I want to thank the more than 200 guests who attended the Gravedigger’s Gala on Friday night at the Endicott Estate to benefit the renovation of the Old Village cemetery. I had a wonderful time, and it looked as if everybody else did too, and that was our objective during the many months of planning that went into the event. I am so grateful to the gala Committee for the hard work and dedication that they unselfishly gave on behalf of a cause that has been close to my heart for many years. To Co-chairs Darcy Lane and Maureen Joyce, thank you for your inspired leadership, and to Jonathon Briggs, Anne Cadigan, Nancy Clement, Tracy Driscoll, Joe Flanagan, Michele Heffernan, Mary Louise Kehoe, Jeannine Lathum, Johanna McBrien, Glenn McGibbon, and Ted Russell, thank you for the many talents that you contributed to the planning of an evening of hair-raising good fun. A special thanks to Jim Bride for his tantalizing video promos at the Community Theater that brought the Gravedigger’s Ghost to life after death, and, of course, to Dedham DPW Director, Joe Flanagan, who has been charged with the daunting task of resurrecting the dead, and whose hard work has made this three-year project possible. Joe’s steady hand has guided the work from the beginning, and is everywhere in evidence throughout the Cemetery, from the handsome Village Avenue entrances, to the newly repaired monuments and headstones. And, I am so grateful to the Dedham Visionary Access Corporation, community TV at its best, Executive Director, Donna Greer, and her creative staff, Brian, Dennis, and George, for their coverage prior to, and during, the Gala.
A delightful surprise during the evening was the presentation by State Representative, Paul McMurtry, and State Senator, Mike Rush of a check for $150,000 from the State to the Dedham Village Preservation Association, Inc., the 501(c)3 that is funding this project. I also want to thank those who contributed in-kind to our success: the New England Patriots, the Calgary Flames, Bellestar Jewelry, Horizon Aviation, Bartlett Tree Experts, Jim Bride, Molly Jackson, Nancy Sargent Howell, the Dedham Community Theater, Murph’s Place, Big Bear, Ron’s Ice Cream, Café Tremezzo, King’s Dining & Entertainment, Boston’s Dreamland Wax Museum, Bostonia Public House, Total Wine, Dr. Anna Vishart, DDS, Horizon Beverage Co., M.S. Walker, Inc., Wegman’s, Photographer, Kerry Hawkins, and the artists who contributed their imaginative decorations to the Gravedigger’s shovels: Carol Haggerty, Peter Reynolds, Diane Gaikazova, Wiley Holton, Liz Boston, Sal D’Antona, and rali Weaver…and, finally to Madame Dar-see, whose imaginative flights of fancy into the future bode good things for Dedham and for the Old Village Cemetery Restoration Project. Thank you all, the work continues, and we look forward to seeing you, again, next year.
Marie Louise Kehoe, Project Chairman
Photo credit: Kerry Hawkins