It was entitled “a reception”, the type of event Linda Folcarelli has hosted, chaired and worked on time and again during her unique and seemingly endless extraordinary career of community volunteerism.
The event, though, was much different than those Folcarelli, who is a part-time civilian employee with the Johnston Police Department, has ever been involved in during her countless years of organizing parties for groups like the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Italian-American Club and St. Rocco’s Roman Catholic Church, just to name a few.
Last Thursday night’s event, held at the Santa Maria DiPrata Hall on Walnut Grove Avenue in Cranston, was a fundraiser coordinated and hosted by Friends of Linda Folcarelli who is making her first-ever run for political office.
Folcarelli received the unanimous endorsement from the Johnston Democratic Town Committee as the Town Council candidate for District I and hopes to replace Richard J. DelFino III who, after winning back-to-back two-year terms, has decided not to make another run for office so he can spend more time with his wife Arianna and two young sons.
During last Thursday night’s fundraiser, speeches were limited, as only Mayor Joseph Polisena and DelFino III spoke and heaped words of praise upon Folcarelli who both Democrats agreed “will be a great, great representative for District I on the Johnston Town Council.”
Meanwhile, JDTC Chairman Richard J. DelFino Jr. called the night’s event “an exceptional turnout for a wonderful woman who time and again has given selfless service for a number of great causes and organizations here in Johnston.”
While there were dozens upon dozens of Folcarelli supporters inside the Italian-American club, there was one staunch supporter who sat alongside Pat Esposito and was smiling from ear-to-ear.
“I’m so proud and happy that Linda is running for the District I Town Council seat,” offered Mary Cerra, the first-ever female town council member in Johnston, wanted it known. “She has a lot of friends and supporters; just look at the crowd that filled this place. I’m behind her one hundred percent.”
DelFino III, who received praise from Polisena as well as special thanks for his extraordinary contributions in his four years on the Johnston Town Council, said: “Thank you to everyone here who supported the past four years. It was a privilege and pleasure to serve on the Town Council and represent all the residents of District I. Now, we’ve got a great candidate to support and I’m confident she’ll do a great job for each and every resident of District I and Johnston, in general.”
Folcarelli, who is a 1974 Johnston High School graduate, attended the Community College of Rhode Island and is retired from the RI Department of Corrections where she was an accountant for Correctional Industries, limited her remarks saying: “Thank you! I’m very honored to have so many friends and family join me here tonight. I am running for Town Council because I will work to ensure that your voice is heard. If you have any questions, please contact me at 217-5002. I ask for your vote on Tuesday, November 6.”
Folcarelli faces Deb Spaur, who ran against Richard DelFino III in 2016, in the General Election.