[Editor's note: The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Stoneham residents Pam and Brian Gill and Jeanne and Paul Craigie.]
As we come to the close of a wonderful, exciting and amazing month of April, the Board of “Light It Up Blue” Stoneham wishes to thank all the many Stoneham residents and businesses for their incredible support to this worthy cause.
When we began five months ago we never envisioned the support that we would receive. Our mission was to light up the with blue lights to honor the children and families that live with autism and special needs on a daily basis. We believe that with awareness we gain acceptance, and with acceptance we live as community.
The Common was the perfect venue, as many came to hang the lights and then on April 1, , the music, the games and donate to the cause. None of this would have been possible without the support of the town.
Selectman Bob Sweeney and former Selectman Paul Rotondi were instrumental in our success, helping with every detail of the logistics to make it happen. The entire leadership team supported this first of its type event.
Special thanks to Town Administrator Dave Ragucci, Fire chief Joe Rolli, DPW Director Bob Grover and their staff especially John Nevins and Kathleen Danielli. The lights will come down very soon with the help of many, but the vision of blue and what they meant to each of us will remain a part of our town’s history.
All the money raised for this foundation will stay in Stoneham for Stoneham kids and families. None of it would have been possible without everyone working together.
To those who donated the blue lights you started it all 17,000 blue lights that adorn the trees on the Common because of your generosity, more than 700 homes and businesses in Stoneham are lit with blue lights, every school participated in Light It Up Blue Shirt Day with hundreds wearing the blue. So many thanks and never enough ways to say it!
Thanks to all the major benefactors and supporters, who played a role in our mission and the exciting event:
Know Our Town's Randy Perillo, Dr. Joseph Pizzarello, The Stoneham Board of Selectmen, Stoneham DPW, Nancy Donahue, Bill Ryerson and the Stoneham Independent, Stoneham Patch, Stoneham Sun, Dr. Les Olson, Steve Orloff, Anderson- Bryant Funeral Home, Brian Johnston, Gamit Signs Mark Todisco , All the Stoneham PTO’s, Honey Dew Donuts, Dunkin' Donuts, Barile Funeral Home, Julianna’s Hair Salon, Melissa’s Main Street Bistro, The Vito Family and the Farrah Fawcett Foundation, The McIntosh Family, Pignone’s Café, Patti “Mima” Catanzaro, Mimi Levine, Woodman’s of Essex, Stoneham Theatre, Nicole’s Hair Salon, Expertise T-Shirts Mike Sarmarian, Stop & Shop Manager Don Mondi and Regional Manager Nick Starve, Autism Speaks, Body Mind and Spirit, Janice Howard, George and Joyce Murphy, the Spinale family, the Haley Family, Stoneham Chamber of Commerce, a special thank you to the Egitto family who generously constructed and donated our wonderful puzzle piece that was center stage on the Common.
To all who worked behind the scenes, donated raffle items, travelled to pick up the raffle items, sold or purchased the pins and ribbons, made the baskets, donated their time, hung the lights, lugged the tables, gave up family time to help, you were incredible.
Committee members never get enough recognition or thanks so we saved the best for last your, as your dedication and friendship was top shelf. The Committee members incude Jamian Marino, Kim Childs, Karen Celli, Christine Pizzi and Kristen LaTerza. We could never have done it without you.
We will be back next year with your help and your support. Thanks for making the place we all call home just that much better for children and families living with special needs and autism. Anyone wishing to make a donation to “Light It Up Blue Stoneham” can do so by sending a check to LIUB, c/o 21 Myrtle Street, Stoneham, MA 02180
Sincerely from the bottom of our hearts,
Pam and Brian Gill
Jeanne and Paul Craigie