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Wrentham Developmental Center Christmas Party Set for Dec. 5

Oct 31, 2014 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Sue Ranieri with a guest at the 2013 party.

It has been 45 years since Dan and Sue Ranieri of Bellingham coordinated the first Christmas Party for 50 residents of Wrentham Developmental Center (formally known as Wrentham State School). A lot of things have changed over the years, but the change in the community’s involvement has been positive—it has continued to grow every year, well beyond the Ranieris’ expectations.
This year’s event will be held on Friday, Dec. 5,  at 4:30 pm, in the Bellingham Middle School cafeteria. As in the past, the success of this party depends on the generosity of the volunteers and the business community, who have always been willing to help make Christmas a little brighter for those less fortunate.
Many of the original volunteers are still participating, either preparing the food, making donations, wrapping gifts or helping with the setup and cleanup. We see many second- and third-generation volunteers attending and remarking to us that their parents and grandparents helped out years ago.

Over 150 teenagers recruited by Bellingham Middle School teacher Scott McDonald, along with area parish religious-education students and boy scouts and girl scouts, will again participate in this special evening. The caring and heartwarming relationships that develop between the youth and their mentally and physically handicapped guests are ones that will be remembered by all.

As in the past, a pasta dinner will be prepared by the St. Blaise Ladies of Saint Anne.  Entertainment will again be provided by DJ Richie Hayward, who so generously donates his time each year. The highlight of the event each year is the arrival of Santa, portrayed annually by a member of the Ranieri family. Each resident of the Wrentham Developmental Center will receive numerous gifts, all donated by area businesses, civic organizations, individual members of various area communities and the youth volunteers in attendance.

Donations and volunteers are always needed to help with the preparations and are important to the success of this event.  Any civic organization, local business or individual interested in making a donation, or any adult or youth wishing to attend can contact Sue Ranieri at 508-380-1643 or 508-883-1477.

 All contributions can be mailed or delivered to 5 Reservoir Drive, Bellingham, MA 02019.  Please make checks payable to Suzanne Ranieri.

“We would love to have you drop by the middle school on December 5th and witness the wonderful job our youth are doing, interacting with their special guests, as well as how your contributions have made this special holiday tradition such a memorable occasion for everyone attending,” said Sue.

“We thank you greatly for your support in the past and truly appreciate any help that you can provide at this year’s event,” Sue concluded.




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