By PETE FONTAINE
To say that Beverly “Bev” Williams enjoyed a unique birthday last week would be an understatement.
For starters, Williams – a one-time Johnston Police officer who now serves as president of the Aime J. Forand Housing Complex Tenants Association – coordinated each and every detail for her nonprofit’s annual May Breakfast.
She moved the event out of the Community Room and booked the special meeting room at The Lighthouse Restaurant on Hartford Avenue for last Wednesday morning’s breakfast.
Members of the association were invited to the breakfast at no cost, and guests paid $15 each to join the camaraderie that has always been present at such Forand events.
Unlike most May breakfasts, which were held throughout the state last week, all the attendees had the opportunity to order off the menu.
“Our people really like that,” Williams said while adjusting her silver crown and greeting each guest, including Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena. “This is a breakfast for our members and their friends.”
People enjoyed chatting with one another and drinking coffee while waiting to place their order with Connie, the day’s superhero who almost single-handedly served the entire room of members, guests, staff and invited guests.
During the breakfast, two women – and Connie – set two inflatable balloons that both read “Happy Birthday” and placed a white frosting covered chocolate cake between the two ribbons that were affixed to a table.
“Surprise!” several women said to Williams, who made her way to the table to blow out the candles and thank everyone for the cake. Williams even cut the cake and delivered pieces to each person.
“I’m 74 today and I don’t care who knows it,” she mused.
“Bev never, ever stops,” Johnston Housing Authority Executive Director David aRusso said. “She calls the [Monday night] bingo in our community room … she does it all for our tenants.”