Bellingham Police Assoc. Hosts Free St. Pat’s Luncheon for SeniorsMar 30, 2017 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
Shown (L-R) enjoying dinner: Helen Dufault, Irma Murzycki and Carol Bond
The mood was festive and the predominant color was green at a recent St. Patrick’s Day event in Bellingham. For the eighth consecutive year, the Bellingham Police Association (BPA) sponsored a free luncheon for Bellingham senior citizens as part of their community outreach efforts.
Coachmen’s Lodge owners Bill and Dimitri Nicholas (and before them, previous owners Norman and Michelle Decelles) generously donate their facility for the annual event. “We’ve been doing it for three years now,” said Dimitri. “It’s an excellent tradition that we are happy to continue. When everyone comes together for good food and a good time, it’s a wonderful thing.”
Coachmen’s Lodge Executive Chef, Giafranco (John) Campanella (left), prepared the meal. “I start at 5:30 am,” said Campanella. “This year, I cooked 340 pounds of corned beef, 200 pounds of potatoes, 150 pounds of cabbage, and 120 pounds of carrots.”
Ninety-two-year-old Irma Murzycki of Bellingham has attended every year. “It’s wonderful—the food is excellent, and it’s nice to see this many seniors alive,” she said jokingly. Murzycki, whom you would never think was 92, lost her husband 9 months ago. She said she frequently takes part in activities at the Bellingham Senior Center and has for several years now.
This event is coordinated each year by Sgt. Edward Guzowski, and Sgt. Lee Rolls and Ofc. John Melanson supervise the culinary preparation. A team of police officers and dispatchers serve the buffet-style traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal.
The BPA is the town’s union of police officers and sergeants; the President is Ofc. Rich Nummela. The organization supports several charitable causes and sports teams in town. Each year, officers deliver holiday dinners to Bellingham families in need, and they generously support the Bellingham Women of Today’s Santa’s Elves Program. The St. Patrick’s luncheon has become an annual event to help local law enforcement officers reach out to and better serve the senior citizens of Bellingham.
Those who rolled up their sleeves and pitched in include Dispatcher Jason Acord, Dispatcher Charlie McLaughlin, Ptl. Mark Auld, Detective Steve Daigle, Ptl. Amy Kirby, Sgt. Ken Lamarre, Ptl. Scott Dion, Ptl. Stephen Foss, Ptl. Steven Hole, Ptl. Chris Padula, Ptl. Anthony Bavosi, Ptl. Tom Marston and Dispatcher Raymond Harding. Sgt. Guzowski took to the stage and worked the mic, introducing and acknowledging the volunteers and other contributors, and calling off winning raffle numbers. Guest hosts and volunteers for the event included Joanne A. Guzowski, Dori Acord, and Monique Bergeron; Heidi Melanson provided raffle prizes and decorations.
The BPA would also like to express appreciation to Sygma Boston and Reinhart Agar for donations of corned beef and vegetables, and Frederick E. Dehmer of Bellingham for his contribution.
Special thanks to the Bellingham Senior Center staff and volunteers—Director Carolyn Roycroft, Asst. Director Lisa Mottola and COA Chair Rita M. Tetreault—who provided outstanding guidance and advice that helped to ensure a successful event. Video coverage was provided by Jeff Paul of Access Bellingham Mendon Inc. Cable-8.
And since no senior event would be complete without music, Linda Trudeau was present to direct the Bellingham Community Concert Chorus. As I was leaving, Trudeau was encouraging the audience to sing along with the chorus to a rousing rendition of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”
All in all, the event was once again a great success, with everyone enjoying a wonderful free meal, the company of their peers, and music to sing along with or simply sit back and listen to.