Out of caution for the health and safety of our community, our services will continue virtually until further notice, with the exception of 24-hour facilities, Recovery Center, and Childcare which remain open. WIC continues to serve most Participants remotely and now has limited services available in person by appointment only.

Evening of Giving

A homeless man froze to death in Hudson in 1986 which prompted a meeting between then City Counselor Roland Simoneau and the Marlboro-Hudson Interfaith Clergy. They vowed to do something to ensure that no one else would suffer the same fate because there was no place for them to sleep on a cold winter night. The original Marlboro-Hudson Community Shelter was located in the basement of a Marlboro municipal building. There were no showers, no paid staff, and the shelter operated only during evening and overnight hours.

In the late 80's Roland and his wife Joan worked with a small committee to hold a fundraiser at Madonna Hall at St. Matthias Church to benefit the shelter. These events continued for a few years and raised a few thousand dollars each year for the shelter. In 1990 the event was deemed The Evening of Giving and was moved to the Holiday Inn in Marlboro to accommodate a larger crowd. About 700 people attended that initial event. After several years as the event's popularity increased, the crowd grew, and the Evening of Giving was moved to the Best Western Crowne Plaza Hotel in Marlboro where it draws over 1200 people each year.

Through Roland's efforts, he and the committee have raised approximately half a million dollars on behalf of the Marlboro Shelter. Over the years those proceeds have helped improve the shelter through the addition of a new heating system, new windows, new floors, and kitchen and bathroom remodeling. The funds have also paid 100% of the food costs many years and have helped us to maintain the staffing levels necessary to effectively operate the shelter. Roland is truly one man who has made a great difference in the lives of many people he did not even know. Sadly, Roland passed away in July 2005. His spirit will always be alive and remembered by many people in Marlboro, particularly in the preparation and celebration of the Evening of Giving. At a ceremony at the Evening of Giving in December 2005 the shelter was rededicated in his honor as Roland's House.

The Evening of Giving is held each fall in late November or early December. The event features fine food from more than 30 local restaurants. The entire first floor of the Best Western Hotel is utilized to set up food stations, seating, cash bars, music and a dance floor. One annual highlight of the event is the popular raw bar featuring hundreds of pounds of oysters, clams, and shrimp. A raffle with only 300 tickets offered, and a chance to win the top prize of $5,000 is another popular part of the event. Tickets to the Evening of Giving are available beginning in late September. For more information please call the Marlboro Shelter at (508) 481-7847.

Committee Members include: Rosalind Baker, Ava Belcher, Jack Drummey, Madeline and Bob Dupuis, Susan Gentili, Ron Guest, Nancy Hough, Bob Kays, Dennis Kennedy, Maurice Lewis, Paulina Lynch, Ivette Mesmar, Jean Peters, Trish and Tom Pope, Leon Roberge, Roland and Joan Simoneau.

Restaurants and Hotels that have participated in the event: Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center, Checkerboards, Chez Siam, Chloe's, Coral Seafood, El Shadday's, Embassy Suites, Firefly's, Halfway Café, Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, Kennedy's Pub, Kennedy's Market, Long Horn Steakhouse, Linguine's, Marlboro Country Club, New Horizon's at Madonna Hall, Piccadilly Pub, Prospector East Saloon, Radisson Hotel, Steven Anthony's Restaurant, Sebastian's, Sergio's, Sully's First Edition, Tastings, Trombetta's Creamery, The Wayside Inn, The Wildwood, Yoong Tong Thai Restaurant.

South Middlesex Opportunity Council will improve equity, wellness and quality of life for diverse individuals and families by providing advocacy, education, and a wide range of services; building a community of support and inclusion; and creating awareness to combat poverty through partnerships and coalitions with other organizations.