Story and photos by Kassandra Ryback –
On Wednesday, November 26th at 12:30 p.m. the Gregg Neighborhood House, with the help of the Lynn Fire Department and the Union, celebrated their 25th Thanksgiving with over 300 children and staff members at St. Michaels Hall.
The Gregg Neighborhood House is an after school program for school aged children from 5 to 13 years old. The director of the Gregg House is Kelly O’Connor.
Kelly, the daughter of Kevin and Judy O’Connor, made a speech saying, “My parents started this in the 1990s and it has been a long standing tradition. A few years ago we thought we may have to give it up because we’ve grown so large. But, thanks to the band of brothers in the fire department for taking over, every year the kids get to sit down with the staff and have a great meal and share what they are thankful for.”
The Fire Department sponsored the whole pre-Thanksgiving event. They all pitched in to cook, decorate, and volunteer. The children were served a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, potatoes, corn, stuffing and more. For dessert, they had pie and ice-cream.
“On behalf of all 739 and all Lynn Fire department this is a privilege for us, more than it is to help all of you and the volunteers are great. I am really thankful for Kevin and Judy O’Connor 25 years ago when they did this. They passed on a tradition that we can all follow to help in the community and be a part of it and be a family. I can only hope that 20 years from now one of you standing up here will make a speech about helping out the community and be a part of it.” expressed Matthew Reddy.
Along with the firefighters and volunteers, many local Lynn high school students from Classical and St.Mary’s were helping out.
Chief James E. McDonald and the local fire department, as well as all the volunteers, made the 25th pre-Thanksgiving celebration possible for the Gregg House.
The children left stuffed with big smiles on their faces.
Gregg Neighborhood House is located at 160 Broad St in Lynn, Ma. For more information, call (781) 592-0522.