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2017 News Stories

Note: All content on this page remains the intellectual property and copyright of the original authors and photographers of the Foxboro Reporter, Sun Chronicle, Patch, WickedLocal,, and other News Organizations who contributed to these news stories specifically on this page. No copyright infringement is intended and these stories are displayed here to celebrate the works of the Jaycees in the community and we are grateful to the news organizations who covered these events.

Several hundred Foxboro residents and Patriots fans congregate on Foxboro Common Saturday for a day-before-Super Bowl LI rally. (Mark Stockwell / Sun Chronicle staff.)
Several hundred Foxboro residents and Patriots fans congregate on Foxboro Common Saturday for a day-before-Super Bowl LI rally. (Mark Stockwell / Sun Chronicle staff.)

In team’s hometown, Patriots fans rally on the Foxboro Common

BY JUDEE COSENTINO / FOR THE SUN CHRONICLE Feb 4, 2017 FOXBORO – With the clock ticking to Super Bowl, New England Patriots fans gathered for a rally on the Foxboro Common on Saturday, their spirits hot enough to melt the snow-covered ground under their feet.

The hour-long rally, presented by the Foxboro Jaycees, also held a surprise for the 300 or so fans, as Chris Mitchell, vice chairman of the board of selectman, read a proclamation that designated Feb. 5 as New England Patriots Day in Foxboro, in honor of their seventh trip to the Super Bowl.

“Finally!” one woman exclaimed as Mitchell read the proclamation.

Despite the temperature standing at only 34 degrees, those who attended the rally were more than happy to show their spirit as they created hand-lettered signs encouraging their favorite team and danced to the music from deejay Paul Feeney. Foxboro High School cheerleaders, as well as members of Elite Dance Center, were also on hand to pump up the crowd’s spirit. There were even a few family pets in Patriots gear.

“Decorate the flagpole, decorate everything in this town, because we’re getting ready for one more win!” Feeney encouraged the crowd. “Make as much noise as you can so they can hear us down in Houston…we are the real city of champions!”

Among the signs’ slogans were “Do Your Job,” “Drive For Five,” and “Go Pats #5.” Before the rally, Maureen Sergei of Foxboro had already made her sign: a cutout of a photo of quarterback Tom Brady’s head under a painstakingly written “In Tom We Trust.”

Sergei’s husband Richard predicted a win by the Patriots in Sunday night’s game with a score of 31-24.

“Patriots, all the way,” Richard Sergei said.

Paul and Michelle Brevett, also of Foxboro, wore paper hats in the shape of the team logo, which a friend from the Boston Globe had given them. The Brevetts were out to lunch at Subway when they were attracted by the activity on the Common.

“I think it’s great for the town to feel connected as Foxboro residents,” Michelle Brevett said.

Although Boston is the major city, the epicenter of Patriots pride is undoubtably in Foxboro, as Lynda Walsh, the Jaycees vice president, pointed out.

“All the publicity goes to Boston, because we are a New England team,” Walsh said, “but this is their hometown, and we should be proud.”

It was Walsh who brought the idea of a rally to the Jaycees board, and it was apparent the first-time event was a success.

“It’s a good way to get people together in a happy way to celebrate,” Walsh said. “It shows the team and the Krafts that we’re behind them.”

Residents gather to support the Patriots on Foxborough common

By Heather Gillis/

FOXBOROUGH–Hundreds of fans turned out for one last Super Bowl LI rally on the Foxborough Common Saturday afternoon, letting their hometown New England Patriots know that they are behind them and want just “one more” win in tomorrow’s matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.

Fans, and even some family pets, were decked out in their red, white and blue Patriots Pride colors. Some sported their “Gronk” and “Brady” shirts while other carried signs, “Belichick for President” and “They Hate Us Cuz They Ain’t Us”.

The Foxboro Jaycees organized the rally that included a poster making table, face painting, and DJ Paul Feeney.

Feeney got the crowd fired up and dancing with the help of the Foxborough High School cheerleaders, the Foxborough Pop Warner Cheerleaders, and performers from the Foxborough Elite Dance Center.

“Lynda Walsh, (the Ways and Means Jaycee Vice President) presented the idea and we wanted to show our pride in town for our team,” said Jaycee Membership Vice President Laureen House. “We wanted to bring the town together to cheer together.”

Food donations were also collected during the event that benefitted the Foxborough Discretionary Food Pantry.

Andrea Murphy and her son Joey, 3, traveled from Wrentham to attend the rally.

“I wanted to expose him to the festivities,” Murphy said. “Foxborough does a lot of great things on the common that are family friendly. We met up with our friends who live here and wanted to cheer for the Patriots! This is a fun, feel-good break.”

Murphy’s friend Heather Bearce, who brought her two children, Mallory, 4 and Zealand, 3, said she moved to Foxborough four years ago because of it’s reputation for having a good school system.

“It’s amazing to be here today and part of it. We bump into (Patriot players) around town and they are always great, even calling me ‘ma’am’. We love living here,” Bearce said.

On hand at the rally was Town Administrator Bill Keegan and selectmen Chris Mitchell and James DeVellis.

“It’s freezing, but I’m feeling the love,” Keegan said.

Keegan read a citation from State Rep Jay Barrows (R-Mansfield) that recognized the town for being the official home of the New England Patriots and wished the team and town good luck.

“It’s awesome seeing everyone out here today,” Mitchell said. “We are real lucky to have the Patriots right down the street.”

Mitchell also made a special announcement that caused the crowd to cheer.

“Sunday, Feb. 5 (2017) is designated as New England Patriots day here in Foxborough,” he said.

Congressman Joe Kennedy III sent a letter that Feeney read out loud, thanking Foxborough for being the face of Patriots nation.

“Thank you for graciously housing us in your town and playing a key role in their success,” Kennedy wrote.

At the conclusion of the event, with sirens blaring, police and fire paraded their cruisers and trucks around the common. Foxboro Cable Access then asked the crowd to come together to create one final message for the Pats.

“They will be sending this to the Patriots tonight so they know that we are behind them,” Feeney said.

With the sirens blaring and music playing, fans enthusiastically raised their hands, holding up decorated signs and, like the New England Patriots, came together for one final battle call, “ONE MORE!”


Celebrate one more time: Pats fans stage rally, skip school, win bets

By Bera Dunau The Foxboro Reporter Feb 9, 2017 Updated Feb 9, 2017

Patriots fans hold up their signs for the camera during rally on the Common Saturday afternoon. Photo by Robert Gillis
Patriots fans hold up their signs for the camera during rally on the Common Saturday afternoon. Photo by Robert Gillis

The hometown of the New England Patriots celebrated before and after the team’s historic, 34-28 overtime victory in Super Bowl LI.

Fans turned out for a pre-game rally on the Common Saturday and many went to greet the team when their buses returned to Gillette Stadium on Monday evening. Some even skipped school or work to be at the victory parade Tuesday in downtown Boston.

It should come as no surprise that Foxboro High School is full of New England Patriots fans, and that some students were so dedicated to the team they decided to skip out on school entirely for the fifth Patriots duck boat parade.

And it wasn’t a small number.

“A little over 300 is safe to say,” said Foxboro Schools Superintendent Debbie Spinelli.

Spinelli said that this mass, Patriots-inspired absences have happened before in Foxboro, but there would be no special penalties for those diehard fans who were out Tuesday.

“Things like that happen,” she said. “Parents make the decision every day whether to send their kids to school or not.”

She also said that she could understand why parents would be OK with letting their kids miss school in order to watch the parade.

“Nevertheless it still counts as a student absence,” said Spinelli.

Those students who skipped on Tuesday were not allowed to attend after-school or evening school activities, including sports practices and games, as per the usual policy on being absent.

A good bet

The Patriots’ stunning comeback against the Atlanta Falcons will surely go down as one of the greatest games in all of sports. And perhaps few Foxboro residents were more nervous about the outcome of the game than Foxboro Board of Selectmen Chairman David Feldman.

Feldman entered into a wager with the mayor of Flowery Branch, Georgia, on the outcome of the game that involved the key clause that the loser of the bet would have to wear the winning team’s jersey at his next public meeting. And with the Patriots down 28-3 in the third quarter, things were looking bleak for Feldman.

“Through the first half I was pretty nervous,” said Feldman.

Indeed, it wasn’t until overtime, after the Patriots had tied the game 28-28, that Feldman said that he became confident that the Pats would indeed win.

“The Mayor of Flowery Branch Georgia received a Tom Brady authentic Patriots jersey,” said Feldman, at the end of this Tuesday’s meeting of the board. “He will wear that at a city council meeting on Feb. 16, and he will get to feel what it’s like to be a champion.”

Flowery Branch is the city that officially headquarters the Atlanta Falcons, and Feldman confirmed that pictures of the mayor in the jersey of the Patriots’ star quarterback will indeed be taken.

Happy birthday indeed

Another person who was especially happy to see the Patriots win was Boyden Library Director Manny Leite. The Super Bowl was on Leite’s birthday, and the last time the Patriots played on his birthday they lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI 21-17.

So, it should come as no surprise that Leite appreciated this year’s victory for his team.

“It was a very nice birthday present,” he said.

After the Patriots’ discouraging early performance, Leite said that he began to just have the game on in the background. However, as the comeback swung into full force, Leite’s hope returned.

“I just had this suspicion,” he said. “They’re going to come back. They’re going to tie this game.”

Leite had also performed a bit of magic himself the week before, predicting in The Foxboro Reporter that the Falcons would beat The Patriots. He said that he had done this as a way to jinx the Falcons, and it appears to have worked.

“I’m happy for the players. I’m happy for the town of Foxboro,” said Leite.

Tough to predict

As fate would have it, no one asked to predict the final score of Super Bowl LI by The Foxboro Reporter accurately prognosticated the ultimate result of what turned out to be a thriller for the ages. But one person came very very close.

Tammy Young, an employee of Eurest, the company that runs the Schneider Electric commissary; predicted that the New England Patriots would beat the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 34-27, one point shy of the Patriots’ 34-28 overtime victory, achieved after being down 28-3.

“It was awesome,” said Young, when asked what it felt like to be so close in her prediction.

She also said that she never lost faith in the team.

“We always know our team’s gonna come back,” she said. “We’re a comeback team.”

She said that the two point conversion that tied the game 28-28 was her favorite part of the game.

Young also said that during the Patriots’ final drive she’d said repeatedly, “We’re doing this for (Tom) Brady’s mom.”

The New England Patriots quarterback’s mother has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer.

Proclamations, celebration

At a pre-Super Bowl rally on the common on Saturday, sponsored by the Jaycees, two proclamations were read: One, from the town of Foxboro, designated Feb. 5, 2017 to be New England Patriots Day in town; The other, from the state house of representatives, recognized Foxboro as the home of the Patriots. A statement from Congressman Joe Kennedy was also read.

“The rally went really well actually,” said Foxboro Town Manager Bill Keegan.

Additionally, both proclamations were read out at Tuesday’s board of selectmen meeting.

Foxboro Cable Access recorded the rally, which also featured two firetrucks on the Common for kids, DJ Paul Feeney blasting out some pump-up tunes and a sign-making table. In addition to signs made by Paul Farmer around the Common, the fences were also decorated with homemade signs and balloons donated by Judy’s Village Flowers downtown.

Lynda Walsh, who was the key organizer of the event, made sure that the Patriots received a video Saturday of their hometown fans, who all gathered in front of the bandstand and shouted GO PATRIOTS WIN ONE MORE!

Keegan was also enthusiastic about the game, characterizing it as having had the best fourth quarter of football he’s ever seen.

“We will never forget that performance,” he said. “It was one for the ages.”

‘Night out’ a first for new chief

By Bera Dunau The Foxboro Reporter Aug 3, 2017

National Night Out Against Crime and Drugs may look like a kid-friendly party on the Foxboro Common, but it actually serves a deeper purpose.

National Night Out is celebrated in thousands of communities in the United States and Canada as an evening where community policing is highlighted and people get to learn about various public safety programs. It is held on the first Tuesday in August annually, and in Foxboro has been observed since 1992.

Locally, the event is organized by the Jaycees in collaboration with Foxboro police.

This year, police chief William Baker attended his first Foxboro National Night Out celebration. Baker became a police officer in 1974, but Foxboro is the first community he has served that participated while he was chief.

“A lot of the places have sort of let the tradition go,” said Baker. “Foxboro is leading the league in keeping a great tradition alive.”

Junior firefighter Colby Dacosta with fellow junior firefighter Griffin Walsh, who donned the new Sparky the Fire Dog costume. - Copyright - Foxboro Reporter Photo
Junior firefighter Colby Dacosta with fellow junior firefighter Griffin Walsh, who donned the new Sparky the Fire Dog costume. – Copyright – Foxboro Reporter Photo

As in previous years, the Foxboro Fire Dept. participated.

“It’s kind of turned into a little bit more of a public safety day (in Foxboro),” said fire chief Roger Hatfield, noting the close connections between police and fire personnel.

A bounce house, fire and police coloring cards, and face painting were available for the children in attendance, and a deejay played music throughout the event, which ran from around 6 to 8 p.m.

A police canine demonstration was held and a glowstick parade around the Common concluded the event. The fire department also got to show off their new Sparky the Fire Dog costume.

These kid-focused activities weren’t just for youngsters, however.

“We keep the kids occupied so that the adults can go to the information tables,” said Lynda Walsh, who organized the event on the Jaycees side.

Walsh said that the event creates an environment where adults can be comfortable talking with police.

Others on hand included Learning To Cope, which helps those whose loved ones are struggling with addiction; H.U.G.S Foxboro, which seeks to combat domestic violence; the Foxboro Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Committee; the Foxboro Citizens Corps, which helps with community disaster preparedness; the Hockomock Area YMCA, the Norfolk County Sheriff’s office, the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office and the Norfolk County YMCA, in addition to the Jaycees themselves.

Bill McLaughlin, communications director for the Foxboro Citizens Corps, said that tabling at National Night Out helped to raise awareness of the grass-roots organization.

“We’re a national program in every town,” McLaughlin said, noting that while the organization provides material support during disasters, it does not seek to replace the fire and police departments in those situations.

Erin Clancy, who is interning for Learning to Cope, said that many people show interest in the organization when it tables.

“It’s been going really well,” said Clancy, when asked how tabling is going today. “I talked to a bunch of people.”

Maura Schaeffer, one of the founders of H.U.G.S Foxboro, said that tabling at the event helped to raise awareness and educate the public.

“I talked to some parents tonight, and a couple of kids,” said Schaeffer.

Weather at the event was good, and Walsh noted that it did not have to be called off because of thunderstorm and tornado warnings, as it had in a previous year.

“That’s not going to happen this year,” she said.

Foxboro residents stand together against hate
By Rick Foster
The Sun Chronicle

Joan Goodwin, right, hugs Angela Logan who she just met during the Jaycee’s “Stand Together Against Hate” gathering on Foxboro Common Thursday, in Foxboro. Photo copyrigtht Paul Connors, The Sun Chronicle
Joan Goodwin, right, hugs Angela Logan who she just met during the Jaycee’s “Stand Together Against Hate” gathering on Foxboro Common Thursday, in Foxboro. Photo copyright Paul Connors, The Sun Chronicle

FOXBORO — About 200 local residents came together for a night of singing, games and socializing on the town common Thursday night in what was billed as a gathering to “stand united against hate.”

Local Jaycees sponsored the event, which included inspirational speeches, music and group singing with songs promoting messages of peace and togetherness. Organizers said they hoped the evening would serve as an antidote to counter tension and prejudice.

“It’s a beautiful night for people to get together on the common,” said Jaycees Vice President Linda Walsh. “I hope that in the future if someone’s tempted to say something negative towards another person, they’ll think back on tonight.”

The event, which was not referred to as a rally, was organized in the aftermath of recent violence in Charlottesville, Va. and a highly-publicized incident in Foxboro in which a black mother reported that she and her two young children were the subjects of racial taunts by a passing driver.

The Rev. Ed Cardoza of St. Mark’s Church, addressing the crowd, said those who oppose hatred and racial prejudice cannot remain silent in the face of hateful rhetoric.

“Words matter,” he said. “When we hear words that go against the values of our community, we need to publicly state that those words are not acceptable. Let us say very strongly that hate has no place in this town.”

On a balmy evening, children and adults milled about the common chatting and listening to music from a disc jockey. Attendees were offered the opportunity to sign pledge cards against hatred. A “speed friendship” game similar to musical chairs was played in which players were told introduce themselves and chat with their neighbors whenever the music stopped.

The gathering also attracted local politicians including state senate candidates Ted Phillips and Paul Feeney, who spent time conversing with bystanders.

The Jaycees’ Meg Nelson read a statement from U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III who also urged those who oppose racism and hate to speak their minds.

“In moments of deep division and distrust, we draw strength not from those who choose silence but those who refuse to be silenced,” he said. “Because the leaders of our march towards equality and tolerance have always taught us that we are a nation that is strong because of its diversity. To all of those standing united against racism, anti-Semitism and hatred in any form, please know that you are seen, you are heard and you count. America belongs to you.”

Foxboro Police Sgt. Dave Foscaldo, left, and Lt. Mike Grace are thanked by Ryder Bishop, 8, who presents the officers with a ball representing a good deed. Photo copyright Paul Connors, The Sun Chronicle
Foxboro Police Sgt. Dave Foscaldo, left, and Lt. Mike Grace are thanked by Ryder Bishop, 8, who presents the officers with a ball representing a good deed.
Photo copyright Paul Connors, The Sun Chronicle

Debbie Stuart said she hopes Thursday’s event promotes awareness that racism and intolerance can be a danger in any community.

“This is a good thing to do,” she said. “People have rose-colored glasses on. If you can’t see it, it’s on you.”

Doug and Christine Thayer said they were glad Foxboro had an event to let them and others express their feelings.

“People here are united against hate,” said Doug. “I’m glad there’s someplace local we can go.”

Kevin Mack said he doesn’t understand the mentality that allows some people to consider themselves superior to others merely on the basis of religion or skin color.

“To degrade someone because they are different than you makes no sense,” he said. “We have to step up and say ‘I won’t accept it,’” he said.

Note: These stories [ABOVE] were taken from the news web sites on which they appeared and all content in this post is copyright by the original writers and photographers and no copyright in infringement is intended.  We thank them for being able to use them here.

July , 2017: Foxboro Jaycee web site counter hits… THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND!

By Robert Gillis, Foxboro Jaycees — 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 15 years or so), every effort has been made to ensure the count is 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 about five years ago).   There has not been a reset of the counter in nearly five years.

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, and as of July 2017 we are now at 300,000 unique visitors 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!

September, 2017: Foxboro Jaycees and Jaycee Senators enjoyed a cookout

The Foxboro Jaycees and Jaycee Senators enjoyed a cookout before their respective meetings, 9/13/2016. The senators often stop in to say hello and we value their support, friendship and mentoring so much. Jaycees are family!

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