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Ranieris Gearing Up for Annual Wrentham Developmental Center Christmas Party

Oct 28, 2015 12:11PM ● By Pamela Johnson

Volunteers at the 2014 Wrentham Developmental Center Christmas Party

It has been 46 consecutive years that Dan and Sue Ranieri have coordinated Bellingham’s 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 community involvement has continued to grow beyond anyone's expectations. This year's event will be held on Friday December 4, at 4:30 PM, in the Bellingham Memorial Middle School (BMMS) 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.

Since its inception in 1970, many of the original helpers are still involved, either preparing the food, making donations, wrapping gifts or helping with the setup and/or 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 BMMS teacher Scott McDonald, along with area parish CCD students, boy scouts and girl scouts, will once 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 are remembered by all.

The traditional pasta dinner will be prepared by the St. Blaise Ladies of St. Anne, and entertainment will be supplied by DJ Richie Hayward, who so generously donates his time each year. The highlight of the night is the arrival of Santa, portrayed annually by a member of the Ranieri Family. Each resident 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 Suzanne Ranieri at 508-380-1643 or 508-883-1477.

"We would love to have you drop by the middle school and witness the wonderful job our youth are doing interacting with their special guests, and how your contributions have made this special holiday tradition such a memorable occasion for everyone attending," said Sue. "We thank you for your continued support in the past and greatly appreciate any help you can provide to us again this year."

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

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