2017 Persons of the Year
The Giandomenico FamilyCongratulations to the Giandomenico Family…
Fred, Albert, Edward, David and Donna!
The family roots of our honorees can be traced back to a time in our country’s history that saw a wave of immigrants coming to America. The Giandomenico Family story in America began in downtown Walpole. There in May of 1921 Albert Giandomenico Sr. was born in his family home and one day later Frieda Balduf was born on Bullard Street. Their stars already crossed, they graduated as the class couple in 1939, Al voted the Best Athlete at Walpole, married and settled here in Walpole. Their story encompassed 72 years of marriage, 5 children, and 12 grandchildren who continue their family legacy. They passed away 4 days apart in March of 2016 at their 103 School Street homestead. The lessons they taught: love of family, community and country, the value of Education and the importance of giving back shaped the lives of their children, all of whom reside here in Walpole.
If you grew up here in the 60’s and 70’s, chances are you knew one of The Giando’s. All 5 attended Stone School before moving on to prep school and college. Their active participation in fundraising for numerous memorial scholarships under the Walpole Scholarship Fund illustrates the commitment they have to insure quality education in their community. The Mark Belmore Scholarship is one of note that raised $15,000 its first year in an event sponsored by the Giandomenicos.
One has only to have a conversation with any of the siblings and it becomes clear of their deep commitment to community. According to Donna, “I am a better person for growing up here, and my children are better for it too, it grounds us living here”. Fred, Al, Jr. & Holly, Eddie & Sonia, David & Lori and Donna & Neil Murphy make their homes in Walpole and donate to a variety of community initiatives with little fanfare.
In their professional lives, Fred and Ed started their law practices here. In 1979, Al founded Export Insurance Agency, now EIA-Global and David and Donna have joined the ranks of the company. The family has given many WHS graduates a start in their working lives. In 2012, Al purchased the old Walpole Library building, renovated it, moved EIA into it and dedicated the building to their parents. As part of the renovation, it was imperative to preserve the integrity and history of the library. It has a wonderful time line that chronicles the history of the library and contains many artifacts in Walpole History.
The Giando’s have made other significant investments in the Walpole community. They established the Foundry Restaurant in the downtown and arguably brought the first sports bar to the Center opening the Rebel Restaurant (later to become Finnegan’s). These became the sites for many fundraising initiatives spearheaded by the family to benefit the Town; including an extremely successful Rock n Roll show of local musicians that raised over $5000 to help the Anti-Sludge Fight.
Other notable accomplishments include local sports coaching and serving as a Foster Family in town. Al, Jr. is on the Board of Directors of Norwood Hospital. Perhaps one local commitment speaks the loudest however; the Walpole Fireworks. You can thank Fred Giandomenico and his family for keeping them here in Walpole for the past 20 years. The fireworks were at risk to be cancelled as the $3000 needed was pulled after a lost override. Fred became a founding member of the Walpole Sons of Liberty, met with the WFD, and went door to door downtown asking local businesses to join his family in donating to save the fireworks. Giandomenicos continue to help and organize the fundraising for this event.
For their loyalty, and commitment to the community of Walpole, the Friends of Saint Patrick are pleased and proud to present to The Giandomenico family the 2017 Persons of the Year Award.
Get your tickets to the 2017 Annual Luncheon: Click Here!