Mayor's Thanksgiving gift more than just a card
That’s what Janet Whiteley, the administrative assistant to Mayor Joseph Polisena and Lois Marandola, the town’s part-time Human Services Director, called their recent two-hour plus stay inside the Johnston Senior Center.
What Whiteley and Marandola did, in short, was uphold Polisena’s on-going “Helping our Neighbors Program” that surfaces at Thanksgiving and Christmas by distributing 100 Price Rite gift cards to qualified Johnstonians.
“Each recipient must be a Johnston resident,” Whiteley explained to several women who asked why there was so much extra activity inside the nationally-accredited Center. “Second, they must be a senior citizen and third each person must be income qualified to receive in order to receive a gift card.”
Whiteley and Marandola were armed with an official letter which was personally signed by Polisena that entitled each recipient to make a $25 purchase at Price Rite.
Moreover, the two Town Hall staffers wore warm smiles on their faces while wishing each person a joyous and happy holiday season and saying, “Have a Happy Thanksgiving from Mayor Polisena.”
The official letter, which was printed on Executive Chamber stationary, was dated November 16, 2017 and began: “Dear Friend: On behalf of the citizens of the Town of Johnston, I have enclosed a Price Rite gift card for you and your family to use for your Thanksgiving shopping. During these difficult times, it is comforting to see our community join together in an effort to share our resources. Please accept this gift card in lieu of a traditional Thanksgiving Day basket. Best wishes for a healthy and happy Thanksgiving. Warmest personal regards, Mayor Joseph M. Polisena.”
“Lois and I look forward to this day every year,” said Whiteley. “It’s an important event and this year it seemed as though we had many more new faces than ever and we also saw some regulars, as well.”