Wally the Green Monster brought Red Sox World Series trophies to Greenland shelter in act of kindness
Five-year old Spencer Bartel, of Farmington, poses with the Red Sox World Series Trophies from 2004 and 2007 during a campaign to celebrate the 100th year of Fenway Park Friday at Second Generations Thrift Shoppe in Rochester. While the significance of the event could have escaped Spencer, his father Darrin, who was at work, is a dedicated member of Red Sox Nation. (John Quinn/Union Leader Correspondent)
Wally, who's served as the Boston Red Sox mascot since 1997, helped bring the 2004 and 2007 World Series trophies to Second Generations Thrift Shoppe as part of a campaign to help organizations throughout Red Sox Nation in 2012.
“This is our 52nd act of kindness,” Fenway Ambassador Alyssa Gonyea said. “We're doing 100 acts of kindness in celebration of (the centennial of) Fenway Park this year.”
Fellow Ambassador Julio Jeune said Wally and the two trophies have traveled to a variety of places – such as food banks, elder care facilities, equine shelters, dog hospitals, children's centers and veteran's hospitals – in all six New England states and near the Red Sox training camp in Florida.
“Every event we have gone to has been different,” Jeune said, adding Wally makes a big impression on the fans.
Tiffany Bartel, of Farmington, said she raced to the store after her grandmother, Gerry Soucy, told her Wally was making a special visit.
“We're so excited about it – it's so wonderful,” Bartel said, adding she gladly entered a raffle to win tickets to an upcoming Red Sox home game.
While her five-year-old son Spencer was too young to understand the significance, Bartel could not pass up the opportunity to see the trophies, especially the one from 2004, which signified the end of an 86-year drought for the Red Sox.
“They're one of the only teams we watch,” Bartel said, adding her husband Darrin, who was working, would be jealous as aside from games and special events, the Red Sox usually keep their seven World Series trophies in a case at Fenway Park.
Bartel said she's been coming to the store, at both old and new locations, since when she was pregnant and returned often as Spencer continued to grow.
“They go through clothes like there's no tomorrow,” Bartell said, adding this was the only place she could find rain boots for Spencer four different times.
While the selection is fantastic, Bartel said the low prices help keep costs down, which have been especially helpful during the tough times.
“It has great prices, especially for the kid's clothes because they don't keep it very long,” Bartel said.
The visit helped promote the shop's new location at 88 Hancock St. – Route 125 – and encourage area residents to stop in and find some great deals while helping others, according to Jennifer Murphy Aubin, division manager for New Generation.
About 30 area residents stopped in the thrift shop, many who wanted to meet Wally and see the World Series trophies while perusing the toys, shoes, books, games, dishes and clothes for all members of the family in the store.
Store lead Beth Robinson, of Dover, said the event brought in quite a few new faces and it gave more people an opportunity to see the selection and the prices, especially the kids clothes which are usually only $1.
“Every day, there's something on sale,” Robinson said, adding the shop will get ready for back to school shopping in the next month.
Murphy Aubin said all of the proceeds from the sales at the Second Generation Thrift Shoppes, also located in Greenland and Seabrook, benefit New Generation's shelter, which assists pregnant women, new mothers and their young children who are homeless.
While the shelter provides a temporary place to live, residents are required to take advantage of the resources which help new mothers improve their education, learn job skills and take part in community service, Murphy Aubin said.
She said many residents work in Thrift Shoppe in Greenland, which is in the same building as the shelter, so they can take advantage of child care while trying to get back on their feet.
Meanwhile, police located the Red Sox employee who left Fenway Park dressed as Wally the Green Monster Friday. No charges were filed as Wally decided to leave early for a scheduled appearance and took the time to walk around Boston.
For more information about the shelter and the thrift stores, visit www.newgennh.org.
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