2019 News Stories

Jaycee Bill Byrnes has been running EVERY DAY for 35 years (day 13,000)!

 
An amazing Jaycee individual development story: Bill Byrnes, president of the Jaycees 1982-1983, who now lives in Sandwich on Cape Cod has just completed his 13,000 (thirteen thousandth!) day of running — Every. Single. Day — never missed a day in 35 years! I asked him about the conditions and he explained, “Yes hurricanes, wintercanes, nor’easters, freezing temps and freezing winds, smog, smoke, torrential rains, slush, and incredibly beautiful Cape Cod days. Yes, I’ve been blessed with good health. I can count on one hand the number of days I’ve run that I should not have and ended up feeling worse after running than before. Ronald Reagan was in his first term of office when I started.” 

Bill, you are an INSPIRATION!

 


Lindsey Young winner of the 2019 Foxboro Jaycees Scholarship in Memory of Fred George, Jr.

IMG 8715-1 IMG 8712 IMG 8711Pictured: Drew Young, Lindsey Young, Jaycee President Jeanne Suttie Christian, Treasurer and Scholarship Chairman Lisa Joliecouer, and Cathy and David Young.

The Foxboro Jaycees are delighted to present the 2019 Foxboro Jaycees $500 Scholarship to Lindsey Young. The 2019 Scholarship is given in memory of long time Jaycee Fred George, Jr. who lost his battle to cancer in January 2019. Fred spent countless hours assisting with Jaycees community projects and embracing leadership roles when needed to do so. We remember him fondly as a loving father with a big heart, a wonderful role model who embodied Jaycees values. We are honored to present this scholarship in his memory. Congratulations Lindsey!


Flag display on Foxboro Common to raise awareness of deaths due to overdoses

By JEFF PETERSON FOR THE SUN CHRONICLE Jul 7, 2019

smStakesAreHighFOXBORO — On the days leading up to Labor Day weekend, the Town Common will be carpeted by nearly 8,000 multi-colored miniature flags to raise awareness of those who lost their lives to addictions in Massachusetts over the past four years.

Spearheaded by Foxboro Jaycees, the local display is being planned in conjunction with Overdose Awareness Day, a global event held each year on Aug. 31 and dedicated to helping eliminate overdose deaths.

“When you go and see a flag representing your own loved one it shows that somebody cares,” said organizer Kris Long of Foxboro, a past Jaycee president currently serving on the local board of directors. “It validates their experiences” as well as the heartache.

Accompanied by fellow Jaycee Linda Walsh, Long appeared before selectmen last week seeking permission to use the Common, both for the multi-day memorial display and an 11 a.m. gathering at the Common bandstand on Sunday, Sept. 1 featuring entertainment, information and speakers focusing on the addictions crisis.

“I just want to bring to light that a lot of lives have been lost,” said Long, whose two children have struggled with addiction-related issues.

Billed as “The Stakes are High: Remembering Those Lost to the Crisis,” Long said she hopes the Sept. 1 event will include prospective speakers like local legislators Paul Feeney and Jay Barrows, addicts now in recovery sharing their personal stories, and even Gov. Charlie Baker, who has made the opioid crisis a focus of his administrative agenda.

Walsh told selectmen the green, blue, yellow and purple lawn flags will be located on the north end of the Common surrounding the bandstand, with different colors designating the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 grouped separately into four sections in between the spoked walkways.

The flags will be accompanied by small lawn signs purchased by sponsors to help offset costs of the display that will present facts about the opioid crisis.

Due to backlogs and other difficulties in confirming many deaths by overdose, Long said a precise number is virtually impossible to establish. However, she said the cumulative number for the four years in question will be between 7,800 and 8,000 deaths.

“Because of that these numbers can never really be final,” Long said. “People don’t always understand that.”

According Long, the effect will hopefully evoke similar sentiments to recent memorial galleries which blanket landscapes with thousands of small flags in honor of American service personnel.

“It’s a reflection,” she said. “It’s not meant to be somber.”

 

Walsh assured board members it would not disrupt the weekly Thursday-night Farmer’s Market held on the south end of the Common.

“I hope it’s something that is going to grab people’s attention,” Long observed.

“I think it will be an outstanding reality check,” agreed Selectmen Chairman Mark Elfman.

Long, who works for Gatehouse Treatment, a multi-facility drug treatment program located in Nashua, N.H., is also attempting to arrange for actor and filmmaker Mark Wahlberg to document the summer-end event in Foxboro.

Wahlberg’s youth foundation was instrumental in producing “The Circle of Addiction: A Different Kind of Tears,” a 2018 documentary filmed in Manchester, N.H. to raise awareness about the dangers associated with prescription drug misuse and abuse and the dangers of addiction.

That documentary was written and directed by Jim Wahlberg, the actor’s brother, who has his own history with addiction.

For more information on the event, visit: www.stakesarehigh.org.


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Event on Common over weekend to mark losses to, heighten awareness of, opioid addiction

By JEFF PETERSON For The Foxboro Reporter 8/29/2019
Thousands of miniature flags blanketing the town Common in recent days will provide the multi-colored backdrop to an addiction awareness event this coming Sunday.

Billed as “The Stakes are High: Remembering Those Lost to the Crisis,” the event is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Sunday on the Common bandstand and will feature entertainment, information and speakers focusing on the addictions crisis.

Spearheaded by Foxboro Jaycees, the local display was planned in conjunction with Overdose Awareness Day, a global event held each year on Aug. 31 and dedicated to helping eliminate overdose deaths.

Organizer Kris Long of Foxboro, a past Jaycee president currently serving on the local organization’s board of directors, said the memorial display helps validate the experiences and the heartaches of those affected by the opioid crisis.

Volunteers from Foxboro Jaycees were on hand last Saturday to lay out grids for the memorial flags, which represent every overdose victim in Massachusetts from 2015-18 — as well as every child born in to addiction during 2018.

Visible to passers-by during the past week, the green, blue, yellow and purple lawn flags located on the north end of the Common surrounding the bandstand are grouped separately into four sections between the spoked walkways, with different colors designating the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Those lost during 2015 are represented by green flags, in 2016 by orange flags, in 2017 by yellow flags and in 2018 by purple flags.

Due to backlogs and other difficulties in confirming many deaths by overdose, Long said a precise number is virtually impossible to establish. However, she said the cumulative number for the four years in question is between 7,800 and 8,000 deaths.

“Because of that these numbers can never really be final,” Long said in a previous interview. “People don’t always understand that.”

The effect is intended to evoke similar sentiments to recent memorial galleries which blanket landscapes with thousands of small flags in honor of American service personnel.

“It’s a reflection,” said Long, whose two children have struggled with addiction-related issues. “It’s not meant to be somber.”

For more information visit online at: www.stakesarehigh.org.

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