There will soon be a new stove inside the kitchen of the Johnston Housing Authority’s always-active Community Room.
“Ah, the Monday night bingo must be making a few extra bucks,” a lady offered while chatting with Beverly A. “Bev” Williams the other morning. “I know you’ve told us the place could really use a new stove and even some other necessary items, as well.”
Williams, who serves as president of the Aime J. Forand Complex Tenants Association, simply smiled before responding: “The money for the stove, and what will be other purchases of new equipment, is not coming four our bingo receipts – that money is for our events.”
The woman looked puzzled and queried: “Did you hit the lottery?”
To which Williams quipped: “Ah, sort of!”
The tenants association president then explained: “We received two grants, one each from two of our most cherished friends and long-time supporters.”
Williams, a one-time member of the Johnston Police Department who lives at the Aime J. Forand Housing Complex at 8 Forand Circle off Greenville Avenue, announced that the tenants group received those valuable state legislative grants from Johnston state Rep. Deborah Fellela and state Sen. Frank Lombardo.
“Deb has always been there for our association … and has been a huge help in securing what this time amounts to a $2,000 grant that will certainly go a long way for our needs,” Williams said. “We’d be lost without Deb’s support through the years … She has always been there for our people, and whenever we have an event, she’s one of the first to arrive and always has a special donation for our raffles.”
Likewise, Williams offered praise for Lombardo and his wife, Patty.
“They always come to our many different functions and donate bottles of wine and even wandies … items that are always special and helps our raffle and different theme events. His support has been ongoing during his tenure in the state Senate.”
Lombardo secured a $1,000 legislative grant for the tenants association.
In addition to the stove, Williams said the association plans to invest in new tables for special events.
“We’re also going to buy a huge cooler than can and will be used indoors and outside at our summer events,” she said.
Williams said Fellela and Lombardo will be invited to the tenants association’s annual May Breakfast, which is scheduled for May 2 at the Lighthouse Restaurant on Hartford Avenue. She said the two legislators will be guests of honor along with Mayor Joseph Polisena.