Helping out at the Foxboro Senior Christmas Fair; Foxboro Reporter Image
Helping out at the Foxboro Senior Christmas Fair; Foxboro Reporter Image

Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter November 2000

Every year, it seems like the Christmas sales start earlier, and the decorations are in the stores sooner. The corporations begin their annual holiday blitzkrieg, inundating us with sale after sale.

It’s easy to become jaded as Christmas becomes more and more commercialized and arrives sooner every year. Many people choose to ignore the pre-Christmas hype.

However, there is a special Christmas event that takes place quite early (yet for a very good reason) and one that is well worth a visit. The Foxboro senior center will be holding its annual holiday fair at the center on Saturday, Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Why have a Christmas fair when the trick-or-treat bags aren’t even empty yet? Lorraine Garland, senior center director, explained that the fair is held so early in November because she needs to immediately switch into high gear to coordinate the multitude of details associated with the two food basket assemblies and deliveries for the needy (both Thanksgiving and Christmas) and at the same time coordinate the Christmas toy delivery to needy children.

The latter project is huge; I recall stopping by Lorraine’s and her husband Stanley’s house a few years ago and seeing the two hundred large plastic bags filled with toys for needy kids.

For two months or more—allowing precious little time for sleep and the day jobs – Lorraine and Stanley make phone calls, compile lists of children’s names and needs, solicit donations and volunteers, and shop: And shop. And Shop.

It is truly a staggering endeavor and not for the faint of heart. Lorraine and Stanley and their helpers are truly special people who define what holiday spirit really means. Their enormous generosity and kindness has made – and continues to make – a great difference for so many people.

Lorraine’s passion, of course, is Foxboro’s seniors. Along with Jerry Rodman, Lorraine led the drive and fought tirelessly – and against many hardships and setbacks – to oversee the construction of a permanent home for Foxboro’s seniors.

That dream became a reality a few years back, with the creation of a modern and impressive building that serves as home to both Council on Aging and Human Services, and provides a multitude of activities for Foxboro’s growing senior population.

This Christmas fair is the major fund-raiser for the senior center. This year, the proceeds will go toward building a recreational/ exercise room, which will include a pool table, at the senior center.

The annual fair is a good time. Sue and I like to help out by serving food, but there’s always plenty of time to wander through the many rooms, see the good friends, and shop for merchandise, gifts, and goodies.

The seniors have been hard at work for months, making crafts and gifts for the fair. As you wander the halls, you’ll find Christmas and household crafts, jewelry, wonderful home baked diet- bashing goodies such as cookies; breads, jams, and candy, a silent auction featuring dozens of impressive baskets, a white elephant table, Christmas ornaments, homemade gifts like gloves and hats, Foxboro magnets, and of course, delicious food (last year’s menu included quiche, lasagna, chowder, hot dogs, beans and desserts! )

The fair is a nice opportunity to see friends, do a little Christmas shopping, and benefit a terrific organization that does so much for a special part of Foxboro. I encourage you to mark your calendars for Nov. 4, and get into the Christmas spirit a little early. You’ll be glad you did. And try the chowder. It’s incredible.

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