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A Rivalry with Passion and Respect

This year (2014) marks the 30th anniversary of this annually awaited Newton and Brookline Thanksgiving Football Luncheon.  It brings together Rotarians from both Clubs that share the same common values of giving and service in a joint traditional experience.
The event was suggested and started by Newton Rotarian Tony Bibbo in 1984 with the enthusiastic participation and support of the then current Club Presidents, Allen (Red) MacPherson of Brookline and Alan Quebec of Newton.  The concept was not new as Wellesley and Needham Rotaries had been doing this for a number of years and Bibbo, with a son playing football at Wellesley and himself President of the Wellesley Gridiron Club, was taken with the spirit demonstrated by those two communities.
The initial event in 1984 was somewhat humble as the Program chairman from Newton insisted that the program he had scheduled long in advance of the luncheon day would not be changed.  As a result, the 100 plus individuals in attendance at Brae Burn sat through a travelogue of a train trip taken by a Guest Rotarian train enthusiast.  Also, during the first few years of this event the guest list included just the 2 coaches and the football captains.  it should also be noted that attendance appeared as the "Good Old Boys Club" as women were not voted into Rotary until 1987.
Since the start of this luncheon, there have been 61 different Club Presidents involved, 176 football captains, and 94 Cheerleaders.  We have come a long way with this event.  The participation of key leadership from our two communities, both executive and educational, has played a vital role in the success of this annual celebration.  Historically, it should be noted that Tom Keery has served as Toastmaster of this event off and on for 27 years while Paul Kerrissey followed shortly thereafter, introducing the winning team trophy.  We should also mention that Coach Peter Capodilupo has been with us on all 30 years.
Bo Winiker and his group have been with us for 26 years, providing some spirited music.  The commitment of Allen MacPherson, the Brookline President at the start of the event, has never waivered.  What a shining light his wife, and a past President of the Brookline Club, Shirley MacPherson, has been in working to continue the success of this event.
May you all have an enjoyable Thanksgiving celebration, and that all that attend and those that participate in the football classic on Thanksgiving Day savor what is a very special and privileged experience.
The Newton-Brookline Thanksgiving Luncheon Committee, 2014
Chairmen: Paul Kerrissey and tom Keery
Logistics: Tony Bibbo
Committee members: Sue Peghiny, David Sellers, Allen MacPherson, Shirley MacPherson, Chris Chu, Paul Sullivan, Susan Rack, Jeff Tucker, Claudia Dell'Anno, Hadley Weinberg
Newton President: Mark Nicholas
Brookline President: Joyce Graff
May this Thanksgiving Holiday bring to you comfort and joy!