Gilly’Gilly’s House Plans 1st Annual Summer Festival House Plans 1st … – Norfolk/Wrentham – Local Town Pages | NutSocia

By Grace Allen

On Sunday August 21st, Gilly’s House is hosting the first annual Summerfest, a family-friendly, alcohol-free fundraiser from 12pm to 6pm at the American Legion Field, 592 South Street in Wrentham. All are welcome.

The event features live music, dining, restaurant tastings, refreshments, children’s activities, special guest appearances and more. Everything is included in the $50 ticket price, and children accompanied by an adult are free.

“It’s a fundraiser, but what we’re really excited about is that it’s a family-friendly community event for everyone,” said Barbara Gillmeister, who co-founded Gilly’s House with her husband David. The Sober Home, a non-profit organization, provides a comprehensive life skills transition program for young men who have successfully completed an inpatient treatment program.

The day’s proceeds benefit the home’s capital fund – the home needs new windows and boiler upgrades – as well as its scholarship program.

One of the highlights of the summer festival will be food tastings at restaurants in the area. At press time, participating restaurants included James’ Breakfast and More, The Gavel Public House, Nicky’s Family Dining, Café Assisi, Commonwealth BBQ, Parker’s Pub, The Red Rooster Bar and Grill, Eagle Brook Saloon, Novatos Bar & Grill, Mackie’s Family Restaurant and Oven Essence Bakery.

James Arsenault, owner of James’ Breakfast and More, recruited the restaurants for the summer festival, noting that he’s a “townie” and knows most of the owners by name. Giving back is important to him, he said.

“Call it karma if you will, but I like to treat others the way I would like to be treated,” he explained when asked why he was taking on such a large volunteer role. “After many years of abuse in the restaurant business and struggling with alcohol in the past myself, it just seemed right. And if it helps me, it must be huge for Gilly’s.”

There will be over thirty raffle baskets and several silent auctions to bid on, including a tour of the State House by Massachusetts State Assemblyman Jeff Roy, D-Franklin; a weekend in Martha’s Vineyard complete with hotel, ferry tickets and restaurant gift cards; and a flight in a high-performance 4-seater Mooney aircraft. Nicknamed “Lucy,” the single-engine plane will be piloted by retired Air Force pilot Peter Hoffman, who has been flying jets for over 40 years. The winner can choose the (local) area to be flown over.

Comedian Michael Petit will host the Summerfest and Wrentham Selectman Joe Botaish will DJ.

Students from King Philip High School’s Community Service Group, KP Cares, will organize and conduct activities for children throughout the day, including arts and crafts and face painting.

The Norfolk Lions serve hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones.

Entertainment throughout the day includes a petting zoo from 2pm to 4pm, magic shows at 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm, and a drum circle at 12:15pm, 1:30pm and 3:15pm. There will be caricature drawings, a clown/juggler, photos with Spiderman and Wonder Woman, a bubble machine and a bouncy castle.

There will be a Wrentham Fire Department Truck for a touch-a-truck experience for kids.

Pat the Patriot will perform from 1pm to 3pm, while Keith Birchall, aka Silver Bullet, is scheduled for photos with the Superbowl rings from 3pm to 5pm.

Attendees can read resource charts for healthy living, and the SAFE Coalition’s Hidden in Plain Sight exhibit will also be on-site. Contact Maureen Cappuccino at [email protected] if your organization would like to have a free resource table at the event.

The summer festival takes place rain or shine and several tents are set up all over the field. Organizers encourage attendees to bring chairs and blankets to sit on while enjoying the music and food. Sanitary facilities will be available.

Tickets for the summer festival can be bought at any time and are also available from VFW on the day of the event, but organizers are encouraging attendees to purchase tickets in advance for meal planning. Tickets can be purchased at or by scanning the QR code on posted flyers with a smartphone. Tickets are tax deductible.

Raffle tickets for the baskets can be purchased in advance on the website or in person at the summer festival. You do not need to attend the event to purchase raffle tickets, nor be present to win. The winning tickets will be drawn at 5 p.m. on the day of the event.

Sponsorship funds range from $250 to $2,500. Visit the Gilly’s House website for more information or contact Barbara Gillmeister at [email protected] by asking.


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