Dear Friends of Magnolia Pier,
This Tuesday evening, November 12th at 7:00 PM, the Magnolia Pier Fundraising Committee will be presenting a check to the City of Gloucester at the City Council Meeting, for the fundraising efforts to help rebuild Magnolia Pier. The funds to date are in excess of $180,000.00. This could not have been done without such a wonderful committee and the support that was received from all of you. If you have the time we would love to have you attend the meeting which will be held at City Hall, on the second floor. The presentation should be first on the agenda. Again this could not have been done without all of you so please come and help present the funds with the committee. The fundraising account will remain open until the end of the year as individual have inquired about donating towards year end. Hope to see you all there, and thanks for being a part of this public / private partnership.
It Takes a Village to Build A Pier.
As I draft this letter, I honestly do not know where to begin. Words alone cannot describe the passion and energy that was exhibited and experienced by those that attended the “Cheer for the Pier” event that was held in Magnolia at Magnolia Landing on Saturday, August 3rd. When the members of the fundraising committee wrapped up our first fundraising event at the Manchester Bath and Tennis Club on Magnolia Beach several months ago, we collectively were amazed at the outpouring of support and simply thought that we couldn’t have done any better. Well, we stand corrected!
As most of you know by now, Mother Nature delivered a series of fatal blows to our beloved pier in March of 2018. Blows that the aged structure could not recover from. The residents of Magnolia Village soon thereafter came together to see what could be done to rebuild our iconic structure. With the support and guidance of Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and her Chief Administrative Officer Jim Destino discussions began on what if anything could be done. Rebuilding Magnolia Pier was a priority for the city administration, however the list was long and the funds were not. Those discussions turned into several meetings and a commitment by a caring and compassionate community to attempt to raise a third of the cost privately so that we may fast track the rebuilding of the pier. Then a group of us put our heads together and began the task of raising funds. Subsequently the mayor requested the funds and approval from the city council to rebuild the pier. The Magnolia Pier Fundraising Committee continued with our commitment to the city, and the public / private partnership took off.
Once again those who over the years have been the custodians of our community came forward. They brought with them a memory and a story to share about Magnolia Pier and they came in numbers. We were quite honestly overwhelmed by the numbers of people that came. Residents of Magnolia, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and beyond came out a generously supported our community project. The evening had an atmosphere that was energized and brought the community out, and together. Many saw neighbors that they haven’t seen is some time simply because life keep us too busy. Attendees reminisced about similar events that were held in days gone by, hosted by the Lions Club, or St. Joseph’s Church and the memorable faces of the folks that organized those events. Residents from nine months old to ninety-three shared in stories that began with the words “remember when” and it was Magnolia Pier, that iconic structure that brought us all together and ultimately allowed us all to put our busy schedules aside for just a few hours to break bread with our friends and neighbors. This event allowed us to see how strong we all can collectively be, and how good it feels to spend some time at a community gathering.
As work progresses on Magnolia Pier and we await that day that the ribbon will be cut we should be thankful that we live in such a great community. I join with the members of the Magnolia Pier Fundraising Committee in saying thank you for your generosity, kind words, time and energy. To us, it does not matter to what extent one donated, bid, gave of their time, or their money. What mattered the most to us was that you came out, participated and shared that energized atmosphere with all of us for a common cause.
I cannot praise my dear friend Leo Francis enough for the donation of his time. For years I have worked with Leo to help people of this community. We have raised funds to help kids with vision problems, people who lost their home to the ravages of a fire, or who suffered a personal tragedy. Each time I approached Leo he simply said “I’m in let’s do this!” A true pillar of the community. Leo pulled together all of our combined efforts and did so while entertaining us with his music playing talents, and got a lot of attendees to raise their hands for some exceptional auction items as our auctioneer.
We cannot thank enough all of our donors, and the business men and women that supported our cause. Sean and Stacy Nolan of Extreme Truck and Auto, Taylor and Carol Hedges of the Event Company, Ellen and Brett Ramsey of The Shed, Lloyd Waites of J.D. Meyers and Best Friends, Steve Bradley of MS Walker, Scott Memhard of Cape Pond Ice, and the owners and staff of Gloucester Rental we couldn’t have had such a successful event without you.
We would also like to extend a thank you to the elected and appointed officials that came out and gave a Cheer for the Pier. Mayor Romeo Theken, Jim Destino, Ward 5 Councilor Sean Nolan, Councilor at Large Melissa Cox, Councilor at Large Jen Holmgren, Councilor at Large Jamie O’Hara.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention the members of the Mayors Team that assisted us in making this event such a success, and this project a reality. Chief Administrative Officer Jim Destino, Department of Public Works Director Mike Hale, Harbormaster T.J. Ciarametaro, Assistant Harbormaster Chad Johnson, Building Inspector Bill Sanborn, Community Development Director Jill Cahill, Fire Chief Eric Smith, Police Chief Ed Conley, the Licensing Board, and the Board of Health.
In closing, I would like to say how extremely proud I am to have been part of such an effort and a member of such a great committee and team. The members of the Magnolia Pier Fundraising Committee should all be equally proud and a grateful community, I am sure thanks you all. Collectively to date we have raised more than $180,000.00 and will be presenting the funds to the City of Gloucester at the City Council Meeting of November 12th at 7:00 PM. Please come share this moment with us.
There’s an old African proverb that reads “It takes A Village to Raise a Child”. The proverb relates to how a village watches and participates in the raising of a child. I’m going to massage that proverb a bit and say “It Takes a Village to Build a Pier”, and that it has!
For the Magnolia Pier Fundraising Committee