It started as a small charitable event that raised a few thousand dollars for the Jimmy Fund but the annual Deveau Family Fundraiser has mushroomed into a summer event a lot of East Boston residents look forward to and mark on their calendars in July.
This year’s event will be held on Friday, July 20 at 7 p.m. at the Orient Heights Yacht Club. Now in its fifth year the Deveau Summer Beach Party has raised over $20,000 for the Jimmy Fund.
“We ask for a small donation of $25 so I think its something people can afford and it’s a fun event for the summer,” said Ed Deveau who organizes the event with his father Ed Sr., mother, Connie, and sister, Michelle Deveau. “Last year we switched it up from just a fundraiser to a summer/beach theme event which a lot of people responded well to and enjoyed.”
Over the years Deveau said the event’s overwhelming success has brought more and more people to Eastie to help out. Each year, said Deveau, there are different faces in the crowd.
“I want to thank my parents, Ed and Connie, my sister, Michelle, my grandmother, Maria, and the rest of my friends and family for making the event such a great success,” said Deveau. “To see how many people care about others is truly overwhelming and I’m truly blessed to have the friends and family that I do.”
When Deveau was 7 his younger brother, Kenny, was battling cancer. His brother’s illness took a heavy toll on the Deveau family.
No parent thinks they’ll outlive their child—it goes against the laws of nature.
And no big brother wants to lose his best friend.
Tragically, Kenny succumbed to his illness in 1989 at the age of 4 but since that time Deveau’s family and friends honored Kenny’s memory by becoming heavily involved in the Jimmy Fund. Through the Jimmy Fund the Deveaus found strength solidarity as a family again–raising money and awareness for childhood cancers whenever they could.
Deveau, who had aspirations to run for state representative a few years back, stepped out of the race to remain as Senator Anthony Petruccelli’s Chief of Staff but felt he could still do something worthwhile.
Originally booking a hall for his campaign kickoff he used the hall instead for the first annual Deveau Family Fundraiser to benefit the Jimmy Fund back in 2007.
“I booked a hall when I was thinking of running for state rep,” said Deveau. “When I left the race I decided to use the hall to raise some money for a very good cause. From there it’s become an annual tradition and something I look forward to doing.”