The 6th Annual Gala of The Family Pantry of Cape Cod

This Sunday Shelly and I will host the 6th Annual Gala to celebrate The Family Pantry of Cape Cod. This organization is one close to my heart as my father, Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr., was the first to host this event in the early 1990s. For years my parents hosted a party at their home in Harwich Port to support The Family Pantry and the incredible work the pantry does and to help those in need throughout Cape Cod. They invited friends and neighbors and would raise between $3,000 and $5,000 each year. After my father passed away, I took over this responsibility and brought the event to my own home. Six years ago, Shelly and I recognized that our simple annual house party would not be enough to help the Pantry sufficiently address the growing needs of the community. So in 2011 we moved the event to the Wychmere Beach Club and extended the invitation beyond Harwich to individuals from all over the Cape and beyond. Since then we have raised around $1.5 million to help feed and clothe the more than 9,000 people the Pantry supports annually. This year’s event is expected to bring together around 375 people and will honor longtime supporters Albert and Marion Gausz and TJX Corporation. Entertainment will be provided by Northshore Acapella and Fred Boyle on piano.

The Family Pantry is the largest food pantry on Cape Cod. Unfortunately, the need for its services continues to grow. Fundraising and donations are essential in order to fulfill their mission of providing food and clothing to those in need. We are proud to host this event each year and look forward to celebrating The Family Pantry this weekend.

By Tom O’Neill

O’Neill and Associates’ Clients on the Move at the 2017 Boston Marathon

Marissa finish lineO’Neill and Associates is proud to recognize its clients and teams that ran the 2017 Boston Marathon: the Arredondo Family Foundation, HomeStart, National Braille Press, Project Hope, and St. Francis House.

HomeStart had a team of two, including our client Jennifer Sciamanna of RCN, and raised more than $20,000. Project Hope’s team of ten runners raised over $100,000; St. Francis House’s five runners raised over $63,000; and the Arredondo Family Foundation’s seven runners raised over $37,000.

National Braille Press raised over $20,000 with a team of two, including our own account executive Marissa Sullivan (shown in photo).

OA: Are there special reasons for your interest in supporting National Braille Press through the Boston Marathon?

MS: I have been working with National Braille Press for almost two years and am amazed by everything they do to promote the importance of braille literacy. Organizations like National Braille Press enabled my great grandmother, who lived more than 40 years of her life blind, to be on her own and navigate through each day. It is an honor to fundraise and run for National Braille Press.

OA: What was it like crossing the finish line?

MS: It’s hard to put into words that feeling when you turn left onto Boylston Street and finally have the finish line in sight. I remember thousands of onlookers screaming my name as I got closer to the finish line.  The best moment was probably that moment when I was just steps away from the finish line and I saw and heard my family screaming my name and vigorously waving their hands. I gave them a big wave and finished the last steps of those grueling 26.2 miles.

OA: You were able to raise over $10,000; how do you hope those funds help National Braille Press?

MS: I hope the funds I raised continue to help National Braille Press support a lifetime of opportunity for blind children and adults through braille, and provide access to information that empowers them to actively engage in work, family and community their surrounding community.

 

The Family Pantry of Cape Cod Hosts its 5th Annual Benefit

Family Pantry of Cape Cod 2016

(L-R) Pantry Executive Director Christine Menard, David and Gail Oppenheim, Shelly O’Neill, President’s Award Recipient Rick Roy, Founder’s Award Recipient State Senator Dan Wolf, Pantry President Amy Camenga, Tom O’Neill and Heidi Schuetz

On Sunday June 5th, the Family Pantry of Cape Cod hosted its 5th annual gala at the Wychmere Beach Club in Harwich Port, MA. The event, chaired by Tom and Shelly O’Neill along with David and Nicky Metzler, Kip and Stephanie O’Neill and Paul and Mary Jo Barett, marked the start of what is sure to be a fantastic summer.

 

Over 250 people attended this year’s gala, raising over $200,000 for the Family Pantry. Neither the gala nor the Pantry itself would be possible without the support of generous sponsors whose kind contributions and unwavering dedication enable the Family Pantry to serve the Cape Cod community.

This year, the Family Pantry presented the Founder’s Award to Senator Dan Wolf, who has served as a critical supporter of the Family Pantry for many years and has continuously demonstrated the same passion and vision as the organization’s original founders. Throughout the course of his political career, Senator Wolf has dedicated himself to helping vulnerable populations supporting different nonprofit organizations, such as the Family Pantry.

Executive Director Christine Menard presented the President’s Award, which honors an individual or a family who has been a longtime supporter of the Pantry, to Rick Roy of Rick Roy Construction. Recently, Roy went above and beyond in the renovation of the Pantry’s warehouse and the construction of the Thrift Shop, working around the Pantry’s operating hours so as to not interrupt services to those in need.

Just before attendees were serenaded with a wonderful performance by North Shore Acapella, event chair Tom O’Neill announced a generous gift of $50,000 from longtime supporters David and Gail Oppenheim. The donation will kick start the Pantry’s Shop for the Hungry Campaign and was contributed in honor of Mary Anderson, who recently retired from her position as Executive Director of the Family Pantry of Cape Cod.

Over the course of the past five years, the summer gala has generated over one million dollars for the Family Pantry. In 2015 alone, the fundraising from this important event helped to feed 9,000 people in need, including 2,628 children, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, geographic restrictions or any other status. As a result of the hard work of the staff, the 548 volunteers throughout the year, and enormous support from the Greater Boston Food Bank, the Family Pantry distributed over 54,000 bags of food last year and continues to serve neighbors in need.

To learn more about the mission of the Family Pantry of Cape Cod, click here.

Why ICycle: Matt Pritchard of HomeStart

ICycle 2016 - Matt Pritchard

Matt Pritchard, Executive Director of HomeStart, with O’Neill and Associates’ Ann Murphy, Cayenne Isaksen and Jennie Hardin at ICycle 2016

One of my favorite things in the world is watching someone stop what they are doing to support another person who is suffering.  On a chilly day this past February that is exactly what 320 people did, and it was incredible! Those 320 individuals do not include the countless others who stopped what they were doing as they walked by, and decided to donate to this incredible cause. This is just one reason why ICycle.

Tonight, more than 1,200 people in Boston will fall asleep on a sidewalk or on a cot in a shelter because they’ve experienced a crisis and suddenly found themselves homeless.  At some point, most people I know have asked themselves the question, “How can I make a dent in a person’s homelessness?  Is there any way for one person to provide meaningful help?”  HomeStart has provided folks with an answer to those questions, and it is a resounding, “Yes!”

One way that HomeStart has answered this question is with ICycle: an outdoor spinning marathon where individuals and corporate teams raise money and ride on a spinning bike, outside, in the winter, to show solidarity with and support people who are homeless and find themselves living outside.  When those 320 people braved the cold and the elements in February, they made a practical and tangible dent in the ongoing problem facing our city. The simple act of riding a bike, with the fundraising support from others, made it possible for HomeStart to provide the service that will permanently end a person’s homelessness, and many people (who they will probably never know) will celebrate because of their help. And that is why ICycle.

Now, as the season’s change and our weather inevitably begins to get warmer, it is just as important as ever for us to remember our 1,200 neighbors who are experiencing the greatest suffering. Our goal at HomeStart is to serve all of them. Simply put, the more people who are willing to brave the cold and stop what they are doing to ride in ICycle in years to come will help us to do that!  That is why ICycle.

Last year, HomeStart permanently housed 680 people who were living on the streets or in a shelter in Boston and Cambridge.  By doing so, HomeStart very quietly and under almost every radar changed Boston and Cambridge’s public spaces and dramatically reduced trauma and suffering of our most vulnerable residents.  Every night on Boston’s streets and in shelters, people will fall asleep hoping that, tomorrow, they will be able to find a HomeStart advocate- because they know that HomeStart can – and does – permanently end cycles of homelessness for so many. And that is why WECycle.

So with this, on behalf of our 1200 beautiful and hurting neighbors, I’d like to give 1200 cheers to all this year’s riders who were willing and able to stop what they were doing to support another person who is suffering! Someone whose name they may never even know. Thank you so much, and I heartily look forward to seeing you again next year!

Matt Pritchard

Executive Director, HomeStart

St. Francis House, John Hancock Team Up for One Boston Day

John Hancock hosting a shoe drive to benefit homeless men and women in Boston

As the City of Boston celebrates the second annual One Boston Day, St. Francis House (SFH) is partnering with John Hancock, hosting a sneaker donation drive to benefit homeless men and women in need. Citizens of Boston are asked to honor One Boston Day with a donation of new or gently worn sneakers. Each pair of sneakers donated will directly benefit guests of SFH.

Donations from the sneaker drive will augment the Fresh Threads Department at SFH that currently distributes 3,000 pairs of shoes each year to men and women who visit SFH.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with John Hancock, a longstanding institution of Boston, in honor of One Boston Day,” said Karen LaFrazia, Executive Director of St. Francis House. “The sneaker drive will have a direct impact on the men and women who come to St. Francis House for support every day. St. Francis House has long relied on the kindness and generosity of Boston residents, we are excited to see that support continue on Friday, as we all come together to honor our great city.”

One Boston Day: April 15, 2016, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Donation Boxes will be posted at two locations in Boston: 

  • The intersection of Exeter Street and Boylston Street in Boston, near the Jumbotron.
  • Boston City Hall, Third Floor

“We are proud to partner with the City on One Boston Day to support St Francis House, and all the men and women they serve.” said Tom Crohan, AVP & Counsel, John Hancock Financial. “We encourage everyone who lives or works in Boston to join us in donating sneakers to this incredibly worthy cause.”

One Boston Day serves as an opportunity for the city – and its citizens – to celebrate the resiliency, generosity, and strength demonstrated by the city of Boston and those around the world in response to the tragic events on April 15, 2013.


About St. Francis House

sfh-logoLocated in the heart of downtown Boston, St. Francis House is the largest day shelter in the Commonwealth, serving more than 600 poor and homeless men and women a day, 365 days a year. St Francis House provides basic, rehabilitative and housing services that overlap and build on one another to provide guests with continuous and comprehensive care.

 

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife

John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, our group of companies offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were C$935 billion (US$676 billion) as at December 31, 2015. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.

To learn more about O’Neill and Associates’ nonprofit expertise, click here

Father Bill’s & MainSpring Hosts 22nd Annual Fundraiser to Assist Shelters with Funding Gap

Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to ending homelessness in Southern MA, will host its annual FoodFest fundraiser on Tuesday, July 26, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at The Launch at Hingham Shipyard (VIP party begins at 5:00 p.m. at Hingham Beer Works).

FoodFest 2016 features up to 35 of the South Shore’s finest restaurants, bakeries and beverage distributors, offering their signature samples, while guests are entertained by live music from District 21. Tickets are $150 per person and can be purchased online at helpfbms.org/FoodFest2016. Corporate sponsorships and auction items are gratefully accepted.

FBMS hopes to raise $300,000 to close the 54% funding gap in its emergency shelters housing. Father Bill’s & MainSpring provides emergency and permanent housing, work force development and prevention services annually to about 5,000 individuals across the South Shore area, including families with children.

Current Participating Restaurant and Beverage Vendors, with more to be announced:

  • Alma Nove, Hingham
  • Boathouse Bistro, Hingham
  • Fire It Up! Flatbread, South Shore
  • Fratelli’s, Quincy
  • Greenside Grille, Hingham
  • Jake’s Seafood , Hull
  • Lavishly Dunn Catering, Hanover
  • Margaritas, Weymouth
  • Peel Pizza Co., Hingham
  • Phillips Candy House, South Boston
  • The Quarry Restaurant & Lounge, Hingham
  • Punjab Café, Quincy
  • Simpson Springs, Easton
  • The Fruit Center Marketplace, Milton & Hingham
  • The Lantana, Randolph


Current Supporters:

Premier: Arbella Insurance Foundation, Bank of America, Citizens Bank, The Flatley Foundation, Granite Telecommunications, United Way of Massachusetts Bay, United Way of Greater Plymouth County

Gold:  Avalon Bay Communities, Cambridge Savings Bank

Silver: New England Regional Council of Carpenters, IBEW Local 103,

Venue Sponsors: Hingham Beer Works, The Launch at Hingham Shipyard

Media Sponsors:  The Patriot Ledger, Wicked Local

 

Event Highlights: New activities this year include a wine pull where guests purchase a ticket for $20, but could end up with a high-end bottle worth more than $100. Also featured is a cruise trip raffle on Royal Caribbean, airfare included; a chance raffle with many unique items and a robust silent auction with themed baskets, weekend getaways and tickets to New England sporting events and more. For more information about corporate sponsorships, or to purchase tickets on-line, please visit helpfbms.org/FoodFest2016 or call 508-427-6448.

Father Bill’s & MainSpring, (FBMS) is committed to ending and preventing homelessness in Southern Massachusetts with programs that provide emergency and permanent housing and help people obtain skills, jobs, housing, and services. FBMS helps people who are struggling with homelessness or are at risk of homelessness to achieve self-sufficiency. FBMS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency with administrative offices in Quincy and Brockton, Massachusetts and program offices throughout Southern Massachusetts. For more information, visit helpfbms.org or call 617-376-2255.

To learn more about O’Neill and Associates’ nonprofit expertise, click here

Urban Edge Launches Effort to Build Jackson Square Recreation Center

Olympic Gold Medalists Mike Eruzione and Kristine Lilly and Professional Athletes Chris Tierney and Emily Field Join Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for Official Campaign Kick Off

On Monday, March 21st, Mayor Marty Walsh and Olympic gold medalists Mike Eruzione, Kristine Lilly, and professional athletes Chris Tierney and Emily Field gathered with elected officials and civic and business leaders from the Jamaica Plain community to launch a campaign to build the Jackson Square Recreation Center in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. Urban Edge, based in Roxbury, is a community development organization committed to creating and sustaining stable, healthy, and diverse communities in both Jamaica Plain and Roxbury.

Urban Edge has spearheaded the process of building a facility that will provide recreational space and after school activities for children living in the Jamaica Plain and Roxbury neighborhoods. This two-story center will consist of a regulation-size ice rink on the first floor, a turf field on the second floor, and a space dedicated to academics and socializing.

The initial idea for the center came from the community, which recognized that young children living in this neighborhood did not have the same access to recreational facilities as their peers did living in suburban neighborhoods.

At the launch event at the Kelly Rink in Jamaica Plain, Mayor Marty Walsh stated, “I am proud that we are taking an idea from the residents of this neighborhood and partnering with Urban Edge to make it a reality.”

Urban Edge Jackson Sq

Rendering of Urban Edge’s Jackson Square Recreation Center

There are 26,000 young people who live within a 1.5 mile radius of Jackson Square, out of which only 10 percent participate in after school activities, mostly due to the absence of a safe, affordable, and accessible recreational space. That is why Mike Eruzione, captain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey team, has joined the campaign committee for the Jackson Square Recreation Center. “Their grades get better, they are more likely to stay in school, and, as importantly, they build teamwork skills, which I believe is critical to success. With this said, I am proud to be a part of the Campaign Committee that is working to build the Jackson Square Recreation Center,” said Eruzione.

The overall project cost totals $21.5 million, of which Urban Edge has already raised a little more than half. Still, the organization is seeking to raise the additional $10 million in funding. In addition to the support of the Jamaica Plain community, the project has gained backing from public officials, making this idea one step closer to reality.

To learn more about O’Neill and Associates’ nonprofit expertise, click here

Why ICycle: OA’s Jennie Hardin

Director of Marketing Jennie Hardin Participates in HomeStart's ICycle

Director of Marketing Jennie Hardin Participates in HomeStart’s ICycle

A typical day for me often starts with a spin class. So today, like many others for me, started with a spin class. But this wasn’t a typical day and this certainly wasn’t my typical spin class.

Rather than walking to my gym down the street, I packed my bag and headed downtown to One International Place to hop on a spin bike – outdoors – and participate in HomeStart’s 9th Annual ICycle event.

I was merely one rider among the 320 participants and 25 teams that took time out of their day to brace the elements, in an attempt to begin to understand what it could be like to live without a home in New England’s unpredictable winter weather. Many commuters with bewildered looks passed by as I was spinning, some stopping to offer a cheer of encouragement and others even donating a few dollars to support the cause. From the blasting music and the energetic riders to the camera crews and the large dancing sports mascots, ICycle is certainly a sight to behold and one that is hard to overlook.

However, as I was spinning, I was reminded of how often homeless men and women on the streets are overlooked and how many commuters do not typically stop to offer a word of encouragement or some spare change to those in need. I’m guilty of it too; after a long day at work, sometimes all I want to do is return to my warm, welcoming apartment to relax. In my haste, I rush by the man on the street who’s sat outside all day and who doesn’t have that warm, welcoming apartment to return home to like I do. Sometimes, I don’t even think to offer a simple greeting or see if I have a few dollars to spare.

Now that I’ve stepped off the bike, caught my breath and gone about my typical day, my hope is that for every person who participated in, or supported, ICycle in some way, those same people – myself included – will offer a gesture of support to one of the thousands of homeless people who often go unnoticed.

This is why ICycle – to remind myself and others that it’s the men and women who are often overlooked and who do not have a roof over their heads who need our support and encouragement more than anyone. ICycle because one hour outside in the New England winter is nothing compared to what many people endure day in and day out. ICycle because there are too many people living in homelessness and it’s past time that we work together, as a community, to find permanent solutions.

About HomeStart

HomeStart is a non-profit organization whose mission is to end and prevent homelessness in Greater Boston by assisting individuals in obtaining permanent housing and settling into the community, and by developing strategies to address systemic barriers to housing placement.  For more information, visit www.homestart.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  

Why ICycle: OA’s Cayenne Isaksen

ICycle 2016Tomorrow morning I will get up, head into Boston and begin my day by hopping on a spin bike – outside – in front of One International Plaza to support the 9th Annual ICycle event for HomeStart.

Cayenne Isaksen, Director

Cayenne Isaksen, Director

Weather reports currently show temperatures in the low 40s paired with wind and rain. But that isn’t stopping the 320 riders and 25 teams who are coming out to ride in order to raise money and awareness for HomeStart. All of us riding know that one hour outside in cold or rainy weather is nothing compared to what the men and women living in homelessness face every day and every night.

HomeStart is a local non-profit organization in Boston that is working incredibly hard to help end homelessness, by first preventing it. They have helped save over 3,000 families and individuals from losing their homes, while offering stabilization services to assist them in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. Of those receiving stabilization services, 96 percent remain housed one year later. Their efforts are not only admiral and heartwarming – they are working.

Every morning that I come to work, I get off the T at Haymarket, and every morning I pass men and women who spent the previous night sleeping in a tucked away corner on the sidewalk. And the number continues to grow. That is why ICycle. And, perhaps this year more than any other year, I see more and more young men and women tucked away in these corners sleeping, or sitting with friends hoping for a small donation to help them get their next meal. That is why ICycle. And, because every day I have the great fortune of going home at the end of my day, and that should not be a luxury, it should be the rule. That is why ICycle.

To learn more about HomeStart and the ICycle event, visit www.homestart.org. For more information about O’Neill and Associates’ public relations services, click here

Salvation Army of MA Kicks Off Season with Red Kettle Run

This holiday season, the Salvation Army of Massachusetts is raising funds to support families, seniors and children in need across the Commonwealth with its third annual Red Kettle Run.  This year’s Red Kettle Run will be held on November 18th, and is part of the Salvation’s Army 2015 Red Kettle Campaign that aims to raise $3.4 million to support individuals and families statewide.

The run features teams of three who take red kettles on the move through the streets of downtown Boston to raise funds for those in need.  The team that collects the most donations within an hour will win a prize pack, including a billiards party for 20, courtesy of Lucky Strike, passes to the New England Aquarium, and event tickets at TD Garden. The run will feature music and other fun festivities, including a team from Fox 25.

The Red Kettle Campaign was founded in 1892 when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee wanted to help feed needy citizens in San Francisco. Placing his own kettle on Market Street in Oakland, California, Captain McFee was able to help individuals on Christmas. The idea traveled to Boston in 1897 and the Red Kettle Campaign has been a tradition ever since.

Whether it is shelter for a displaced family or a warm cup of coffee for first responders, hope and heeling is the Salvation Army’s message. Today, it assists more than 4.5 million Americans during the holiday season.

The Red Kettle Run will start at noon by the Brewer Fountain at Park Street Station near the corner of Park and Tremont Streets on Wednesday, November 18th.  Teams should arrive between 11:20 and 11:40, with orientation beginning at 11:45.

Local businesses, organizations, and individuals interested in participating in the run are encouraged to register at SalvationArmyMA.org/REDKETTLERUN.