Friday, November 21, 2014

Food Elves press release

2014 Food Elves (L-R): Project 351 Ambassador Rebekah Redwine, YCIC's Dan Robert, Food Pantry Executive Director Erin Lynch, Head Elf Cameron Piana, Lead Elf Haley Frank

Food Elves ‘12 Days of Donating’ Kicks off December 1
The Franklin Food Elves are making it easy for you to help your neighbors in need during the “12 Days of Donating” campaign benefitting the Franklin Food Pantry. From December 1 to December 12, volunteer Food Elves will be coming to your neighborhood, or you can donate goods at a local participating business.
The Franklin Food Elves is a charitable community service group made up of more than 75 hard-working middle school and high school students. For the past three years they have partnered with the Franklin Downtown Partnership and local businesses to create one of the Franklin Food Pantry’s most successful collection drives. Last year the “12 Days of Donating” campaign brought in more than $6,700 and 7,300 pounds of goods.
“People have been incredibly generous year after year donating to the Food Elves campaign. What we bring in helps 600 Franklin families that rely on the Food Pantry’s services. We are grateful that our community keeps exceeding our expectations,” says Cameron Piana, Food Elves co-founder.
In December the Food Elves will notify residents about the collection drive in their neighborhood, including information about what items are needed and the collection dates. Residents simply place bags of goods at their mailboxes on designated pickup dates and the Food Elves will do the rest.
In case there’s no elf in your neighborhood, it is still easy and convenient to donate. The group has placed bright red collection bins at participating Franklin Downtown Partnership member businesses. If the Food Elves meet their goal of collecting more than 1,200 pounds of goods, each business listed below has pledged to donate $200.
Bins can be found at these participating locations:
  • Auerr, Zajac & Associates, LLC, 29 Dean Ave.
  • British Beer Company, 280 Franklin Village Dr.
  • DCU, 500 West Central St.
  • Dean Bank, 21 Main St.
  • Dean College, Campus Center
  • Drama Kids of Metro West, 19 Dean Ave. (call for drop off schedule)
  • Emma’s Quilt Cupboard, 12 Main St.
  • Franklin Downtown Partnership Office, 9 East Central St.
  • Jane’s Frames, 11 East Central St.
  • Keefe Insurance Agency, 51 West Central St.
  • Murphy Business, 15 East Central St.
  • Pour Richard’s Wine & Spirits, 14 Grove St.
  • RE/MAX Executive Realty, 308 West Central St., Suite E
  • Yellin & Hyman, P.C., 693 East Central St., Suite 201

Also donating to the Food Elves campaign are Berry Insurance and Printsmart Office Solutions.
Look for a donation bin at the Holiday Stroll tree lighting ceremony at Dean College on Thursday, December 4, or drop off donations at the Franklin Food Pantry, 43 West Central St., and designate them for the “12 Days of Donating” drive.
This year the Food Elves also are collaborating with the Youth Community Involvement Club at Franklin High School and Project 351 at Horace Mann Middle School. Project 351 is a state-wide community service project and Food Elf volunteer Rebekah Redwine is this year’s Franklin ambassador.
“With a cold winter on the way, family budgets are stretched and more people need the Food Pantry’s services,” says Haley Frank, a lead Food Elf.  “We are proud that this great group of students working with local businesses can make a huge, positive impact for Franklin.”
Erin Lynch, Franklin Food Pantry Executive Director, concurs; she cites a recent Lowell Sun story that states National Grid rates on November 1 increased 37 percent over last winter.
“Families who are already struggling will be hit once again when electric rates skyrocket,” says Lynch. “What these students accomplish is vital. The spirit of the Food Elves has captured the hearts of this community. We are so grateful for the amazing support that keeps multiplying through the hard work of these young leaders.”
This year the Food Pantry’s needs include health and hygiene products and non-perishable food items. For more information check the Food Pantry’s website,, or call 508-528-3115.
For more information about the Franklin Food Elves and the “12 Days of Donating” campaign, please contact the Food Elves at or visit their Facebook page.


2014 Food Elves Sidebar Press Release

Franklin Food Elves History By The Numbers
Co-founded by Melissa and Cameron Piana 9 years ago, the Franklin Food Elves have worked hard to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry while learning important lessons about community service and working with local businesses. As charitable community service group, the Food Elves have grown in both size and impact.
2006 to 2010:  Melissa and Cameron Piana collect donations in their neighborhood for the Franklin Food Pantry.
Goal:  To collect food donations to help those in need and raise awareness for the Franklin Food Pantry.
Actual: 400 pounds of donations and $800.
2011:  The Food Elves partner with the Franklin Downtown Partnership and create the “12 Days of Donating” Campaign. They partner with local businesses to set up collection bins at locations around Franklin and kick off the campaign at the FDP Holiday Stroll.
Melissa and Cameron recruit 15 volunteer elves to help with their cause. They partner with 8 local businesses.
Goal:  1,200 pounds of goods and $1,200.
Actual:  1 ton (2,000 pounds) of donations and $4,000.  
2012:  The organization recruits 50 volunteer elves to collect donations from 10 neighborhoods. They partner with 9 local businesses.
Goal:  To beat 2011 totals.
Actual:  2 tons (4,223 pounds) of donations and $5,700.
2013:  The organization grows to 75 volunteers. Volunteers collect donations from 30 neighborhoods. They partner with 9 local businesses.
Goal:  To beat 2012 totals.
Actual:  3 tons (7, 357) pounds and $6,700.
2014:  The Food Elves continues to grow and encourages others to donate          
to the Food Pantry to help those in need.
Goal:  They hope to increase the number of volunteer elves this year.  They have already
increased the number of businesses participating to 14 this year.
The Food Elves hope you will join them in the “12 Days of Donating” Campaign.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Winter Beautification Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed for this year's Winter Beautification Day -- Sunday, November 23rd at 9:00 a.m. and on Saturday at Hillside Nursery at 9:00 a.m.

Please contact Eileen Mason at if you can volunteer.

See more details below:

Winter Beautification Day is November 23
Volunteers are welcome to join the Franklin Downtown Partnership and the Franklin Garden Club as they decorate the downtown with greenery, wreaths and bows for the holidays on Sunday, November 23.
All volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. on Sunday on the center island downtown. Additional help is needed on Saturday, November 22, to sort greens at Hillside Nursery on Washington Street. Interested helpers should contact Eileen Mason, event chairperson, at Community service hours are available and teams are encouraged to participate.
“Every year we have great volunteers who come out in all kinds of weather to help us spruce Franklin up for the holidays. The Franklin High boys and girls hockey teams always make the effort,” says Mason.
Sponsorships are available and donations are also welcome to help offset the costs.  Please consider helping out with the cost of the holiday decorations this year. 
“Decorating, planting, watering, cleanup and planning happen year round, and it requires manpower and funds,” explains Mason, who recently ordered plantings for next spring. “Monetary support helps us cover costs like plants, fertilizer, and maintenance.”
Additionally, the Partnership’s “Downtown Clean Sweep Committee” is recruiting business owners to adopt a block and looking for volunteers to get involved in keeping the downtown free of trash, weeds and debris.

For more information or if you would like to donate toward the holiday decorations please contact the FDP office at or Eileen Mason.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day

Thank you to all who served

Monday, November 10, 2014

Member Announcements

Don't miss the upcoming Franklin Art Association exhibit 

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The Estate at Franklin Grand Opening