Mary and Joel Abramson in the living room of their Swampscott home. 

By STACEY MARCUS

While most people were in the supermarket shopping for delicacies for Thanksgiving in the middle of November, Mary and Joel Abramson were gearing up to spend more than 100 hours transforming their beautiful home into a twinkling winter wonderland. The Jewish couple has spent the last 30 years lavishly decorating for the holidays with thousands of collectibles and relics they’ve stockpiled over the last three decades. The annual ritual is not religious in nature, more of a spirited tribute to Mary’s merchandising magic from her days in retail, her affinity for collectibles and the couple’s desire to share merriment and mementos from their world travels with family and friends.

Continue reading

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Stumbleupon
Jessica Black, second from left, wutg daughter Jorja, husband James Odorczuk, daughter Jayla, mother Emy Black and son Jaden were honored by Cohen Hillel Academy at its annual gala.

Jessica Black, second from left, with daughter Jorja, husband James Odorczuk, daughter Jayla, mother Emy Black and son Jaden were honored by Cohen Hillel Academy at its annual gala.

By LEAH DEARBORN

When Jessica Black asked her mother about what first inspired her father, Stan Black, to become involved in philanthropy, she got a response that’s unlikely to surprise anyone familiar with the family’s legacy.

“She believed it started with his dad, who passed away when he was only 15. I think that’s how he became interested in giving,” said Jessica.

Continue reading

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Stumbleupon

Jeffrey and Susan Brudnick, pictured with their son Jonathan and his wife, Sandra, and daughters Olivia and Zie, gather at the Aviv long-term care and rehab center in Peabody, which is named in their honor.

By LEAH DEABORN

Swampscott’s Jeffrey Brudnick doesn’t like to take much credit for the donations he’s made to the North Shore community.

“I’m not interested in promoting myself,” said Brudnick, who along with his wife, Susan, made a $1 million gift to the Chelsea Jewish Foundation (CJF) to benefit the Aviv long-term care and rehab center in Peabody. The couple also made a $500,000 gift to North Shore Medical Center’s (NSMC) Best Care, Right Place campaign.

Continue reading

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Stumbleupon

Jo Ann Simons pictured outside of Northeast Arc. She has served as the nonprofit organization’s CEO since January 2016. 

By BILL BROTHERTON

When Jo Ann Simons graduated from Wheaton College with a bachelor’s in urban studies in the mid-’70s, she was unsure of her career path. “You had two choices: make money or make a difference,” said Simons, a Swampscott High grad and longtime resident of the town.

When she graduated from the University of Connecticut with a masters in social work, with a focus on women’s issues and health issues, she was still undecided about her future.

“And then my career chose me. My son, Jonathan, was born with Down syndrome,” said Simons, sitting in her office at Northeast Arc, where she has been CEO since January 2016.

Continue reading

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Stumbleupon

Marill and Tom Demakes.

By PAUL HALLORAN

The list of organizations that benefit from the generosity of Tom Demakes is long, yet the focus is fairly narrow. And that’s just the way he wants it.

Youth. Education. Lynn. That about sums it up.

Continue reading

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Stumbleupon

Swampscott High School student Laura Gilberti bonds with a young child from Nicaragua during the school’s service trip in April. 

By MEAGHAN CASEY

While some teens dream of sun, sand and relaxation for spring break, a dozen Swampscott High School students had other plans in mind.

In April, the students traveled to the village of Cañada Grande in Nicaragua with a goal of building a “lavadero,” or washing site, with a roof for shade, for its residents.

Continue reading

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Stumbleupon

Tom Stephens (#45) played five seasons with the Boston Patriot franchise, New England’s first professional football team.

By RICH FAHEY

They were a band of brothers, the men who first brought professional football to New England in 1960.

The Boston Patriot franchise in the American Football League was worth $250,000 that year and is now the NFL’s New England Patriots and worth $3.4 billion, according to Forbes Magazine.

Tom Stephens, 81, was a member of that team. He and his wife, Lonnie, have lived in Swampscott for more than 40 years, now splitting time between Swampscott and Naples, Fla. 

Continue reading

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Stumbleupon
Local author Julie Johnson has published six contemporary romance novels.

Local author Julie Johnson has published six contemporary romance novels.

By STACEY MARCUS

For those of you who think fairy tales don’t come true, take a moment to meet Swampscott High School graduate Julie Johnson. The 2010 graduate has published six contemporary romance novels and is working on her seventh.

Continue reading

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Stumbleupon

Rich Malagrifa stands atop Mount Katahdin, the highest mountain in the state of Miane, as part of his journey across the Appalachian Trail. | Photo: Courtesy of Rich Malagrifa

By STACEY MARCUS

What would inspire Swampscott’s former chairman of the Board of Selectman and commercial airline pilot to trek more than 2,000 miles across the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine? “Midlife crisis,” smiles Rich Malagrifa who chronicled his adventure and life milestones in his book “From 35,000 Feet to the Appalachian Trail, The Executive Hike of the Appalachian Trail.”

Continue reading

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Stumbleupon
Dr. Jeffrey Gold founded Gold Direct Care two years ago.

Dr. Jeffrey Gold founded Gold Direct Care two years ago.

By SANDI GOLDFARB

Dr. Jeffrey Gold and his wife, Laura, settled in Swampscott in 2005 to be closer to their families and reconnect with the place that means so much to them both.

“I missed being by the ocean and being close to Boston. I missed the small town feel,” said Gold. Today, his medical practice, Gold Direct Care, is based in nearby Marblehead.

Continue reading

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Stumbleupon
Page 4 of 5« First...2345