Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Food Elves Press Release

Food Elves, Partnership Collect A Ton of Food

The Franklin Food Elves and the Franklin Downtown Partnership exceeded their goals for the ‘12 Days of Donating’ campaign this month, collecting nearly twice the food and monetary donations they hoped for to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry. Together the groups donated 2,035 pounds of non perishable items and $4,266 during the 12 day drive.  

According to Anne Marie Bellavance, Executive Director of the Franklin Food Pantry, these donations will help carry the food pantry through this holiday season and into 2012.  

“Based on our calculations, when we combine the weight and the dollar amount it translates into more than 17,000 meals,” says Bellavance.  “We have seen a cascading effect of community support beginning with this drive as well as help printing 250 cookbooks for our clients.  We are so very grateful to be surrounded by such a giving community.”

The Food Elves expanded their reach this year, placing bins at downtown locations and canvassing neighborhoods throughout town. The result was more than one ton of food and non-perishables collected for the food pantry.

DCU gave a $1,500 donation and Berry Insurance stepped up with a $1,000 gift. In addition to donations by residents, six downtown businesses, including Dean Bank, Dean College, Jane’s Frames, Printsmart Office Supplies, the Franklin Downtown Partnership and Berry Insurance, had pledged $1,200 in matching funds. The grand total of money raised was $4,266.

Franklin Food Elves founders Melissa and Cameron Piana are thrilled with the campaign’s results.

“A few years ago my brother and I started collecting donations in our neighborhood and the idea has grown into a much bigger way for us to make a difference for needy families in Franklin,” says Melissa. “We want to thank all the residents and businesses for the donations and all of our elves for their help. It was a team effort with huge results.”

“It is amazing to me how many people wanted to help us reach our goal,” says Cameron. “We are excited that we exceeded our goal for the Food Pantry and that so many people will benefit from the donations.”

The Franklin Food Elves are led by Head Elves Melissa and Cameron Piana. The elves are Katie Buccella, Kiara Chan, Jess Deaver, Amanda Dickson, Colleen Flaherty, Katie Flaherty, Elise Frank, Haley Frank, Santiago Leal, Kasey Lynch, Jacob Signori, Shannon Takahata and Mely Wu.

“We knew this community would support the elves and the food pantry but this response surpassed all of our expectations,” says Partnership President Nicole Fortier. “The support and positive feedback for this drive has been overwhelming. We are grateful to the residents and businesses of Franklin and to the local papers for helping us spread the word.”

The Franklin Food Elves is a charitable community service group.  The Franklin Downtown Partnership is a non-profit 501(c)3 group working to revitalize downtown Franklin.  For more information about either group please contact the Partnership at (774)571-3109 or downtown.franklin@yahoo.com.  

Food Pantry Executive Director Anne Marie Bellavance, Partnership President Nicole Fortier, and Head Food Elves Cameron and Melissa Piana (left to right) at the Franklin Food Pantry. 

Food Elves Cameron and Melissa Piana deliver donations collected during the '12 Days of Donating' campaign to Food Pantry Executive Director Anne Marie Bellavance (left).  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Meetings, Harvest Festival Dates

2012 General Meeting Dates
Mark your calendars and join us!

Please note that the FDP Meetings
are now scheduled for the 1st Thursday of the
Thursday, January 5th
Thursday, March 1st
Thursday, May 3rd
Thursday, September 6th
Thursday, November 1st
2012 Harvest Festival- Sunday, September 30th
Any member who would like to take a lead role in
planning the festival please contact the FDP office.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Food Pantry, Downtown Updates

12 Days of Donating
Thank you everyone who participated in the 12 Days of Donating campaign! The donations are still coming in and the numbers are still being crunched, but it looks like the Franklin Food Elves and the Partnership have surpassed the goal of collecting 1,200 pounds and $1,200 in 12 days! Please email the FDP office at downtown.franklin@yahoo.com if you still would like to donate. It's not too late! Stay tuned for the grand total.

Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting
Tuesday, December 13 at Noon
The Franklin News
19 Dean Avenue, Downtown Franklin

United Regional Chamber Open House -- Downtown Franklin
You're cordially invited to attend the Chamber's Holiday Open House! 
Come to The United Regional Chamber of Commerce's Franklin office, 4 West Street, on Wednesday, December 14, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Please bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to The Santa Foundation.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Only 2 Days to Go

The Partnership and the Food Elves still need a few more donations to meet our goal of 1,200 pounds of food so the Food Pantry will receive $1,200 in matching funds!

Please drop off your donations by Monday, December 12.

If the Food Elves reach their goal and collect 1,200 pounds of food, participating businesses pledge an additional $1,200 in matching funds! 1,200 pounds of food can provide 923 meals to those in need. The $1,200 can provide an additional 6,000 meals.

Look for food donation bins at these locations:

  • Franklin Downtown Partnership office
  • Jane's Frames
  • Printsmart Office Supplies
  • Berry Insurance
  • Dean Bank
  • Dean College
  • YMCA
  • Allied Chiropractic
  • Food Pantry -- with a note indicating that you want it to go toward the Food Elves/FDP food drive campaign

Thanks to everyone who has supported the Food Pantry and the Food Elves' "12 Days of Donating" campaign!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Thank you to all of you who participated in the Holiday Stroll! 
Special thanks to Cindy Kozil and Roberta Trahan, our event co-chairs who made it such a success, and to all our great sponsors! 

FDP Networking Luncheon
Friday, December 9
1:00 p.m., Dean College Dining Hall
Campus Center
No RSVP Needed -- just come if you can
Contact:  Joel Carrera at jcarrara@printsmartoffice.com

Holiday Decoration Checks are past due
Please send them in this week!
Contact:  Eileen Mason at emason11@verizon.net

Franklin Elves and the Downtown Partnership
Please help us reach our goal of 1,200 pounds for the Franklin Food Pantry by bringing in your donations. The YMCA and Allied Chiropractic also have food bins for your donations.
For more information about the "12 Days of Donating campaign" click here.

The United Regional Young Professionals Organization is hosting the 2nd Annual Giving Tree at the Hampton Inn Franklin.  The group is collecting new winter hats, scarves, gloves and mittens. All donations will go to The Santa Foundation. Please drop off any donations by Friday, December 9th.
Contact:  Amanda Culhane, Director of Sales FRKMA:  Hampton Inn Franklin, 735 Union Street, amanda.culhane@hilton.com

FDP Website Links
Check out our Holiday Stroll photos in the slideshow (above, right). 
Remember to e-mail your business link to us at Downtown.Franklin@yahoo.com if you would like to appear in the Downtown Partners' Links section (right). This is free with your membership! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Stroll -- Thank You!

Hundreds of people turned out in chilly but seasonal weather yesterday afternoon for the Partnership's Third Annual Holiday Stroll! 

The holiday tree lighting at Dean College kicked off the event. Carolers led the crowds in song, dancers entertained and an a cappella choir performed in front of Dean Hall. More than 250 Gingerbread Men and 250 Whoopie Pies were quickly devoured, along with gallons of hot chocolate. 

From there the Stroll wound throughout the downtown. Businesses kept their doors open late and offered shoppers incentives as well as refreshments. Kids decorated cookies at Dean Bank, created ornaments at the Franklin Art Center and met Scoobie Doo on East Central Street. Santa heard wish lists at Simon's Furniture and Mrs. Claus read stories to the younger crowd at the Historical Museum.

The Franklin Food Elves's donation bins were filling up quickly with the start of the 12 Days of Donating Campaign benefiting the Franklin Food Pantry. Just a reminder -- the bins will be set up at participating businesses through December 12 (click here for more information).

For more images from the Stroll please see the slideshow above right. 

Thank you to our sponsors for making this year's Holiday Stroll our best yet! 

Silver Sponsors:  Dean Bank, DCU, D.G. Ranieri Real Estate, Ferguson Enterprises, Middlesex Savings Bank and nhs print. 

Bronze Sponsors:  Judith V. Butler, M.A., LLC, Franklin Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, John J. Roche, Attorney, and Laura Lowe, Realtor, Coldwell Banker, Franklin.