Community Service Award

Jillian Zucco will be among those honored at the 49th Annual John S. Brayton Jr. Memorial Community Service Awards Banquet on Thursday, June 22 at White’s of Westport.

The Outstanding Community Service Award, presented by the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce, recognizes volunteer participation of extraordinary nature by an individual or a company.

The Mattapoisett resident is lauded for averaging more than 750 hours of community service per year. Her service work includes organizing annual blood drives, food drives, and the annual “Miss Inspirational” program she created to provide a platform for girls and young women with special needs and disabilities to showcase their talents and abilities so that the public can be educated and inspired by them.

She also works with the United Way of Greater New Bedford, serving on their planning committee for the Hunger Heroes project and as a volunteer at its various functions throughout the year. She serves as co-director of the Showstoppers community-service singing troupe and as a volunteer at the Share The Harvest Community Farm in Dartmouth and Gifts To Give in Acushnet.

She has organized annual fundraisers for the Children’s Miracle Network that have raised over $25,000 for Boston Children’s Hospital since 2013. She serves as a cantor at St. Anthony’s Church and as a volunteer and performer at many community fundraisers and civic events throughout the area.

While the total number of Ms. Zucco’s community hours alone is impressive, the impact of her efforts is compounded by the work of the great many she has influenced to get involved with her. She inspires everyone in her sphere of influence to join her in her service work or to choose a cause they are passionate about and make an impact through volunteerism, donorship, and/or advocacy. As a local titleholder in the Miss America Organization, Ms. Zucco carries the title of Miss Bristol County and promotes her personal platform, “Choose A Cause, Make A Difference” everywhere she goes.

Ms. Zucco is a 2011 alumnus of ORRHS and a 2016 Magna Cum Laude graduate of UMASS Dartmouth’s Nursing program, now working full time as a registered nurse at a regional hospital in the area. She will vie for the title of Miss Massachusetts on June 30 and July 1.

ORR Class of 1987

The ORR Class of 1987 will hold their 30th Class Reunion on July 8 from 6:30 – 10:30 pm at the Brew Fish, 210 Spring Street, Marion. RSVP with check to Joyce Messier, 56 Totten Road, Attleboro, MA 02703. For questions, email Can’t wait to see you all there.

Mattapoisett Woman’s Club Scholarship Winners

For over 60 years, The Mattapoisett Woman’s Club has been striving to help young people in their education pursuits. This year, the club is happy to award two scholarships of $2,500 to students from our area high schools. The recipients are:

Michelle Randall, who will attend SUNY Cobleskill, NY and study Animal Science. She is the daughter of Maria and Robert Randall.

Maxxon Wolski, who will attend Berklee College of Music and study Music Education. He is the son of Lorraine and Peter Wolski.

Both students possess excellent academic achievements, have done multiple community service tasks, and have participated in several extracurricular activities.

The Mattapoisett Woman’s Club especially thanks the community for its support of our Garden Tour, which will take place again in 2018, and “Taste of the Town,” which takes place during Harbor Days. These fundraising activities make our scholarship possible.

Congratulation to Michelle and Maxxon.

Clifford Peter FitzGerald

Clifford Peter FitzGerald, 78, of Atlantis, FL and Mattapoisett, MA passed away at his home on June 13, 2017, from natural causes.

Born in Newton, MA, the son of the late Helen (Carey) FitzGerald and John Joseph FitzGerald, he attended Newton High School where he met the love of his life, Ginnie Milott, on Christmas Eve. At Boston University, he was an outstanding hockey player who became Captain of the team. In his honor, his family created the Clifford P. FitzGerald Scholarship which is awarded annually to a top rising junior or senior Terrier defenseman.

After graduating from Boston University in 1962, he and Ginnie were married and young Peter headed off to pilot training at Craig Air Force Base near Selma, Alabama as a Second Lieutenant. He went on to distinguish himself flying with the Strategic Air Command as well as the Tactical Air Command in Plattsburgh, NY, and Columbus, Ohio. During the Vietnam War, Captain FitzGerald flew more than 100 missions over Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam. Flying the WC130-A out of Udorn, Thailand and the Island of Guam, he was an integral part of a then-classified “Weather Modification” program to create thunderstorms to washout Vietcong supply routes like the Ho Chi Minh trail.

After two tours of Vietnam, Captain FitzGerald left active duty with the Air Force in 1969, to fly for a new southern upstart company named Delta Airlines. With a brief stint as an Engineer on the DC-8, he quickly progressed to co-pilot of the DC-9, Boeing 727, and L-1011. He was then promoted to Captain on the MD-80 and finally the Boeing 757/767. During his tenure with Delta, he assumed increasing positions of responsibility in the Air Force Reserves which culminated with him leading the Florida Civil Air Patrol and being promoted to Colonel.

Throughout his over 20 years of military service, Colonel FitzGerald served his country with honor and distinction. By the time he retired from the Air Force in 1992, Colonel FitzGerald had been awarded numerous medals including the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal with oak leaf clusters, the Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Bronze star for participating in over 29 campaigns, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He then retired from Delta Airlines in 1995 to enjoy life as a full-time racing aficionado, golfer, and summer time lobsterman.

Preceded in death by his wife Ginnie, survivors include two daughters, Jacqueline “Lyn” Brown, and her husband Lawton, of McLean, VA, and Karen “Kira” Langolf, of Atlantis, FL; one brother, Paul Carey FitzGerald and his wife Jane of Sandy Hook, CT; and four grandchildren, Bradford FitzGerald Brown, Garrett Lawton Brown, Carey Amelienne Brown, and Brigette Adrienne Langolf.

His Funeral will be held on Thursday, June 22nd at 9 am from the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett, followed by his Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Church in at 10 am. Visiting hours will be on Wednesday, June 21st from 4-8 pm. Colonel FitzGerald will be buried with military honors in St. Anthony’s Cemetery. For directions and guestbook, please visit


Taste of the Town

“Taste of the Town” sponsored by the Mattapoisett Women’s Club will be held on Tuesday, July 11 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm under the big tent at Shipyard Park. Mattapoisett restaurants will offer a sampling of their exceptional dishes from creamy clam chowder to the best crustaceans in the SouthCoast. The Showstoppers Performing Arts troupe will entertain. Bring the family for an evening of fun and relaxation.

A shuttle van will provide transportation from the Ying Dynasty, Saint Anthony’s Church and the Town beach parking lots to Shipyard Park from 4:30 to 7:00 pm.

Price is $10 for 20 tickets. The number of tickets varies per food item. Also, our garden group is offering bright, seasonal arrangements of fresh sunflowers, delphinium, and more – all hand-gathered inside a clear glass vase for a donation of $5/arrangement.

“Taste of the Town” is a rain or shine event

All proceeds from sales benefit the greater community and the Mattapoisett Women’s Club scholarship fund.

Marion COA Offers New Hampshire Day Trip

The Marion Council on Aging and Fox Tours is proud to present The Lakes Region Summer Theatre’s Cats the Musical and Hart’s Turkey Farm Luncheon day trip on Thursday, August 10.

Departing at 8:00 am from the Benjamin D. Cushing Community Center, 465 Mill Street, Marion, we will travel by motor coach to Meredith, New Hampshire for a full course luncheon (choice of Roast Turkey, Sirloin or Baked Haddock) at Hart’s Turkey Farm. Next stop will be the Lakes Region Theatre’s production of Cats, an inspiring musical which revolves around a cast of feline characters in their junkyard backyard – a true Broadway classic! Arrival time back in Marion will be approximately 6:30 pm. Cost is $84/per person; registration and payment are due no later than June 30, 2017. Call 508-748-3570 for more information.

Life Changes in an Instant

To the Editor:

Thursday, June 8, started out like any other day. I had work to do, errands to run, a vet appointment for the dog, and kids to be transported to and from their usual activities. It was a normal day for a mother of two teens.

I had just dropped off one child at her horseback riding lesson and was heading down from Rochester to pick up the other one at Old Rochester Regional High School.

In an instant, my day changed. One moment, I was approaching the turn onto Route 6 from Spring Street in Marion and the next, my vehicle and I came to a stop behind the old Cumberland Farms gas station. The air bags had deployed and the front quarter panel was crumpled where the other car hit mine, but I was OK. The seat belt I was wearing did its job and restrained me. I had no apparent wounds and no broken bones. Other than being shaken up, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I exited the vehicle.

In an instant, I was surrounded by people. I was informed that someone had already called 911 and that help was on the way. One man placed his hand on my shoulder and just kept talking to me. Another brought me water. Still others brought me my purse, my lost shoe, and my glasses. And there were those who were helping the driver of the other vehicle, too.

In an instant, police officers, fire fighters, and EMTs were on the scene. They got right to work cleaning up the debris, asking questions, administering first aid, and performing their jobs in a very professional manner. In what seemed like no time at all, Officer DiCarlo had collected all the necessary information, and I was informed when and where I could get the accident report. I then watched as the two vehicles were towed away.

Ironically, a conversation I had earlier that morning centered on how quickly life can change and how each day you have to see the sun despite the clouds, hug your loved ones despite the disagreements, and be grateful for each moment you have because everything can change in an instant.

I walked away from the accident with some bruises and a new appreciation for what can happen in an instant. For in that instant, many people set aside their differences as they united to help the victims of an unfortunate accident. It didn’t matter that our races may have been different, our genders different, our religions different, or our political views different. None of the differences mattered. The only thing that mattered was that help was needed, and in that instant when two worlds collided, many stopped what they were doing to help. To all of you who rendered assistance on that fateful day, you have my heartfelt gratitude. You entered my world – if only for an instant – and made it a better place. Thank you!


Marcy Smith, Rochester


The views expressed in the “Letters to the Editor” column are not necessarily those of The Wanderer, its staff or advertisers. The Wanderer will gladly accept any and all correspondence relating to timely and pertinent issues in the great Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester area, provided they include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification. We cannot publish anonymous, unsigned or unconfirmed submissions. The Wanderer reserves the right to edit, condense and otherwise alter submissions for purposes of clarity and/or spacing considerations. The Wanderer may choose to not run letters that thank businesses, and The Wanderer has the right to edit letters to omit business names. The Wanderer also reserves the right to deny publication of any submitted correspondence.

Academic Achievements

Patrick Briand of Mattapoisett has been named to the 2017 spring semester Dean’s List at Bentley University.

Serena Jaskolka of Mattapoisett has received a Paul Tsongas Scholarship from Worcester State University and was honored in April at the 2017 Academic Achievement Awards Ceremony at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.

Cameron Severino of Mattapoisett graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences during commencement ceremonies on May 21 at the University of Vermont.

In honor of their outstanding academic achievement, Emmanuel College has named Meghan Pachico and Stephen Parziale of Marion to the Dean’s List for the spring 2017 semester. To earn a spot on the Dean’s List, Emmanuel students must achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for a 16-credit semester.

American International College awarded more than 600 undergraduate and graduate degrees to students representing 21 states and 12 countries at its 2017 commencement ceremony in May including:

– Karen Audet of Rochester received a Master of Education degree, majoring in Moderate Disabilities.

– Benjamin Coucci of Mattapoisett received a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Criminal Justice.

– Deanna McCoy of Marion received a Master of Education degree, majoring in Moderate Disabilities.

– Tricia Weaver of Mattapoisett received a Master of Education degree, majoring in Early Childhood Education.

Lasell College recently named Schyler Oliveira of Rochester to the Lasell College Dean’s List for the spring 2017 semester. Oliveira, whose major is Entrepreneurship, is a member of the class of 2017.

Offering Clarification

To the Editor:

I read with great interest the recent Letter to the Editor from Chris Collings concerning the spending habits of the Town of Marion. In particular, Mr. Collings describes the spending habits of the Town as “uncontrolled.” He lays the blame squarely on the use of “Free Cash,” describing its use as “undisciplined behavior.”

Recognizing that the language of municipal government can be confusing, it would first be helpful to truly and accurately define this thing we call “free cash.” It is a revenue source that results from the calculation, as of July 1st in any given year, of a community’s remaining, unrestricted funds from its operations of the previous fiscal year based on the balance sheet as of June 30th. It typically includes actual receipts in excess of revenue estimates and unspent amounts in departmental budget line items for the fiscal year just ended, plus unexpended free cash from the previous year.

Like most cities and towns, Marion uses free cash to support current-year operations. In fact, it is well established and sound financial policy for a town to generate free cash in an amount equal to three to five percent of its annual budget. This goal helps deter free cash from being depleted in any particular year. To accomplish this, we generate conservative revenue projections and departmental appropriations.

As a nonrecurring revenue source, free cash should be primarily restricted to paying one-time expenditures, funding capital projects, or replenishing other reserves. In concert with prudent debt management and the establishment of reserves, free cash is an integral part of a plan to manage municipal finances in both the short-term and the long-term. The use of free cash as outlined is neither “undisciplined behavior” nor is it “unfettered spending.”

If, in fact, the Town’s spending habits were as described by Mr. Collings, it is hard to imagine that Marion would achieve and maintain a “AAA” bond rating. Such a rating is granted only to those operations demonstrating strong and prudent financial discipline with a high degree of credit worthiness. We are proud of that designation and work hard every day to maintain it.

Thank you for the opportunity to offer this clarification.


Jonathan “Jody” Dickerson, Chairman

Marion Board of Selectmen

The views expressed in the “Letters to the Editor” column are not necessarily those of The Wanderer, its staff or advertisers. The Wanderer will gladly accept any and all correspondence relating to timely and pertinent issues in the great Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester area, provided they include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification. We cannot publish anonymous, unsigned or unconfirmed submissions. The Wanderer reserves the right to edit, condense and otherwise alter submissions for purposes of clarity and/or spacing considerations. The Wanderer may choose to not run letters that thank businesses, and The Wanderer has the right to edit letters to omit business names. The Wanderer also reserves the right to deny publication of any submitted correspondence.


Garage Yes, Deck…Maybe

The Marion Zoning Board of Appeals on June 7 went ahead and approved a garage the same night it closed the public hearing, which is something out of the ordinary for this particular ZBA.

Instead of closing the public hearing and taking the matter under advisement for at least two weeks as it usually does, the board granted the Special Permit to Richard Lucas of 6 Allen Street for the construction of a two-car garage to be constructed after a smaller, older garage has been demolished.

The proposed project did not expand upon the existing non-conformity of the footprint of the existing garage, as explained by architect Will Saltonstall.

Saltonstall, a member of the Marion Planning Board, said the Planning Board recently noted in a letter regarding the project that, during discussion (of which Saltonstall said he recused himself), the board concluded that the project would need to undergo Minor Site Plan Review with the Planning Board.

“The Planning Board response is incorrect I believe,” said Saltonstall. After further discussion, Saltonstall said, they determined that Site Plan Review does not apply to residential structures. “They realized their mistake but was too late to change their letter,” said Saltonstall.

The board deemed the proposed garage to be no more detrimental to the neighborhood than the garage that already stands.

Also during the meeting, the ZBA did close the public hearing for Augusta Rosenthal of 8 Quelle Lane, but after some discussion after the applicant left, decided it would take the matter under advisement so the board could consult with the building inspector.

Rosenthal proposes building a deck addition to the existing small cottage, but the board was unable to ascertain whether an existing garage in front of the house would account in any way towards the non-conformity of the house to which the deck is proposed.

The board was hesitant to take any vote on the matter, although after three meetings when the board had to continue Rosenthal’s public hearing due to a lack of quorum, Chairman Marc LeBlanc implied that the board would be as expedient as possible in rendering its decision.

Engineer Doug Schneider had explained that there was no plan to expand upon the house per se, simply allow for an addition of a deck.

“The only concern I don’t like is how close it is to the lot line on the other side,” remarked LeBlanc after the public hearing was closed and Schneider and Rosenthal had left.

LeBlanc and board members Betsy Dunn and Kate Mahoney questioned how the garage might affect the non-conformity of the house, and Dunn said she preferred to hear from Building Inspector Scott Shippey before rendering a decision.

The board wanted to know if it is the garage that makes the actual house non-conforming, or whether the house’s own non-conformity stands alone.

The board decided to hold a special meeting the next week on Thursday, June 15, at 5:30 pm in the Marion Town House to address the Rosenthal application only.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Marion Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for July 13 at 7:30 pm at the Marion Town House.

Marion Zoning Board of Appeals

By Jean Perry