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Table of Plenty in Chelmsford 

September 2012

September Newsletter



Volunteer Appreciation Night

Table of Plenty Volunteers (L-R): Linda Ridlon, Mary Moriarty, Carol Morris, Val Langbehn, and Jan Gurley Table of Plenty volunteers, whose ranks have grown to over 250 strong, each week spend hours chopping, slicing, cooking, serving, cleaning, and enjoying the company of Table of Plenty’s guests.  In May, those volunteers were “given the evening off” and were honored at Table of Plenty’s Volunteer Appreciation Night.
Marianne Hutchins,  Volunteer Coordinator said, “Tonight gives us the opportunity to let our volunteers know how much they are appreciated.  Our teams work so well together.  The teams have become a community in themselves and they come with great joy and enthusiasm to each meal they serve.”

Attendee, Maureen Howe, who works as a realtor in Chelmsford, shared, “Volunteering at Table of Plenty is a wonderful way to give back to the community, but it also just makes you feel good. I enjoy working alongside other people from town.  We have a nice group on our team that you get to know well as you volunteer week after week with them.” 

Highlights of the evening included a delicious dinner, followed by “A Video Salute to Our Volunteers”.   Produced by Jerry Serra, Vice President of Table of Plenty, the video included pictures of all the volunteer teams and candid shots from many dinners.

From Viginia to Maine, via Table of Plenty

On a recent Tuesday night, Bob and Carol, retired and newly married, had the unexpected opportunity to enjoy a meal at Table of Plenty. The couple was traveling from their home in Virginia to Bath, Maine on vacation. The Best Western in Chelmsford was their destination on this particular day, but they were slightly lost. As they drove by TOP’s temporary location at All Saints’ Church, they stopped a guest in the parking lot and asked for directions to the hotel.  The guest had just come from a TOP meal and told the couple he “could give them directions, but first they needed to go into the church to have dinner!”  Still lost, but expecting those directions, Bob and Carol went into the church, sat down at a table, and were served a meal.

While TOP typically serves guests from the local community, it was fun to chat with this couple from out of town.  Bob shared that they were trying to downsize since they were consolidating their two homes. He joked that they travelled the country looking for church meals to save money.  They thoroughly enjoyed Table of Plenty and promised to tell their friends back home of the hospitality they found in Chelmsford.  And for those who were wondering...they eventually found their way to the Best Western!

Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union’s “Give a Click Campaign”

Pictured:  Mark S. Cochran, CEO and President of Jeanne D’Arc; Debbie Kendrick of TOPIC; Maureen McKeown of TOPIC; Steve Jones, VP of Community Development at Jeanne D’ArcTable of Plenty in Chelmsford won Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union’s (JDCU) “Give a Click Campaign”!  JDCU understands the value of community and working together. On their website, community members can read about three worthy nonprofit organizations and then vote for the one they would most like to see them support. The charity with the most votes then receives a $1,500 donation. Different charities are posted every quarter, so they encourage people to keep returning to help their favorites gain a much-needed donation.

Many thanks to our friends at
Jeanne D’Arc!

Sponsoring a Meal

If you or your business are interested in sponsoring a meal, contact Table of Plenty at 978-710-8EAT(8328).

Sponsor a meal 

Thank You to Our Meal Sponsors

  • In Memory of David Kent
  • Stop and Shop
  • Diane and Greg Leath
  • Curt and Donna Bates
  • In Memory of Dawn Sihpol
  • First Parish Church
  • Dominoes
  • Barbara and Al Bates
  • Kronos
  • Christine Oliver
  • John and Malea Hughes
  • Angelique Eliopoulis
  • Clair Arnold-In Honor of Kelly Family
  • Team Micky Ward Charities
  • Home Depot
  • Eastern Bank
  • Congregation Shalom
  • The Cutting Edge
  • Mike and Denny Gormley
  • Jim Curley
  • John and Carol McCarthy
  • Steve and Pam Murray
  • Paul and Ann Gleason
  • Chelmsford Women of Today
  • Julianne and John O’Keefe
  • Blake Funeral Home
  • David and Fran L’Hussier

A Friend in Need...

all_saintsThis summer, the kitchen and dining room of our host, the First Parish Church, were renovated.  During that time, Table of Plenty needed to find another location to serve its meals.  Many thanks go out to All Saints’ Episcopal Church for graciously offering to help out a friend in need and let us use their kitchen and dining hall for the month of August. 

“A Salute to Women of our Region” Honors Maureen McKeown

Maureen McKeownThis summer, the Lowell Sun newspaper published a special section to honor 50 women leaders who have made significant contributions to the Merrimack Valley.  We are delighted that the panel of judges who reviewed over 300 nominations chose Table of Plenty President Maureen McKeown as one of the honorees. 

Last week, a ceremony was held in Lowell to honor these women, and Maureen was invited to be one of three speakers to address the gathering.  She reflected on others whom she has admired and attempted to emulate, such as her father who emigrated from Ireland and began volunteering at a hospital after retiring from his job driving a New York City transit bus.  “He wanted to ‘give back for the good life he had’.  When he moved from New York, he was recognized for having contributed the most volunteer hours at the hospital at that time.”

The idea of beginning a weekly meal in Chelmsford first came to Maureen when she was volunteering with her granddaughter at Open Table in Concord.  After a year of meeting around her dining room table with a group of friends, Table of Plenty’s first meal was served to 7 guests in May of 2010.  Today, we average 75 to 80 guests at each meal. 

Maureen says, “When a little girl with a toothless smile comes in after walking over from the Best Western where her family is temporarily housed and hands me a ‘thank you’, I know we are doing something worthwhile.”

~ Congratulations Marueen! ~

Girls Scouts’ Garden Provides Vegetables to Table of Plenty

Girl Scouts Elizabeth and SarahWhile other eighth graders were swimming this summer, Girl Scouts Elizabeth Milner and Sarah Williams were working in the garden.  The two girls from Troop 60623 decided to grow vegetables at Chelmsford’s Community Garden in order to donate them to Table of Plenty.  They did this to fulfill the requirements for a “Silver Award” - a community service project of at least 50 hours.  In addition to growing the vegetables, Beth and Sarah came almost every Tuesday this summer to help set up the tables and chairs at Table of Plenty.   

Thank you Elizabeth and Sarah!

Chelmsford Commonplace Cookbook for Charity

Chelmsford Commonplace Cookbook for CharityLooking for a way to  support TOP and find a few new recipes this fall?  Pick up a copy of Chelmsford Commonplace Cookbook for Charity and do both!  Susan Rokas, co-owner with her husband, Ted, of Zesty’s Pizza, has compiled this new recipe book with all proceeds going to Table of Plenty.  The project was originally started by Beth Bounds of the Chelmsford Commonplace website.  When Beth moved out west, she asked if anyone would like to take over.  Susan and Ted, who’ve owned Zesty’s for almost 30 years, had just moved to Chelmsford and thought this would be a great way to give back to their new hometown.  Some of the recipes came from people responding to a request from the website, but many came from Zesty’s staff, family, and friends.  The book can be purchased for $10 at Zesty’s or Chelmsford Agway.


Thank you Susan and Ted, and welcome to Chelmsford!

President's Message

Maureen McKeown Recently, Table of Plenty’s President, Maureen McKeown, was honored by the Lowell Sun as one of 50 area women who have made a significant contribution to our region.   In typical Maureen fashion, she used this occasion to promote Table of Plenty. 

In a speech at the awards ceremony, she said “Thank you to everyone who has made this day possible and for the recognition provided for Table of Plenty in Chelmsford.  I particularly wish to thank my good friend, Debbie Kendrick, who wrote the recommendation for my nomination.  Today at Table of Plenty we average 75 to 80 guests and have served over 9,300 meals. 

No one factor can be identified as key to our success.  The dedication of our Board members, the weekly commitment of our cooks, the reliability of over 150 volunteers, the welcome we receive at the First Parish, and the enthusiastic and unfailing support of Chelmsford’s residents and business people all contribute to a program that  guests and volunteers are proud to own. “

Contact Us

Mailing Address:
Table of Plenty in Chelmsford, Inc.
18 St. Andrews Way
N. Chelmsford, MA  01863

978-710-8EAT (8328)




Donate at

Board of Directors


President: Maureen McKeown
Vice President: Jerry Serra
Treasurer: Deborah Kendrick
Secretary: Mary Moriarty

Craig Bonaceto
Joe Hehn
Marianne Hutchins
Mike Kendrick
Caithlin O’Brien
Merri Serra

Committe Members

Gerry Paolilli



Kevin S. Sullivan

Cooks Committee

Jim Comeau, Coordinator
Nancy Grove, Nutritionist
Colleen Craven
Fran Geurard
Adelle Stavis
Angie Taranto
Paul Windt

Heather Wright

First Parish Representative

Walter Cole

Inventory Coordinator

Sharon Hehn

Publicity Director

Diane Taylor

Technical Communications
Craig Bonaceto

Caithlin O’Brien

Volunteer Coordinator

Marianne Hutchins

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Table of Plenty in Chelmsford, Inc.
18 St. Andrews Way
N. Chelmsford, MA 01863

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