ABCD’s North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center (NE/WE NSC)’s annual fundraising event Buona Sera: An Evening with Friends raised nearly $40,000 to aid low-income and elderly residents of the North End and West End who turn to the center for assistance.
For the seventh year in a row, Ron Della Chiesa of WGBH and the Boston Symphony Orchestra performed as the event’s master of ceremonies. “Welcome to Buona Sera 2019!” he greeted the crowd. “ABCD NE/WE NSC serves the hidden poor of the North End and West End neighborhoods, both largely impacted by gentrification. Thank you for ensuring that the most vulnerable residents in these two communities do not get left behind.”
ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew continued in that realm with his own rousing deliverance. “The affordable North End I used to live in is no more,” he declared. “Seniors who have worked their whole lives are forced to choose between paying the rent, buying food and medicine, and heating their homes. It shouldn’t be this way. Each year ABCD serves over 100,000 low-income individuals from Boston–starting with nearly 3,000 in Head Start and Early Head Start all the way up to nearly 14,000 seniors, and many Adult Basic Education (ABE) services and job training and supportive services in between. Thank you for joining with us and investing in ABCD to make their lives better.”
NE/WE NSC Director Maria Stella Gulla thanked all those at the WilmerHale reception effusively, especially WilmerHale Attorney Katelyn O’Brien for her sponsorship, and addressed the crowd to highlight the need for the center’s educational and human services.
“The ABCD NE/WE NSC will remain vigilant to the needs of the low-income residents of the North End/West End and Beacon Hill and your participation in our Buona Sera event invigorates us to continue to serve our vulnerable population with compassion and professionalism. All funds raised through Buona Sera will support two food pantries and a hot meal program, basic needs assistance, translation, fuel assistance, holiday programs, and more to help residents age in place. Buona Sera is critical to keeping these services going and to launching new programs. For example, we have retained the services of a volunteer art instructor who blends art history and the teaching of techniques and exercise classes proven to foster seniors’ emotional and physical well- being and rejuvenate their spirits.”