Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk participants trek through Wellesley

2014 jimmy fund walkThousands of Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walkers passed through Wellesley today on their dual mission to make it to Copley Square and to help fight cancer while they were at it.  The over 8,500 participants walked one of four routes, as distant as the entire 26.2 mile Boston Marathon route, from Hopkinton center to Copley Square, or as near as a three-mile route starting at Dana-Farber hospital. 2014 jimmy fund walkRegardless of how many or few steps the walkers take, participants raise the most money of any single-day walk  in the nation.  The $300 minimum that adults raise ($100 minimum for ages 12 and under) is expected this year to add up to more than $7.5 million dollars to combine with the nearly $95 million dollars already raised for the fight against cancer since 1989. And although the short-term goal on walk day may be to simply make it from point A to point B and have a good time doing it, the long-term goal couldn’t be loftier: to conquer all forms of cancer in children and adults.  Money raised from the walk funds lifesaving adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research for all types of cancer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. Also of interest… Cancer research fundraiser for Wellesley Youth Hockey coach’s bid to be Man of the Year Wellesley hosts Pan Mass cyclists Wellesley teens spearhead Pan Mass mountain bike ride
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Newton-Wellesley Hospital HopeWalks fundraiser to help cancer patients

The Newton-Wellesley Hospital Charitable Foundation is gearing up for its fifth annual HopeWalks event to be held on Sunday, September 28. HopeWalks is a 3.5 mile neighborhood walk to benefit cancer patients and their families by supporting the Integrative Support Services offered at the Vernon Cancer Center. These life-enhancing services for cancer patients optimize healing and comfort throughout treatment. Newton-Wellesley Hospital wants to continue making these services available to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Online registration is now open at

The HopeWalks route will begin and end at the hospital, and all ages are welcome. Check-in will begin at 9:00AM, with opening ceremonies starting at 9:30 AM. The walk will then set-off at 10:00 AM. There will be a hospitality tent, entertainment, food, and prizes. HopeWalks is a fundraiser, and while there is no minimum donation amount required to participate, it is recommended that each walker raise a minimum of $100.

The online registration fee is $25 per walker. For those who register by paper or on the day of the event, the registration fee is $35. Children 10 and under are free.

Corporate sponsorships at all levels are still available. For more information, please contact Maryann Zschau at (617) 243-5915 or [email protected]

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Teens team with Rotary Club of Wellesley on emotional wellness

Wellness project mentors David Michael, Nathan Chiu, Teddy Sevilla, Harman Bharj, Joey Kinyanjui, Thomas Capozzi, and Nicole Frontero.

Wellness project mentors David Michael, Nathan Chiu, Teddy Sevilla, Harman Bharj, Joey Kinyanjui, Thomas Capozzi, and Nicole Frontero.

From Rotary Club of Wellesley:

The Rotary Club of Wellesley has announced its Peer Leadership and Emotional Wellness project, partnering with the Rotary Club of San Juan in Puerto Rico.
“The objectives of the program are to enhance emotional health and wellness in the youth population of greater San Juan and Wellesley,” according to Robert Anthony, project manager for the Wellesley club. He explained that the program will promote emotional health by “providing kids access to activities that improve coping skills and knowledge so they may better balance the weight of life’s worries.”  
The Rotary Club of Wellesley meets every Tuesday night. Its mission is to provide programs and services designed to enhance and improve life in the community, the nation and the world. Rotary clubs may be best known for preventing polio; this project is a step toward preventing anxiety and depression. On October 7, the club hosts a meeting at 6pm in the Wellesley College Club; all are welcome to attend.
The Rotary Club of San Juan wellness project manager is Dr. Johnny Rullan, former Director of Health for Puerto Rico.  
Anthony said the program, which replicates the wellness project started last year by the Rotary Club of Wellesley, “will help to head off future problems by working with teen mentors to reach youth between the ages of 8 to 15.” Up to 15% of the population experiences depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
On September 14, nineteen teens from Wellesley, Weston, Sherborn and Natick launched the Wellesley Interact club and attended training to become mentors for the project. Seven are pictured: David Michael, Nathan Chiu (Wellesley Interact club President), Teddy Sevilla (Vice-president), Harman Bharj (Director), Joey Kinyanjui (Director), Thomas Capozzi (Director) and Nicole Frontero (Secretary).
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Wellesley Fall Trails Walks & Kids’ Trail Day schedule

The Wellesley Trails Committee has a full slate of trails-related activities set for the fall.

Download (PDF, 29KB)

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Wellesley MCAS scores are here

Time to dive into the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test results for Wellesley. A snapshot’s below, but full details are here, including sortable tables that let you explore individual school scores.

At a glance, Wellesley students aced their English Language Arts tests, started (4th grade) and finished (10th grade) strong in math, and have some work to do in science – 69% proficient or higher in 5th grade and 59% proficient or higher in 8th.


MCAS spring 2014 Wellesley



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Beer & wine for sale at Wellesley Roche Bros.

Roche BrosRoche Bros. started filling in shelves today and has announced that beer and wine are indeed now available for purchase at the Linden Square grocery store.

We had noticed that wine glasses were for sale earlier the week at the end of some very empty shelves. (On Tuesday, Roche Bros. told us they were still ironing out a few details but hoped to be selling beer and wine soon.)

The beverage manager was heard to say: ” It was the happiest day in the life of Roche Bros!”

One Swellesley reader wrote to say that when he happened upon the new-look Roche Bros., on Saturday that “the adults walking through had eyes as big as kids in a candy store. One commented ‘Wow. The’re starting to treat us as adults in this town.’” This this particular reader said the new beer and wine aisles did make finding the breakfast cereal harder.

Roche Bros. is among a handful of local businesses, including Fells Market, Tutto Italiano (which now offers wine) and The Cheese Shop (which is now doing regular wine tastings) that secured the town’s historic new licenses for retail sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption.

(Thanks to reader CC for sending along the photo of the Roche Bros. employees stocking shelves.)Roche Bros wine glassesRoche Bros shelves

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Wellesley High football team pushing purple for Friday night game

Wellesley High footballUPDATE: Raiders lost a heartbreaker, 28-23.

The Wellesley High Raiders football team has its annual home night game tonight at 7pm under the lights, and the players will be adding purple to their usual red/black/white uniforms.

The team on its Facebook page states: “Our football team will be wearing purple bandanas today at school and tonight during the game. This is a player-driven initiative for awareness in the recent cases of domestic violence in the NFL. Purple is the color for domestic violence awareness, and our players have asked the school community to wear purple tonight. Please support and lets send a message that this is not a football issue, but a trend in our society that must be broken. Thank you to everyone who comes out to support our team and thank you for wearing purple. Everybody have fun tonight and be safe. Go Raiders!”

The Raiders, looking to bounce back after a Week 1 loss, play Newton North.

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Comedian Bob Marley at Babson Friday night; Road race on Saturday

Babson CollegeIf you see more activity than usual around Babson College this weekend that’s because it’s the school’s homecoming and reunion weekend.

Bob MarleyWhile the activities are mainly for the Babson crowd, the public is also invited to join in some of the fun, including a comedy show Friday night (Sept. 19) at 930-10:30pm under a big tent on the upper fields. Babson grad Jillian Brooks kicks off the show, with Bob Marley appearing as the headliner. He likes to joke about growing up in Maine. If you don’t happen to be part of the Babson community, just show up at the tent and let them know you’re part of the Wellesley community. (We caught 30 Rock’s Judah Friedlander there last year.)

Other activities include an investment banking conference on Friday and a 5K road race and a kid’s fun run at 11:30am on Saturday.

Fox News Boston got the weekend off to a rousing start with a visit to Babson on Friday morning.

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New app solves Wellesley High brick mystery

Wellesley High BrickWellesley Education Foundation (WEF) has launched an app that makes it easier for those who bought bricks in 2011-2012 to pave an area in front of the new Wellesley High School entrance to actually locate those bricks.

The Brickfinder app was built by local Web programmer George Roberts, with thanks to recent Wellesley High grad Billy Kaplan for inputting data about the hundreds of bricks over the summer (Kaplan’s mom, Linda Chow, is co-president of WEF). The app divvies the bricks into four bands and then narrows down specific inscribed bricks based on which row and column they are in.


“I photographed all the bricks with approximately 20 overlapping photos and Billy matched them up with the original brick data *and* he went the extra mile and indicated which brick was in which photo, which allowed me to do the additional feature of showing the actual photo of your brick (those photos were
originally meant for the data entry person only),” Roberts says.

The plaza includes bricks from the 2011-12 campaign, which raised $85K-plus and has been put to use for buying a piano, new dance floor and more for the school. The plaza also includes earlier commemorative bricks.

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Wellesley dads take on top PTO roles

The Parent Teacher Organization presidency positions in Wellesley’s schools  typically are filled by moms willing and able to put in up to 40-hour weeks the volunteer job can demand during its busiest times.  This year, however, Wellesley has two dads who have taken on that leadership position, along with all the joys and headaches it entails.

Matthew McKay, Sprague PTO President

Matthew McKay, Sprague PTO President

Matthew McKay took the PTO helm at Sprague Elementary School this year, and Kevin Leach serves a co-president of Hardy‘s PTO, along with Lisa Fico.

The 5-member Wellesley School Committee also now includes a male, Matt Kelley, and we were surprised to hear that since 1978 the committee has actually consisted of about 30% males. While we don’t have the historical data on the PTOs, our impression is that having two male presidents at once is rare or even unprecedented (feel free to chime in if you know otherwise).

Kevin Leach, Hardy PTO co-President

Kevin Leach, Hardy PTO co-President

In the meantime, if you were wondering what it’s like to be a PTO president, man-style, turns out it’s pretty similar to working the job woman-style — it’s all about setting priorities and helping the school year run smoothly.

We caught up with Leach, who graduated from Wellesley High School in 1989, and McKay, a relative newcomer, and they graciously agreed to answer a few questions about the vida loca of a PTO president.


How long have you lived in Wellesley?  How did you decide that this was the town for you?

McKay: We moved to Wellesley in 2007 from San Francisco. We were attracted by the great school system, accessibility to Boston, and relative closeness to my parents and my in-laws.

Leach: My wife and I moved to Wellesley in 2006, although as a child I lived in Wellesley. My parents and I moved into town when I was in 8th grade and I graduated from WHS in 1989.  We moved back to Wellesley to be close to my parents and because we believed in the school system and the location of Wellesley offered a reasonable commute for both my wife and I.

Do you work full-time?  What is your professional background?

McKay: I stay at home now. When our youngest daughter was born we decided that my wife would return to work and I would stay at home with the newborn. I thought this arrangement would last one or two years, but I’ve enjoyed staying at home with my girls and my wife has been able to focus on her career.  My career was largely focused in equity research, covering software and IT services companies. In San Francisco I worked for Robertson Stephens during the crazy dot com era. I enjoyed the challenge of picking stocks and learning about companies and trends. The travel became a burden when we started having children.

Now I’m trying to write a sci-fi novel, or at least one that people would want to read. Over the past year I’ve written over 90,000 words. It’s not quite finished, but I would love for writing to become my new profession.

Leach: I work full time in a scientific role in the pharmaceutical industry.  I have a Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and did a post doctoral fellowship in biological engineering at MIT.  I am a director of Pharmacology at a biotech firm in Cambridge working on therapies for rare and orphan diseases.

What are the most important challenges facing you this year as PTO president?

McKay: We have set out two main priorities. The first is to ensure our new principal, Ms. Susan Snyder, is successful in her first year. The second is to build up an already very strong community. Our community has been very generous over the years, enabled by superstar parents who have run fund raisers, and thus our primary challenge is finding the most impactful projects for PTO.

Leach: As PTO co-president the challenges we face are keeping the momentum going.  We have been lucky to have a long succession of great PTO board members who have set up an infrastructure that is effective at accomplishing the mission of the PTO.  This year we are focused on delivering programs to the children that complement their school objectives, to supporting the school staff, and to fostering a sense of community at Hardy school.

What is the most enjoyable part of your PTO president job?

McKay: The people in the Sprague community (parents, kids, teachers), hands down. There are so many incredible people that feel very strongly about supporting Sprague. There is a strong bench of past Presidents and Treasurers who have continued to support the PTO and pointed us in the right directions. Read More »

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  • Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers

    Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers