On a “balmy” 40 degree January night in Chelmsford, MA I got to see this first hand at a fundraiser hosted by Rufina’s on Concord Road.
The cause – Center Elementary School PTO.
The location – one of the best Italian restaurants in the Merrimack Valley.
The specifics – 20% of your bill (excluding beverages, tax, and tip) goes directly to the Center School PTO to support enrichment programs.
The takeaway – community is alive and well in Chelmsford.
For those of us that live in town, it is no secret that our schools are one of the greatest assets we have to offer. They went a long way towards our outstanding Top 30 ranking in CNN Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live” for 2011 – a ranking of America’s best small towns that “stand out in the qualities American families care about most – great job opportunities, top-notch schools, safe streets, economic strength, nice weather, plenty to do, and more.”
Our school system is also a major reason why many people choose to move to Chelmsford, just as it plays a major role in why people often stay. But, it’s these very same people that are the driving force behind what makes our school system so great.
Teachers, support staff, and volunteers alike all contribute with vested interest to make our great array of schools rank among the best of the best.
When you add in the support of the community at large, as seen at this charity event, or as seen in the town wide effort currently going on to rebuild the fire damaged South Row playground, the result is a sustainable system of education that will surely only get stronger as time goes on.
I’d personally like to thank Rufina’s for their involvement in this event as well as their passion for food and Chelmsford alike. The haddock special I had at this event (pictured above) was nothing short of perfect; maybe one of the top three meals I’ve ever had there. I’m not shy in admitting I go to Rufina’s a lot, and when a place you visit often is able to consistently raise the bar and surpass your expectations, not much else needs to be said.
My hope that many new people attended this event and will help grow the Rufina’s “family” that we have at this random strip plaza in rural South Chelmsford.
I’d also like to thank the community at large for continually supporting all things Chelmsford. One might get discouraged by happenings in this town if you only subject yourself to the comments made at the end of online articles and Facebook posts concerning certain, tired topics about specific town officials. But this is not the true Chelmsford.
My take? Don’t buy it. Come attend events like this, “get your sweat on” at volunteer efforts with the Open Space Stewards, or enjoy seasonal events put on by the town like the 4th of July parade and Holiday Predule and Tree Lighting Celebration to discover what this town is really made of.
It’s made up of good, honest people who care about each other and the well-being of the community we live in.
Keep it up Chelmsford.
This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 1/28/12.