When Rep. Adrian Madaro was elected to office there was tradition started by his predecessor, Carlo Basile, that he vowed to continue.
This year, Madaro will take the reins of Basile’s annual Thanksgiving day charitable dinner that has made the holiday a little more cheerful for hundreds of low-income, homeless and elderly residents in East Boston.
Madaro and a group of friends, family and an army of volunteers from across the neighborhood will provide a full Thanksgiving meal for residents that may otherwise go hungry at the Sacred Heart Church hall on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26 beginning at 10:30 a.m.
“I have been part of this event for several years as former Representative Basile’s Chief of Staff,” said Madaro. “Now as his successor this is one event I wanted to keep going. The decision was a no-brainer because year after year the event has grown and helps 100 of people in our neighborhood enjoy Thanksgiving.”
Madaro said the thought to cancel the event never crossed his mind.
“Being an elected official is about helping people and that becomes more of priority when you realize some people do not have the necessary means to enjoy a proper Thanksgiving or Christmas,” said Madaro. “So in the spirit of the season of giving I’m proud to keep this important East Boston tradition this year and as long as I’m state representative.”
Basile said he was honored that Madaro would continue the event that he started nearly a decade ago.
“It’s important to stop and think that while we may have plenty there are many people living in this neighborhood with very little,” said Basile. “Some come because they have very little money to have a meal for their family, some come because they have just lost their job and some come because they have no one to spend the holiday with. It is one of the best events and I have been amazed year after year at how many people we help. I applaud Adrian (Madaro) for taking it over and building on its success.”
Basile said although he’s no longer the state representative he will be happy to volunteer at this year’s event.
“It’s something I look forward to at Thanksgiving,” he said.
Like years past, the food will be provided by Spinelli’s chefs, which included salad, a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings and desert and coffee.
Both Madaro and Basile said the event puts a lot of things we take for granted in life into perspective.
“When you see children of parents with a smile on their face inside the church hall you know the group of volunteers have done something right,” said Madaro.
“The kids are what really breaks my heart and there are times during the day I have to take a moment to collect myself because I hear all the stories of why these good people are here,” said Basile. “But at the end of the day I would not want to spend a Thanksgiving Day without them.”