Q: Explain some of the ways you assist and have helped veterans.
All veterans are near and dear to our family, especially because two of Dave Sr.’s brothers, as well as his brother-in-law, were in the military. Dave Sr. was a member of the Army National Guard, but not a veteran. Any way that we can support veterans we can.
There have been countless events that we have spearheaded or supported to benefit veterans. We have sponsored the Traveling Vietnam wall to our city. In addition, we sponsored an all-expense paid bus trip for 100 local WWII Veterans from Lynn to Washington DC for the dedication of the WWII memorial in 2004. Solimine has also helped restore numerous war memorials and monuments with help from our friends the DeFillipo family from Woodlawn Memorials in Everett, MA. We have helped sponsor two military appreciation parades, one of which Dave Sr. was asked to be the grand marshal of the parade because of his tireless work with veterans. We hold a yearly Memorial Day Event at our local municipal Golf Club, a yearly Flag Retiring Ceremony at our city cemetery, and a yearly Veterans Day ceremony at our funeral home.
Q: Which Solimine community event stands out to you and why?
The most fun event that we held was a just for fun month of ice cream socials celebrating our 50th anniversary 4 years ago. We held ice cream parties at over 20 different venues throughout the city from apartment complexes, police stations, fire stations, and everything in between. After securing our locations, we simply showed up and served as many ice cream Sundays as we could throughout the month of August. There was a great turn out at each location, and an unforgettable experience.
Q: Can you tell us a little more about your passion for cancer research and awareness?
Both my grandfather, Dave Sr. and Mary Jane, my grandmother are cancer survivors, so any organization benefiting cancer research or a family impacted by cancer is important to us. In the early 2000’s, Dave Jr. made a donation to the North Shore Medical Center. To this day, the emergency center is named Mary Jane and Dave Solimine Sr. Emergency Center. Dave Sr. is also a founding board member of the Boston North Cancer Association, where there is a scholarship in his name that is awarded to a high school senior who is a cancer survivor, or is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. In addition we sponsored the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus
Chorus to perform at our City Hall auditorium and all proceeds of the show were donated to the Lynn Community Health Center to help with the construction of their new building.
Q: Talk to us about the community of Lynn, and how Solimine has contributed?
Something very near and dear to us are helping less fortunate families in our area. Lynn is a blue collar city with many families struggling financially, so anything we can do to help matters to us. Along with supporting the local soup kitchen and homeless shelters, we are involved in 2 main organizations, Citizens Inn/ Haven from Hunger, and Santa’s Island.
Citizens Inn / Haven from hunger is an organization that assists families transition out of homelessness. The Solimine Family is involved in real estate development, and have pledged $1,000 per house built in the Lynn / Peabody area to Citizens Inn. Over $100,000 has been donated to fight homelessness from the Solimine Family in the past 5 years.
Item Santa and Santa’s Island. Item Santa is a program with our local paper that assists struggling families with purchasing Christmas presents, who otherwise may not have any presents for their family. There is a traffic island in front of our Broadway location that has been dubbed as Santa’s Island because we collect funds for Item Santa, at least $20,000 every year for the past 15 years. Several years ago we noticed that there are still many families who do not make the cut, or miss out on the Item Santa program, so we started our own program through our nonprofit company, Solimine Charitable Corporation. Several other organizations and families assist, and teachers and social workers in the school system keep a lookout for children and families who are in need. We help purchase everything from boots and gloves in the winter, bathing suits and sneakers in the summer, clothing, groceries, toiletries; anything that family may need we will help purchase.
Q: Where did all of these ideas for community outreach come from?
Community outreach has always been a passion of the Solimine Family. My grandfather Dave Sr. grew up in a modest home in Lynn where half of his siblings and parents were immigrants from Italy. He was determined to be successful, and at age 30 he started the funeral home, while being a wholesale florist and raising his 4 children with my grandmother. They always believed in giving back to the community in any way that they could, whether donating time and energy or money. My Dad Dave Jr. followed in his footsteps and raised my brother and I to become involved, and always support our community as they supported our family when Dave Sr. opened the funeral home.
We are honored to partner and serve our clients like Solimine, who go above and beyond for the communities they serve.