Like many of us, longtime Hopkinton resident Sandy Lucchesi and her fellow real estate brokers from RE/MAX Executive Realty wondered how they could help once the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Broker Bill Wright, who founded the RE/MAX Executive Charitable Foundation, which helps provide assistance to individuals and families throughout the Metrowest area and beyond, had an idea to brighten some medical providers’ day by providing them with a free meal.
“Seeing all the stuff about the first responders, everybody’s sitting at home thinking, ‘Gosh, what can we do?’ ” Lucchesi said. “Bill said, ‘How about if we were to bring meals to as many hospital staff members as we could?’ So the board quickly jumped on top of that and figured out how to implement it.”
Thus Project Feed the Frontline was born.
They started with Milford Regional Medical Center, partnering with Restaurant 45 in Medway and driving the meals over to the hospital. Then they arranged similar giveaways at Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick (with food from Marathon Deli in Ashland) as well as UMass hospitals in Worcester and Marlborough, targeting the COVID-specific staff there.
“Our whole thinking was we were doing two things: feeding the hospital staff and giving business to a local restaurant [which provided a discount],” Lucchesi said. “That was really our goal. We felt it was a win-win.”
Lucchesi said the response was heartwarming.
“Every hospital we went to, the folks were ecstatic — extremely appreciative to receive the meals,” she said.
After delivering 425 total meals to the four hospitals, the foundation board — which includes Steve Lindquist (RE/MAX agent) and Brian Brown (Guaranteed Rate mortgage broker), while Chuck Joseph is one of the company’s owners — was inspired to continue its charitable efforts. For its second round of giving the board turned its focus to assisted living facility staffers and supermarket employees.
“We thought these people really needed some support and to help keep up their morale,” Lucchesi said. “The grocery store employees are a major component in our daily lives. We’re all anxious to get our food and our toilet paper. Without them, if they stop going to work we have nothing.
“And the nursing home employees, we just feel that they are surrounded by such monumental issues because not only do they have patients that may develop COVID, but [many of] these patients are very needy to begin with. And we also know that they are going through the whole emotional rollercoaster of not being able to see family. So we felt that they have a lot going on and need a little support.”
Golden Pond assisted living facility in Hopkinton is one of the recipients. Staffers there will receive a thank you note along with a gift card to Hiller’s Pizza.
Also being recognized are assisted living facilities in Medway and Wrentham as well as supermarkets in Framingham, Grafton and Franklin.
The slogan of the RE/MAX Executive Charitable Foundation is “Neighbors helping neighbors,” and Lucchesi said she is seeing that in action.
“Initially it was to increase the morale of the hospital staff or the nursing home staff, but what I see is we ask who wants to be involved in our community, and it’s amazing the number of agents who want to help and people who want to donate.
“As busy as everybody is doing their daily job, this has taken on a life of its own. On one hand people are like, ‘I’m so busy working,’ but then again they can’t wait to get this going.”
Anyone interested in donating to Project Feed the Frontline can email Sandy Lucchesi at SandyL@remaxexec.com.
Relay for Life goes virtual
The Hopkinton Relay for Life, a popular annual event that benefits the American Cancer Society, will take place as scheduled on May 15, but it will move online and be condensed into four hours.
The event, normally held overnight at the Hopkinton High School track and playing fields, will run from 4-8 p.m. Organizers will use Instagram and Facebook to share photos and videos, and there will be activities for people to do in their homes, including trivia, a driveway chalk challenge and virtual opening, closing and luminaria ceremonies.
Families are encouraged to get involved and share pictures.
Visit @hopkintonrelayforlife on Instagram or Relay For Life of Hopkinton MA on Facebook for more details.
HBA 4K Shot Challenge returns
The inaugural Hopkinton Basketball Association 4K Shot Challenge drew 85 participants in April, and those who were able to make 4,000 baskets in the month were to receive a commemorative T-shirt and be entered into a raffle for a gift certificate to a local business.
Additionally, with the Hopkinton Independent signing on as the event’s sponsor, a donation of $1,000 — representing $20 for every player who hit the 4,000-shot mark — was to be made to the Project Just Because food bank.
The event, inspired by a similar challenge put on by Hopkinton High School girls varsity coach Mike Greco, is designed to give kids an activity and a goal during the stay at home restriction, as well as improve players’ skills via consistent practice.
A new challenge was started for May. If you have a basketball player in Grade 3-8, hurry up and check the HBA website at HopkintonBasketball.org. You’re a little late for this month, but I have it on good authority that the event organizer is a pretty reasonable person (despite what people might say about him), so he might still let you sign up.