CAPIC’s Fuel Assistance Program Provides a Vital Service to Residents

CAPIC’s Fuel Assistance Program  Provides a Vital Service to Residents

Under the leadership of Executive Director Robert Reppucci, Community Action Programs Inter City (CAPIC) has been a national model in addressing the needs of low-income families in Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop.

CAPIC’s fuel assistance program has been one of its most utilized services, aiding more than 2,700 residents in the three communities.

Since his appointment last July as energy director, Giancarlo DeSario has overseen the program that is in its sixth decade of existence. The recent addition of well-known Chelsea community leader Henry Wilson as an outreach coordinator has also helped expande the program and bring recognition to the valuable services CAPIC provides in many areas.

DeSario explained the process by which residents can apply for fuel assistance.

“If someone finds themselves in need – whether they’re a tenant, homeowner, family or single person – they should call the CAPIC fuel assistance line to set up an appointment,” said DeSario. “We would conduct an interview with the individual and review all their paperwork. We’ll let them know if we need additional information and then we’ll process their application in about 30-45 days.”

Candidates for fuel assistance must meet some income guidelines.

“In order to qualify for fuel assistance, you need to be at 60 per cent of the state median income, which for a single person would be $35,510; for a family of four people, it would be $68,280,” said DeSario.

CAPIC’s program covers heating expenses between the months of November and April.

According to DeSario, the fuel assistance program is funded through federal and state grants. CAPIC is currently waiting for a supplemental budget to be approved by the state.

“What we’re looking for is $30 million extra dollars in funding to help out with this heating season, but we’re looking closer to receiving $11 million,” said DeSario. He indicated that CAPIC has been working with Chelsea’s state legislators to secure additional funding.

DeSario has made a point during his tenure to “get out in the field” and meet individual clients. He has earned praise for his accessibility.

“I’m always available – I hand out my direct extension to clients all the time,” said DeSario. “I find it’s really important that if you’re going to serve clients correctly, you have to be in touch with them and understand their needs.”

DeSario has local roots

Giancarlo DeSario grew up in Maine, but he has always had local connections. “I’ve been coming to East Boston since I was a child. My mother (Yolanda DeSario) moved here from Italy when she was 10 years old. And my grandmother (Maria Caserta) has been living in East Boston for 50 years.”

DeSario attended high school in Maine and graduated from Roger Williams University where he studied Business and Legal Studies.

He began his career in woodworking and was promoted to the position of project manager, working with clients in Manhattan and Long Island, New York.

From there, DeSario entered the solar industry as a district site surveyor and rose through the company to become operations manager, overseeing several projects throughout the New England region.

DeSario came to CAPIC last July. “I saw a position was open and I applied for it. I was ready to go back to my old job when I got a call from Executive Director Robert Repucci, requesting that I come in for an interview.”

Like the entire staff at CAPIC and residents throughout the area, DeSario has come to appreciate Repucci’s exceptional leadership of the agency. Repucci arrived at CAPIC in 1972 and has been of Chelsea’s most influential and revered leaders.

“Mr. Repucci is an outstanding leader of CAPIC and in the community as a whole,” said DeSario. “He really pushes you to be a better person. He’s inspiring. He wants you to put people ahead of yourself, and you can tell, because he does that. He leads by example and I respect that about him.”

DeSario has also been impressed by the dedicated and knowledgeable staff at CAPIC.

“I was fortunate to come in to an agency where we have some really key players who know the programs in and out,” said DeSario. “The transition in to this industry was tough, because you don’t know it – but I was lucky to have a very good support group here to help out. They really care about the programs succeeding.”

DeSario said he finds his job rewarding and he appreciates the kind words from clients.

“There is nothing better than when we get a letter (of gratitude) or a phone call from a client who had no heat and we were able to restore a heating system that went out overnight, replace a heating system with a new one, or weatherize someone’s home,” said DeSario.

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A Large and Successful Class Graduates from CHS

A Large and Successful Class Graduates from CHS

Some 344 students walked across the stage at Chelsea High School on Sunday, June 10, as part of commencement exercises – becoming one of the largest classes to graduate in decades.

The Class of 2018 followed an unusually large class in 2017 as well.

At Sunday’s commencement, Supt. Mary Bourque said the class had distinguished itself by not only its overall numbers, but also its successes.

“All of you standing here are the living and breathing reason why we say our mission is to ‘We Welcome and Educate,’” she said. “No matter when you entered the Chelsea Public Schools, we wrapped our arms around you and moved you along the road to graduation. Class of 2018, I want you to know that we are so very proud of you and your accomplishments.”

Of the graduates, 64 percent are attending a two- or four-year college next year. Bourque listed off 79 colleges where students have been accepted, including Wellesley College, Williams College, Tufts University, UMass-Amherst, University of Maine, Hamilton College, Drexel University, Denison University, Bryn Mawr College, Boston University and Boston College – to name a few.

Scholarship awards from those schools totaled $4.4 million, the largest amount ever at Chelsea High.

The rest of the class plans include:

  • 4% are entering a certificate program.
  • 2% are entering a Trade School.
  • 6% are taking a Gap Year.
  • 2% are entering the Military.
  • 20% are going directly into the work force.
  • 2%, are still working on their plans.

The Class of 2018 was also special in that 180 of its students enrolled in the dual enrollment/early college program with Bunker Hill Community College.

“Together you earned 1,374 college credits equaling approximately 458

courses,” she said. “You saved over $250,000 on tuition and fees and saved another $40,000 on books.”

The average numbers of credits earned was eight, but Bourque said on student, Samir Zemmouri had earned 33 credits, the equivalent of a full year of college.

“Most impressive is that 69 students completed English 111 College Writing I course, a required course that often acts as a prerequisite for college coursework; and 15 students of the 69 entered our country and began their educational career at CHS as an English Language Learner,” she stated.

There were also seven members entering the military, including:  Pedro  Barrientos, Krishell Chacon-Aldana, Adrian Diaz, Nelson Hernandez Jr., Denis Martinez Pineda, Carla Romero and Melinen Urizar Perez.

Bourque closed out her comments about the Class of 2018 on Sunday with five points of wisdom. More than any achievement, she advised to live a life of purpose.

“Choose to live a life of purpose,” she said. “A life of giving back. Knowing our purpose in life empowers us, strengthens us, grounds us. It gives us the courage and conviction to fight the good fight and for the good reasons. A life of purpose is a successful life.”

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A Great Tribute to “Barney” Nugent

A Great Tribute to “Barney” Nugent

In a touching and unique tribute, family members, friends, classmates and associates from Major League Baseball gathered to remember Francis Nugent Jr., known affectionately as “Barney.”

Mr. Nugent passed away Feb. 22 after a gallant battle with cancer. He was 61.

Barney rose in his noble profession of sports medicine to become the athletic trainer with the San Francisco Giants organization. He served as a trainer in the World Series and Major League All-Star Game.

His wife, Denise, delivered a beautiful eulogy that perfectly captured the kindness and goodness of Barney’s “wonderful life.” She spoke of the many happy memories and good times they shared in their 33 years of marriage.

Freddie Petersen, a lifelong friend, said it was he who introduced Barney to Bill Linskey, a certified trainer at Rindge Tech High School. Barney went on from there to earn a graduate degree in Sports Medicine from Indiana State University.

Petersen, whose brother, Eddie, also attended the ceremony, delighted the assemblage with stories about Barney’s ascension through the ranks of professional baseball including his first stop with the Winston/Salem Red Sox, where “his salary was $500 per month plus the profits from the soda machine.”

Petersen, whose brother, Eddie, was also in attendance, said to Denise Nugent: “You were the bright, shining star in Barney’s life. Over the past several months, I witnessed how much care and love you gave him.”

Charlie Sherman, who served as president of the Chelsea High School Class of 1970 and joined a contingent of classmates honoring Barney this week, also aptly summed up the essence of Barney’s life.

“Barney was the vice president of our class and a captain of the football team” said Sherman. “When I played football my junior year, I wasn’t very good, but Barney made me feel like I really belonged.”

Added Sherman, “In later years when he was trainer for the Maine Guide in the International League, working his way to the Majors, I took my son Justin to a game and we met Barney after the game. I hadn’t seen him in years, but he took Justin into the locker room, got him autographs, and gave him a baseball and made him feel like a VIP.

“Barney reached the pinnacle of his career with the San Francisco Giants and when he attended our 25th class reunion, he was just so humble and made it seem like it was no big deal. He epitomized what being from Chelsea was all about.”

Barney, as your friend, Freddie Petersen, said at the conclusion of his thoughtful message, “We love you and miss you. Until we meet again.”


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Obituaries 02-20-2014

Obituaries 02-20-2014

Josephine Blago

Longtime St. Stanislaus School Fifth Grade Teacher

Josephine (Czyzon) Blago of Maine, a former longtime Chelsea resident, passed away at the Southern Maine Medical Center on February 16 following a brief illness. She was 95 years old.

Born and raised in Chelsea, the daughter of the late Michael Kolondovitz and Stefania (Czyzon), she attended St. Stanislaus Elementary School and was a graduate of Chelsea High School. She has been residing in Maine for the past several years. Josephine was the well loved and revered fifth grade school teacher at St. Stanislaus Parochial School in Chelsea for many years. She was a member of the Polish Falcons, Nest 485, Chelsea and the former St. Stanislaus Holy Rosary Society.

She was the devoted mother of Stephanie Whiting and her husband, Al of Maine; dear sister of the late Charles Cizon and is also survived by several loving nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Stanislaus Church, 163 Chestnut St., Chelsea today, Thursday, February 20 at 11 a.m. Services will conclude with Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to St. Stanislaus Church, 163 Chestnut St. Chelsea, MA 02150. Funeral Arrangements entrusted to the care and direction of the Anthony Memorial / Frank A. Welsh and Sons Funeral Homes.To send expressions of sympathy, please visit


Lucy Zbikowski

Of Chelsea

Lucy A. (Malachowski) Zbikowski of Chelsea passed away on February 14 at the Lighthouse Nursing Care Center in Revere where she had been receiving supportive care as her illness progressed. She was 80 years old.

Born in Spencer, she was the devoted wife of the late Richard S. Zbikowski; beloved mother of Richard Zbikowski of North Reading, Kathleen Allen and her husband, Robert of Ashburnham, Lucy Zbikowski of Chelsea and Susan Zbikowski of Seattle, WA; daughter of the late Steven and Jennie (Stankiewicz) Malachowski; loving sister of the late Marion Suida, Joseph Malachowski, Caroline Burke and Steven and Edward Malachowski and the cherished grandmother of Nicholas and Jennifer Allen and Jake Zbikowski. She is also lovingly survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are kindly invited to attend a Funeral Mass to be celebrated in St. Theresa’s Church, 63 Winter Street, North Reading today, Thursday, February 20 at 10:30 a.m. Those attending are asked to meet directly at the church. Services will conclude with interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. To send a message of condolence to Lucy’s family, please visit


Aubrey Frederick French

Of Florida, formerly of Chelsea

Aubrey Frederick French passed away peacefully on February 3 in Port Orange, Florida after a courageous struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

He was a driver for Canada Dry Corp. and also operated a convenience store in Billerica. He was also a long time driver for Puralator Corp.and delivered the Union Leader newspaper for 20 years. His last place of employment, before retiring, was as a maintenance tech in the Port Orange, Florida school system.

He had a love for sports, the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and the Boston Red Sox being his favorites. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed swimming and boating with his children at his second home in Alton, NH .

A family man and a loving husband and father, he will be sadly missed by family and friends.

Born on January 15, 1934 and raised in Chelsea, he was the son of the late Ada and Cyril French. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary (Coppla) French, and his three children: Dennis French and Donna Cyr of Derry, NH, Scott French and his wife, Roxanne of Hooksett, NH and his daughter, Paula Hewitt and her husband, Ray of Manchester NH as well as his three grandchildren Nicole, Kiera and Jonathan French; his brother Walter Cyril French and his wife, Peggy and his sisters, Stella Larcome and Irene Poliatti. He was also the brother of the late Jack French and William French.

A private family service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.


Marlene Iacoviello

Of Everett, formerly of East Boston

Marlene Iacoviello of Everett, formerly of East Boston, passed away on February 15. She was 52 years old.

She was the loving mother of Miranda Mugford of Everett; cherished daughter of the late Michael and Lois (McNeil) Iacoviello; dear sister of Michele Conti of Everett, Michael Iacoviello of Ft. Myers, Florida, Mark Iacoviello of New Jersey, and Matthew Iacoviello of Drexel Hill, PA and the loving companion of James D Mugford of Chelsea. She is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will honor Marlene’s life by gathering today, Thursday, February 20, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the chapel of the Ruggiero Family Memorial Home, 971 Saratoga St., East Boston. A Funeral service in celebration of Marlene’s life will take place on Friday, February 21 at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church, 50 Church St. (off Broadway) Everett, MA.(Please go directly to the Church.)

In lieu of flowers, an Education Trust is being set up for Marlene’s only daughter, Miranda. More information will be available shortly. For more information, visit:


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District I Fall Conference

District I Fall Conference

C1District I Fall Conference, held on October 25 to 27. District I includes Zonta Clubs from
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachustts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Canada.
Almost 100 Zonta Club members attended the Fall Conference in Bedford, MA. Attendees
from the Zonta Club of Chelsea, included Joan Lanzillo-Hahesy; Georgia Green, President;
Zonta International Director, Gabriella Samara Paphitis from Cyprus; and Bonnie Fishman.


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