Winthrop Community Helping a Neighbor

Thursday, August 16, 2012
By Cary Shuman

Winthrop neighbors and friends are reaching out to the community to assist the Johnson family who lost  its personal possessions and furniture in a July fire that struck  its home at 895 Shirley Street.

The group has planned a fundraiser for the family that will be held on Thursday, Aug. 30, from 7 to 10 p.m, at the Winthrop Yacht Club. There will be a pasta buffet, raffles, and musical entertainment.

Jodee Harris, a childhood friend of Eileen Kelly Johnson, said the group has been getting good support from the Winthrop community.

“The community of Winthrop has really pulled together to help the Johnson family,” said Harris.

Committee member Kathy Cesareo, a friend of Eileen and Erik Johnson for many years, said the group has been assembling gift baskets and raffle prizes together for the fundraiser.

“We just want to help out and do whatever we can for the family,” said Cesareo.

Leo Haskell, who works at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, said MWRA employees are joining in the fundraising effort.

“We just want to help the Johnson family through these trying times,” he said.

Mary Lou Osborne, a representative of Neighbor to Neighbor, is part of the fundraising effort.

“We’re happy to team up with the group of family and friends who are helping the Johnson family,” said Osborne.

Karen Perrin, sister of Eileen Johnson, said proceeds from the fundraiser will help recoup some of the financial losses that the family sustained as a result of the fire. The family lost furniture, Christmas decorations, winter clothing, and personal momentos in the fire.

“We hope people will come to the fundraiser and help support the family,” said Perrin.

Perrin said the Winthrop Fire Department did an excellent job in extinguishing the fire and preventing more substantial losses.

“We can’t thank the Winthrop Fire Department enough,” said Perrin. “They were here for two hours putting out the fire. The flames were going straight up.”

Erik and Eileen Johnson have three children, Katherine, Mark, and Jillian. The family has relocated to an apartment in the town while the house is being repaired.

Tickets are available for a $20 donation and may be purchased via email at JohnsonFund846@gmail.com

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