It started as a small charitable event that raised a few thousand dollars for the Jimmy Fund but the annual Deveau Family Beach Party Fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund 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, held last Friday, at the Orient Heights Yacht Club was able to raise over thousands of dollars Friday night for the Jimmy Fund to help combat childhood cancers. Now in its ninth year the Deveau Summer Beach Party has raised over $40,000 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. “A few years ago 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 h
is 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.
“I booked a hall when I was thinking of running for state rep the first time in 2007,” 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.”