2014 News Stories

2014-03 Jaycee web site counter hits… A QUARTER MILLION!

250000visitors

The Foxboro Jaycees web site was launched in late 1997, and around May 1998 there had been about 1100 visitors. While various site counters have been used since (most notably stat counter for the past 10 years or so), every effort has been made to ensure the count is fairly accurate.

Adjustments were made a few times when the site had run without a counter for a month or so (and was bumped up by about 1000), and also dialed back a few times when testing was needed and repeat reloads were “faking out” the numbers (the count was reduced).

In general, repeat refresh of the pages won’t increment counters any more.

So, with the caveat that no site counter is perfect, and also that count has been adjusted on occasion, it’s been mostly “left alone” these past years and the fact remains that on March 26, 2014, we hit 250,000 unique visitors — that’s a QUARTER MILLION unique visits to the site since its inception. That is AWESOME.

We are grateful to everyone who uses the site, are always looking for ways to improve it, and hope you’ll keep coming back for more Foxboro Jaycee news!
5935381036_b7b49c7b50

 



2014-04 Easter Egg Hunt

Christian Stephenson, 4, arrived early to meet the Easter Bunny
Christian Stephenson, 4, arrived early to meet the Easter Bunny

 

The Costellos -- Jason (5), Jamie (9) and their cousins the Fitzgerald’s – Delia (9), Leo (3) and Sarah (6) have made the Jaycee Easter Egg Hunt an annual family tradition.
The Costello’s — Jason (5), Jamie (9) and their cousins the Fitzgerald’s – Delia (9), Leo (3) and Sarah (6) have made the Jaycee Easter Egg Hunt an annual family tradition.

 

Little Mallori Waldron, Age 4, raced back after her meet and greet to give the Easter Bunny a hug.
Little Mallori Waldron, Age 4, raced back after her meet and greet to give the Easter Bunny a hug.

 

Danica, 6, has her basket ready for the Easter Egg Hunt
Danica, 6, has her basket ready for the Easter Egg Hunt

 

Seven year old Triplets Sophia, Olivia and Kaylei are ready for the Easter Egg Hunt
Seven year old Triplets Sophia, Olivia and Kaylei are ready for the Easter Egg Hunt

 

Easter Egg Hunt Chairman Derek House announces the arrival of the Easter Bunny
Easter Egg Hunt Chairman Derek House announces the arrival of the Easter Bunny

 

The Easter Bunny greets the crowd
The Easter Bunny greets the crowd

 

Kevin Hickey, the Easter Bunny's official handler and spokesman, and the Easter Bunny
Kevin Hickey, the Easter Bunny’s official handler and spokesman, and the Easter Bunny

 

The Foxboro Jaycees Easter Egg Hunt Team!
The Foxboro Jaycees Easter Egg Hunt Team!

Despite a very busy schedule of coloring eggs and making Easter baskets, the Easter Bunny made time to visit the children of Foxboro this past Saturday.

The Foxboro Jaycees once again brought the bunny to Foxboro Common in their annual spring Easter Egg Hunt, which included a meet and greet with the bunny.

Under a spectacular blue sky and thankfully warm temperatures, the children collected candy-filled multi-colored eggs and then had their picture taken with their furry friend.

All of this was free, an event that is by far one of the Foxboro Jaycees’ favorite community development projects.

Chairmen Derek House, assisted by his wife Laureen and son Devlyn, reported that over two thousand (yes, two thousand) eggs were stuffed with candy and treats last week.

Ask about the Easter Egg Hunt, Derek added, “It’s one of the best projects that the Foxboro Jaycees run, and have run for many years. I’m glad to carry on the tradition.”

Early Saturday morning, the Jaycee Blue Wave cordoned off three areas for different age groups, and then spread the eggs on the common.

The Easter Bunny emerged from the bandstand at 9:30 sharp, to loud cheers. The bunny, accompanied by official bunny handler Kevin Hickey, made his way to the designated age areas to shake hands, give high-fives, supervise the hunts, and then posed for pictures. The Jaycees took nearly 100 pictures and estimate the crowd at over 150.

Interestingly, Devlyn, who has been helping the Jaycees with many events since he was a little boy, and was busily working Saturday morning getting the eggs ready, vanished just before the arrival of the Easter Bunny, and mysteriously reappeared right afterward, saying he was sorry he missed the bunny. Derek and Laureen just smiled, noting he had an important appointment. For any children who might be reading this, we’ll leave it at that, but we will say that the Easter Bunny did a wonderful job and we were so happy to have him!

The Foxboro Jaycees are grateful to the selectmen for allowing use of the Common, to the volunteers who helped, and especially to the people of Foxboro who attended the event.

The Jaycees have been holding this event for well over 20 years, and we certainly hope to continue to do it for many years to come!

Laureen House adds, “We wish everyone a very happy Easter!”



2014-05 Bandstand to be named for Bowditch

This story appeared in the 5/29/2014 Foxboro Reporter and is copyright 2014 The Foxboro Reporter and By Christine Igo Freeman.

This custom made cast bronze plaque was created in Minnesota and will be installed on the bandstand door at this Saturday afternoon’s Bowditch Bandstand Dedication Ceremony on the Foxboro Common. All are welcome to attend this tribute and invited to stay to enjoy a concert given by musicians from the Foxboro High School Music Department immediately following the ceremony. (Photo by Christine Igo Freeman)
This custom made cast bronze plaque was created in Minnesota and will be installed on the bandstand door at this Saturday afternoon’s Bowditch Bandstand Dedication Ceremony on the Foxboro Common. All are welcome to attend this tribute and invited to stay to enjoy a concert given by musicians from the Foxboro High School Music Department immediately following the ceremony. (Photo by Christine Igo Freeman)

Bandstand to be named for Bowditch Saturday
By Christine Igo Freeman
Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014 9:05 AM EDT

This custom made cast bronze plaque was created in Minnesota and will be installed on the bandstand door at this Saturday afternoon’s Bowditch Bandstand Dedication Ceremony on the Foxboro Common. All are welcome to attend this tribute and invited to stay to enjoy a concert given by musicians from the Foxboro High School Music Department immediately following the ceremony. (Photo by Christine Igo Freeman)

Henry “Harry” Bowditch passed away last August, but his memory will be kept alive thanks in part ot the efforts of Bob Motta and members of the Jaycees.

This Saturday afternoon, starting at 2 p.m., there will be a special dedication on the Foxboro Common as the town’s beloved bandstand will be named for Bowditch. The bandstand has been part of the Common landscape since 1972, when Foxboro’s Bowditch designed and built it while he was a member of the Foxboro Jaycees, who then turned it over to the town.

Bowditch enlisted the help of several fellow Jaycees, including Motta. At the time, the Jaycees were an all-male organization; however, a group of the wives started their own community service group that became known as the Jaycee Wives.

“I helped a little bit. We all helped a little bit,” Motta said. “It was really Harry who built it.”

Over the past several months, Motta has orchestrated a donation campaign involving both former Jaycees and Jaycee Wives. Last October, he met with the Board of Selectmen to make a presentation seeking permission to dedicate the bandstand to the music-loving Bowditch family.

“He was a great guy and had a lot of friends,” Motta said of Bowditch. “We wanted to honor Harry, but we also wanted to recognize the family, particularly his parents, Hoel and Mary, because they inspired Harry.”

Hoel and Mary Bowditch were active citizens in town involved in making music in their church community of St. Mark’s and the greater community as a whole since the 1940s. In collaboration with the Jaycees and the Foxboro High School Music Department, Hoel Bowditch organized and led the Annual Caroling on the Common which began on the bandstand every December.

The selectmen unanimously approved Motta’s request and the bandstand will be known as the Bowditch Bandstand after a ceremony this Saturday. The dedication will include remarks from Motta, participation from the Foxboro Jaycees both past and present and, of course, music.

Music from FHS

Motta has been working with Foxboro High School Choral Director David Piper who has arranged for FHS musicians to give both vocal and instrumental performances after the ceremony. So be sure to bring along a few lawn chairs to sit and enjoy an intimate afternoon concert.

A highlight of the afternoon will be the presentation of a custom-made cast bronze plaque that will be installed on the bandstand door.

The Jaycees still maintain the bandstand and Paul Lanza, Lynda Walsh, Dave Fisler, Mike Stewart and Kathy Brady have been busy painting it in preparation for the upcoming summer concert schedule.



2014-05 A celebration of Harry Bowditch

By Christine Igo Freeman
Published: Thursday, June 5, 2014 9:27 AM EDT
All text an images in this post Copyright 2014, the Foxboro Reporter

The family of the late Harry Bowditch turned out Saturday under beautiful blue skies for the renaming and dedication of the Bowditch bandstand on the Foxboro Common to commemorate the music-loving family of Hoel and Mary Bowditch.

The bandstand was designed and built in 1972 by Bowditch, who was an active member of the Foxboro Jaycees and served as president in 1971-1972.

He enlisted the help of his fellow Jaycees to construct what remains the musical heart of the community.

After completion, the Jaycees presented the bandstand as a gift to the town of Foxboro.

First known as the Music Heptagon, because Bowditch engineered it as a seven-sided structure, over the years the name changed to the Foxboro Common Bandstand.

Many members of the Bowditch family attended the dedication ceremony including Harry’s siblings, wife Rachel, children and grandchildren.

“The Jaycees are forever grateful to Harry for giving us this anchor and for tying us forever to the town of Foxboro through this bandstand,” Jaycee Vice President of Membership, Laureen House, said during her remarks.

Members of the Bowditch family gathered on the Foxboro Common last Saturday afternoon for the renaming and dedication of the Bowditch Bandstand. (Photos by Christine Igo Freeman)
Members of the Bowditch family gathered on the Foxboro Common last Saturday afternoon for the renaming and dedication of the Bowditch Bandstand. (Photos by Christine Igo Freeman)
Former Foxboro Jaycees pose next to the bandstand that many of them helped build with the late Harry Bowditch back in 1972. Front row, from left: Paul Carr, Ed Callahan, Bill Marsh*, Phil Rayburg and John Garzia. Back row, from left: Bob Motta, Barry Behn*, Dennis O’Rourke, Bob Poirier, Len Avery* and Dave Fitzgerald. (* denotes past president) (Photo by Christine Igo Freeman)
Former Foxboro Jaycees pose next to the bandstand that many of them helped build with the late Harry Bowditch back in 1972. Front row, from left: Paul Carr, Ed Callahan, Bill Marsh*, Phil Rayburg and John Garzia. Back row, from left: Bob Motta, Barry Behn*, Dennis O’Rourke, Bob Poirier, Len Avery* and Dave Fitzgerald. (* denotes past president) (Photo by Christine Igo Freeman)
Former Jaycee Wives pose next to the bushes and shrubs they planted beside the bandstand back in the early 1970s. Front row, from left: Rachel Bowditch, Joyce Hyland*, Joan Gallivan*, Gerry Callahan and Connie Pietrafetta. Back row, from left: Louise Poirier*, Bobbie Avery*, Evie Rayburg, Maureen O’Rourke, Mary Motta*, Diana Behn*, Louise Fitzgerald, Joan Marsh, Jeanne Carr and Louise Sullivan. (* denotes past president) (Photo by Christine Igo Freeman)
Former Jaycee Wives pose next to the bushes and shrubs they planted beside the bandstand back in the early 1970s. Front row, from left: Rachel Bowditch, Joyce Hyland*, Joan Gallivan*, Gerry Callahan and Connie Pietrafetta. Back row, from left: Louise Poirier*, Bobbie Avery*, Evie Rayburg, Maureen O’Rourke, Mary Motta*, Diana Behn*, Louise Fitzgerald, Joan Marsh, Jeanne Carr and Louise Sullivan. (* denotes past president) (Photo by Christine Igo Freeman)

 



2014-12 A little Christmas miracle

Let there be light -- Jaycee David Fisler, left reacts as the power is restored to the common at the exact moment Paul Lanza places the angel on the Foxboro Common bandstand.  Photo by Robert Gillis
Let there be light — Jaycee David Fisler, left reacts as the power is restored to the common at the exact moment Paul Lanza places the angel on the Foxboro Common bandstand. Photo by Robert Gillis

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 12/4/2014

This story begins with a very nice affirmation. Christmas miracles – they still happen.

And it should be noted before I go further I swear this is true; and there are witness and photographs!

It all begins this past frosty Saturday after Thanksgiving. As is our tradition for over four decades, the Foxboro Jaycees were up early, shoveling out the storage area for the Nativity Set and holiday lights, loading up the trucks with the (very) heavy plaster figurines, and heading to Foxboro Common to begin our holiday decorating.

Earlier that same morning, some sections of the town lost power for a moment or two, but one section of town had no power – and as we unloaded the decorations and carefully lifted the Nativity statues onto the bandstand, we realized that Foxboro Common also had no power.

Now, LIGHT wasn’t the issue; being 9am and all, there was plenty of available sunlight for us to see what we were doing. But when you’re stringing dozens of sets of lights onto five or six bushes around the bandstand, you want to be sure they actually WORK and LIGHT UP while you’re arranging them – this ensures no surprises in the evening.

We’d heard power should be restored before 9:30 so we began other tasks – and then the small Christmas miracle happened.

I swear this is true. Jaycee Paul Lanza stepped up to the bandstand with the angel. I got him in focus for the picture.

“Which side does it go on?”

Jaycee Dave Fisler looked up from our handy reference image (we always bring a few from last year for guidance).

“Left,” Dave replied.

So Paul carefully affixed the angel to the left of the new “Bowdich Bandstand” plaque…

And {wait for it} at the PRECISE moment:

The bandstand lights came on. Power was restored.

Not a moment before, not a moment after. Paul put up the angel, the lights came on.

And then each of us said some variation of, “Did you see that?” and “The angel went up and the lights came back on!”

Christmas miracle!

So, with that amazingly perfect moment, we began our work in earnest. Paul’s boom box now had power to blast the Christmas tunes. Nativity chairman Kathy Brady – who even the day before was touching up the paint on the figures, began working with other Jaycees to carefully lift and position each (again, very heavy!) figure into place, then went to get two bales of hay.

Decorating Chairman Lynn Freerksen was busily separating sets of lights, ribbons and bows, while over a dozen others worked briskly across the common.

We had a LOT of people helping that morning and the friendship and good spirits quickly won over the below-freezing temperature.

All 24 lamp posts on the common were wrapped in green garland and got a bow. The bushes at the foot of the common were encircled with numerous sets of color lights, and at the top of the common, white lights went up on all the bushes surrounding the bandstand.

Another group was at the iconic Foxboro sign, putting up the large wreath and garland. A new bow was needed this year and quickly attached. Lynn had an idea for bells on each side of the sign – it looks great!

Others put up lights. With practiced experience, the Nativity set is placed into correct positions. We good-naturedly joke as we move the (very heavy) figurines that we have to watch our language around the holy family! While some of those figures weight over 400 pounds and take five guys to lift, we have to keep our mumblings to ourselves!

And suddenly it’s ready. The hay is spread. And with ingenuity, the Jaycees came up with a new way to put the fence/barrier around the set so that it doesn’t damage the recently refurbished bandstand.

We’re laughing, telling bad jokes, catching up on news and each other’s lives and making plans for the busy month ahead. So much activity…

“Hey, the banners are already up!” someone says. We’re grateful to the highway department for getting our “happy holiday” banners up so soon! They look really nice, a new Jaycee tradition since 2011.

Above, the sky is beautiful bright blue, belying the frozen temperatures. But we don’t care. Well, that’s not true, we’re shivering, but as we get caught in the moment we tend not to notice too much.

And by noon, we’re wrapping it up, empty crates and ladders are being loaded into trucks, people are off to the rest of their day, but most will be back for the lighting that evening — the Jaycees are collaborating with the town and Recreation department for a new tradition, a holiday tree lighting on the Common – awesome.

And I as I drove home, finally realizing how very cold I was, I was also feeling pretty happy. That Nativity set is cherished by so many people who will visit it this season. Uncountable others will appreciate and admire the lights. We know that it makes a difference to so many people. And if feels good to continue the tradition.

See, sometime in 1953 or so, a beautiful Nativity set arrived in Foxboro. Local groups first set it up on the Common, and then in the 1960s the Foxboro Jaycees took over the responsibility for not only setting up the scene each December, but storing, repainting and refurbishing the set as needed. 60 years later, we continue the tradition each year. It means a lot to place the set on the bandstand the Jaycees built in 1972, recently re-dedicated this summer.

It’s a responsibility and tradition we absolutely cherish.

I love being part of this (and so many other) special events each year. Seeing friends who have become like family over 21 years. Making a difference in the community. It’s awesome.

I love being a Jaycee. And while most of us will tell you we would love to do this in August, there is a little bit of the magic and holiday spirit in the air on these frozen winter mornings as we make the Common beautiful for the season. And a small chance of hypothermia, but I digress.

See, this morning, in one little magic moment at precisely the right time, we got a little affirmation, a little miracle, to start the day off perfectly. A moment that made us all kind of stop in wonder and think about miracles big and small. Well, I thought it was pretty amazing, anyway!

Coincidence? Something more? You decide.

But friends, take some time to drive over to the common and see the Nativity set and lights and share in a little of this season’s magic – you’ll be glad you did. And remember – it’s absolutely true that this year’s decorations actually started with an angel, and “Let there be light!”

Foxboro Jaycees and friends at the annual Common decorating, 11/29/2014
Foxboro Jaycees and friends at the annual Common decorating, 11/29/2014
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

All site content copyright © 1997-2018 Foxboro Jaycees, US Junior Chamber. Foxboro Jaycees, PO Box 169, Foxboro, Mass. 02035. 508-203-1JCS (508-203-1527)
Site best viewed with Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer Version 9 or higher (IE 8 or lower will not display correctly)

E-Mail Webmaster