her Funeral will be held from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea on Saturday, July 2 at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, 91 Crest Ave., (Soldiers Home), Chelsea at 10:30 a.m. Services will conclude with interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Welsh Funeral Home on Friday, July 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. The Funeral Home is fully handicap accessible, ample parking oppositethe Funeral Home. Should friends desire, contributions in Viola’s memory may be made to the Chelsea Jewish Foundation, 165 Captains Row, Chelsea, MA 02150. For directions or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com.

Leo DeFilippo

US Army veteran of World War II, recently honored by the President of the French Republic with the “Chavelier” Award

Leo P. DeFilippo of Everett, formerly of Medford and Chelsea, entered into rest on June 10 in the Chelsea Soldiers Home. He was 97 years old.

Born in the Roxbury section of Boston, Leo lived in Medford for most of his life. He was the former proprietor of the Gloria Food Store in Malden and also worked for many years at Dom’s Sausage in Malden.

A US Army veteran of World War II, he was a long time member of the Retired Men’s Club of Arlington, the American Legion of Medford and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Medford. Leo recently received the “Chavelier” of the Legion of Honor Award by the President of French Republic.

He was the beloved husband of the late Viola (D’Andria); dear brother of the late Joseph, John, and Mary DeFilippo, Clara D’Agostino, and Rose Sachetta; brother-in-law of James Sachetta of Everett and Frances DeFilippo of Arlington; loving uncle of Dorothy Groose, Fred D’Agostino, Dr. John DeFilippo, Sandy Juliano, Jim Sachetta, Joe Sachetta, Rainy Leonard, Steve Sachetta and the late Diane Philips. Also surviving him are several loving grandnieces, grandnephews, great grandnieces and great grandnephews.

Funeral arrangements were by the Cafasso & Sons Funeral Home, Everett. Interment with military honors was in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Leo’s memory to Chelsea Soldiers Home, 91 Crest Ave., Chelsea, MA 02150, would be much appreciated.

Carol Ann Guthrie

Of Chelsea, formerly of East Boston

Carol Ann Guthrie of Chelsea, formerly of East Boston, died unexpectedly on June 23.

She was the loving mother of Michael, Eric Sr, Jose, Emy, Lizzy, Bianca and the late Francy; cherished grandmother of Kassandra, Miranda, Jose Jr, Ariana, Mia, Eric Jr, Dieze, Navaeh and Angelina and adored great grandmother of Jaslene and Maiyelle.

Funeral arrangements were by the Ruggiero Family Memorial Home, (Orient Heights) East Boston. For more information, visit: www.ruggieromh.com

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Obituaries 06-02-2016

Claire Ells

Dedicated her life to husband, family and home

Claire L. Ells of Chelsea passed away on May 24 after a brief illness while convalescing for the past two months at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home. She was 86 years old.

Born and raised in Revere, she was one of six children of the late John and Mary (McAvinue) Costello. She was a graduate of Revere High School. After high school,l she worked for a brief time in Boston with Kennedy’s Men Store, and later with Forbes lithograph and Travco Industries in Chelsea.

She married her beloved Harry M. Ells in April of 1952 and has been a Chelsea resident since that day and for the past 64 years. Her life was dedicated to love of her husband, family and home. She enjoyed bingo, was a voracious reader and kept sharp with crossword puzzles and other word games.

In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by a sister, Dorothy Doherty and two brothers; John and Edward Costello. She is survived by her beloved husband of 64 years, Harry M. Ells, Jr. of Chelsea. She was the loving and devoted mother of Harry M. Ells and his wife, Patricia of Everett, Susan Silvia and her husband, Michael of Reading, Barbara Camoscio and her husband, Anthony of Tewksbury and Edward Ells and his companion, Eileen Gurska of Chelsea. She was the dear sister of Helen Condelli of Medford and Virginia Legner of Westwood, the loved and cherished grandmother of Jillian Ells, Jonathan and Tiffany Ells, Daniel Silvia and his fiancée, Paula Goguen, Mary Silvia, Michael and Kathy Camoscio and David Camoscio and the adoring great-grandmother of Elizabeth Ells and Molly Camoscio.

Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Arthritis Foundation, 29 Crafts St., Ste. 450, Newton MA, 02458

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‘Transfatty Lives’ to make Boston Premiere in Revere Cinema

Award-winning filmmaker Patrick O’Brien, a resident of the Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea, will premiere his move ‘Transfatty Lives’ on April 3 at Revere Showcase Cinemas. O’Brien documents his life before, after and during his trials with the degenerative disease ALS.

Award-winning filmmaker Patrick O’Brien, a resident of the Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea, will premiere his move ‘Transfatty Lives’ on April 3 at Revere Showcase Cinemas. O’Brien documents his life before, after and during his trials with the degenerative disease ALS.

Imagine creating an award-winning documentary just by moving your eyebrows.

Patrick O’Brien, who was diagnosed with ALS 10 years ago at age 30, spent 10 years producing the highly acclaimed ALS documentary “Transfatty Lives.” The film, which won the 2015 Audience Award at the Tribeca and Milano Film Festivals, will have its Boston premiere on April 3 at the Revere Showcase Cinema.

Patrick, who lives at the Leonard Florence Center for Living (LFCL) in Chelsea, is entirely immobilized and on a ventilator. He directed and produced ‘Transfatty Lives’ entirely by using his eyes to communicate through a special device attached to his computer. ‘Transfatty Lives’ takes one on an emotional roller coaster from Patrick’s wild, fun-loving days as a DJ and filmmaker into the dark heart of ALS. With the support of his friends and family, Patrick braves the unthinkable and turns his camera onto himself. He is able to capture all of the emotion, humor, and absurdity of real life – falling in love and fathering a child along the way.

‘Transfatty Lives,’ so named because of O’Brien’s love of donuts and other junk foods, depicts O’Brien’s personal reflections since his ALS diagnosis.

In Patrick’s words: “ALS is a fatal and incurable disease. I have chosen to do something with my illness. As you will see, I turned the camera on myself and began to document my journey with ALS. This challenge has given me a focal point for my energies, and will hopefully inspire others to keep moving through their own adversities.”

The Leonard Florence Center for Living, operated by the Chelsea Jewish Foundation, is the first urban model Green House in the country and the only fully vented ALS residence in the world. O’Brien moved into the LFCL soon after it opened in 2010, after living in a traditional nursing home that kept him confined to his bed – and his room – 24 hours a day. Today, in addition to producing films, O’Brien travels, attends concerts, sporting events and movies.

“We are so proud of Patrick and excited to show his remarkable film to the Boston community,” states Barry Berman, Chelsea Jewish Foundation CEO. “Patrick’s talent, passion and perseverance in the face of such a devastating disease is an inspiration to us all.”

The premiere will be held at the Revere Showcase Cinema, 565 Squire Rd in Revere at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 3. Tickets are $20 per person and include the film, a Q&A with Patrick O’Brien and a reception following the premiere.

All proceeds benefit the Patrick O’Brien Foundation. To purchase tickets, go to www.reelboston.org. For more information, email Judy Mastrocola at jmastrocola@chelseajewish.org or call 617-887-0001.

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Happy Easter

It’s hard to believe that another Easter already is upon us. Not only does Easter come early this year, but Monday’s snowstorm hardly seemed Easter-like.

But regardless of what Mother Nature has in store for us, Good Friday and Easter Sunday will be here this week, and those of the Christian faith will begin the observance of the holiest days of their religion upon which the foundation of their faith is based.

However, no matter what religious beliefs one may (or may not) hold, Easter this year is a particularly fitting time to contemplate what it means for every American to have the right of religious freedom in our country.

The Founding Fathers believed so strongly that every American should be free to practice the religion of their choice that they embedded it in the first sentence of the First Amendment, before the freedoms of speech, the press, or to protest:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

We bring this up because for the first time in recent memory, religion — and not in a positive way — has entered the realm of Presidential politics. Yes, it was said by some that if John F. Kennedy (a Catholic) were to be elected President, he would “take his orders from the Pope.”

Kennedy himself felt obligated to address such open “whispers” by giving a speech in which he discussed this issue. Kennedy said in pertinent part:

“But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured — perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again — not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in.

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute –where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote –where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference — and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

“I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

“For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew — or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist. It was Virginia’s harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson’s statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you — until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.”

In that spirit, we wish all of our readers of the Christian faith a joyous and Happy Easter.

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