IN THE NEWS
Everett Builder Makes Dream Playhouse for Housing Hope
It’s a dream playhouse for any kid.
And a lot of grownups, too.
The miniature building contains two rooms with brightly colored walls connected by a ship’s ladder. Sliding plexiglass doors open on hot days to create a cross breeze with windows in the back. It’s fully wired with low-voltage lights. And it came complete with a green roof and a planter box out front, art hanging on the walls and a bean bag, tiny table and other furnishings.
Builder Jim Gaffney constructed the playhouse for a charity auction for Housing Hope, the local nonprofit that aims to combat homelessness. For a month, Gaffney spent every weekend and every night working in his shop on the project.
Maybe he should have just written a check.
“It probably would have been easier, but it wouldn’t have been as much fun,” Gaffney said. “It about wore me out, but I really did enjoy it.”
Eat, Drink and Be Merry at the 2012 Festival of Trees
Over the years, both Jim and Jan Gaffney have put their mark on the Everett Community. Their dedication to Providence and other local nonprofits has distinguished them as key leaders in the community. This year they continue their leadership service as chairs for the 2012 Festival of Trees.
Both natives of the Everett area, Jim and Jan are well-known faces in the community. Jim spends most of his time running Gaffney Construction, an Everett-based company he founded nearly 40 years ago building it into one of the area’s premier construction companies. Jan has been involved with the Providence hospital and hospice boards for more than 30 years, following the path of her mother, who was also largely involved in the hospital board. Jim and Jan participated in the Campaign for the Women & Children’s Pavilion and, most recently, The Campaign for Providence.
With their passion for Providence and the Everett Community, stepping up to Chair this year’s Festival of Trees was a natural for the couple.
“This year we wanted to add an extra joyful twist to Festival.” Jan says. “The last few years have been so difficult with the economy; I wanted people to feel sense of joy and happiness when they walked into the room.”
With that in mind, the theme “Be Merry” was born. This year guests will enjoy a lively and festive atmosphere filled with bright reds, whites and fun patterns.
How Festival Funding Brings Joy
Jan recently visited Camp Prov, a beneficiary of funds from Festival of Trees. Camp Prov provides a fun, therapeutic summer camp experience for children with developmental delays who would otherwise not be able to attend typical summer camps. Jan was overwhelmed by amount of families on the waiting list for the unique summer camp that serves more than 300 children and their families each year.
“The need is great,” Jan says. “We hear about the needs across the nation, but this is right here in our community. This is a local need. We need to step up to the plate as a community to keep this very special program going. I am honored to help in this way.”
Over the years, Festival of Trees has raised millions of dollars to fund programs like Camp Prov that help bring joy and healing to area children and families. To learn more about Festival of Trees and ways you can contribute, visit ProvidenceGeneralFoundation.org
Gaffney’s “Team Approach” Leads to Success
Gaffney Construction Inc. seems to be everywhere at once.
In recent months, the Everett-based general contractor’s signature red, white and blue banner has shown up at the Monroe Boys & Girls Club, at the newly built Bartell Drugs in Silver Lake and at the First Baptist Church of Everett, where construction is under way on a multimillion-dollar Community Outreach Center.
“We probably always have 10 jobs going,” said Jim Gaffney, president and founder of the 32-year-old commercial contractor. “We might do a job that’s $500 for a customer; we might do another that’s $5 million.”
The Assistance League of Everett Thrift Store
The Assistance League of Everett’s new building is a nod back to the day of the prominent downtown department store. A nostalgic arched sign in an oldfashioned serif font adds to clean lines, vertical “column” elements, and contemporary window awnings to create a classic retail landmark.
The 26,000 SF facility, completed in 2003, is a multipurpose space. The building houses a thrift store, a 300-person meeting and event space, office space, and a separate area for “Operation School Bell,” a special place where children can pick out new school clothes. The proceeds from the thrift store fund “Operation School Bell,” so it is important to the success of the program that an attractive and accessible building attract a steady stream of customers.