PEPPERELL -- Fundraising is the top priority for the Friends of the Pepperell Seniors this year, as the group welcomes its new leadership.

New President Phil Durno, Vice President Fran Bergeron, Secretary Pat Wallace and Treasurer Susan Brussard are hoping to bring new funds into the program to continue providing necessary items to the Senior Center and support for seniors in need.

"The Friends are still as strong as ever. We're trying to keep the money going so we can support the Senior Center and the people who need it," Durno said.

Starting April 2, the Friends will be hosting a monthly dinner at the Senior Center as a fundraiser. The dinners will be held the first Saturday of each month and all profits will go to the Friends.

"We've got to get this thing started and get it to be known," Durno said.

The Friends will also be holding 50/50 raffles at major holiday dinners, including the St. Patrick's Day dinner.

The Friends pay for things such as food for holiday dinners, appliances for the senior center and emergency funds for seniors who can't afford to pay for bills or medicines. Since its founding, the Friends have donated more than $52,000.

"That's the reason we have to get more money in our account," Durno said. "To do these things, we can't keep putting out but not taking in."

On March 10, the group celebrated its 18th anniversary with cake and ice cream at the Senior Center.

Bergeron said she is proud to be part of an organization with such an important cause.


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"I'm glad they appreciate the seniors and are willing to help people in need and provide for what the senior center needs every year," Bergeron said.

The Senior Center, she said, is important in the lives of many. She hopes that the Friends can make that experience a little bit better.

"It gives them a place to go and a reason to come here. Some of these people may not have a family or people around, and it gives them a place to be social and not feel isolated," Bergeron said.

Follow Chelsea Feinstein on Twitter and Tout @CEFeinstein.