Community and Charity Involvement
The Solimine family has a tradition of community service and philanthropy that dates back more than a half-century, a tradition that has been embraced by their colleagues at the Solimine Funeral Homes. The Solimines are lifelong residents of Lynn, and as a locally-owned business they know the importance of giving back and investing in the community they live in. Their generosity has touched the lives of local residents of all ages, from their support of schools and youth sports to helping keep Union Hospital a strong, vital health care facility. They work at bringing families with a common bond together, at events such as the annual Memorial Day ceremony held at Gannon Golf Course, which honors deceased members of the Gannon Golf Community and their families. They have also made it a priority to recognize the sacrifices our veterans have made for us. It isn’t Christmas without members of the Solimine family and their staff and friends manning Santa’s Island on Broadway, seeking donations to aid the Salvation Army/Item Santa Fund. The Solimines are very active throughout the year at recruiting others to volunteer in the community, too.
Please click on the topics below to see what the Solimine family and their staff are doing to make life better in Lynn and the surrounding communities.
During the Christmas holiday season, the Solimine family and staff participate in a number of local activities meant to enhance the lives of families in need. Some activities are very much behind the scenes, such as supporting Santa's Helping Hands in providing winter clothing to needy families. They "adopt" families through Catholic Charities in order to make sure that every parent is able to provide something special for their children at Christmas. They also work with the Lynn Fire Department, The Marine Corps, Variety Children's Charities and others to identify groups in need of collected toys and clothing.
Annual Holiday Memorial Tree Service
Christmas is supposed to be a joyous time of year. For those grieving the loss of a loved one, the Christmas season can be a time of struggle. Every year on the first Saturday of December at 1:00 in the afternoon, the Solimine Funeral Home at 426 Broadway hosts a Holiday Memorial Tree Service. All are welcome to attend. Following a brief service, family members are invited to decorate the Christmas tree with special ornaments that they have brought to commemorate the lives of their loved ones.
Several Years ago, Dave Solimine, Sr., his late brother Carmen, and Lloyd "Butch" Barnes constructed a sleigh and assembled a group of plywood reindeer to decorate the traffic island on Broadway near Wyoma Square, and Santa's Island was born. During the month of December, volunteers man the island collecting funds for the Salvation Army's Item Santa. Over the last 10 years, hundreds of volunteers have raised nearly $ 200,000. To volunteer for this effort, please call the funeral home in late November or early December.
Lynn Special Needs Christmas Party
The Solimine family in partnership with the Amirault family, owners of Dartworld, sponsor an annual Christmas Party attended by over 300 special needs students from Lynn schools. About 25 buses and vans are hired to transport nearly 400 guests to the Sacred Heart Grammar School Gymnasium where the students, along with their teachers and teachers' aides, are treated to a pizza party staffed by Sacred Heart's 8th grade class. Via visit by Santa, each student leaves the party with a special gift (toy, game, doll, ball, etc.) that is specified by the student's teacher. Organizer Lisa Nerich, Director of Lynn Parks and Recreation, and her staff and volunteers are sent on a shopping spree with a list of over 300 gifts that are selected, wrapped and labeled with each child's name. In a wonderful organized chaos, Santa hands each child his or her special gift. Santa, Frank Whitehead who retired from the Daily Evening Item, arrives every year in his special red Jeep with the license plate "ST NICK". Santa can be reached at or 978-774-8656.
Honoring the sacrifices that veterans have made in defending the freedoms that we enjoy is very important to the Solimine family. By taking the time to commemorate their service to our country and to honor veterans who have died, we recognize that despite differences in race, religion, social or economic status, and ethnic background, and even country of origin, we are all Americans. We all have a responsibility toward patriotism.
Annual Veterans' Service
Every year on the first Saturday of November at 1:00 in the afternoon, the Solimine Funeral Home at 426 Broadway hosts area veteran's organizations, public officials, veteran families and friends in remembering veterans who have died in the past year and beyond. All are welcome to attend. With the participation of the Lynn English High School JROTC and members of the Lynn High School Band, the service is both beautiful and moving for all who attend. Following the service, families often share the life stories of their veteran loved one with each other.
National World War II Memorial Dedication
On May 29, 2004, 103 Lynn area veterans attended the dedication of the newly constructed National World War II Memorial through the efforts of the Solimine family and staff. The veterans were treated to an all expenses paid weekend in Washington, D.C., including transportation, various receptions, and front row seats to the dedication. Two years of planning and activities honoring and celebrating "The Greatest Generation" included a fundraising effort that raised nearly $60,000 for the trip and a send-off celebration hosted by Mayor Clancy at Lynn Veterans Memorial Auditorium, which was attended by hundreds of veterans, their families and friends.
The Wall That Heals
In November 1999, the Solimine family, in cooperation with the Lynn Veterans Services office and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, sponsored a visit of The Wall That Heals to Lynn. The Wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Wall was erected in Lynn's Fraser Field for four days, during which special ceremonies were held honoring all those whose names are inscribed on the walls, with special remembrances for local soldiers who were killed in action. The Wall returned to Lynn in August of 2009. Participating in the effort were Veterans Services Director Michael Sweeney, Lynn Veterans Council, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 908, The North Shore Navigators Baseball Organization, Lynn English High School JROTC and Sgt. Major Kenneth Oswald, as well as area veterans organizations.
Annual Flag Burning Ceremony
The proper disposal of a torn, tattered or worn out United States flag involves the respectful burning of the flag. Throughout the year, Solimine Funeral Homes serve as a collection/drop off location for old flags. In conjunction with Flag Day, June 14, the Solimine staff in partnership with the members and officers of the Captain William G. Shoemaker Post 345, American Legion, conducts a flag burning ceremony for the general public on Pine Grove Cemetery land.
Veterans Monument Restoration
Funeral Director John Sullivan in partnership with David DeFilippo, of Woodlawn Memorials of Everett, has coordinated a number of monument restoration projects in the area. Many monuments commemorating and honoring veterans from World War I and Word War II as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars were erected years ago. Often the bronze plaques and granite faces have weathered to the point that it is difficult to read the inscriptions. John and David often spend several hours restoring each memorial that has been brought to their attention.
Health and Hospitals
The Solimine family and staff recognize that health care is a vital part of the fabric and infrastructure of any city. Their support of health care reaches beyond the local community in supporting medical research and organizations that assist families facing medical crisis. They regularly contribute to such organizations as the Massachusetts General Hospital Pediatric Cancer Unit, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, and Shriners Burns Hospital, with a special emphasis on treatment and cure of childhood diseases. As a further commitment to families in the Greater Lynn community, the Solimine Family has a long standing policy of providing their services at no charge to families experiencing the death of a baby or young child.
In 2001 Patty and David J. Solimine, Jr. made the single largest gift ever received by Union Hospital to help fund a complete renovation of the hospital's emergency department. To recognize this generous gift, the hospital dedicated the new facility as the Mary Jane and David J. Solimine, Sr. Emergency Center. Mary Jane and Dave, Sr. were lead donors and a driving force behind the creation of the Healing Gardens at Union Hospital that was dedicated in 2007. This wonderful, tranquil outdoor setting within the hospital grounds offers a quiet reflective place for patients and their families.
Lynn Community Health Center
The Solimine Family has always believed that everyone deserves access to quality health care. The Lynn Community Health Center's $11,000,000 expansion will insure quality care to over 33,000 patients served annually. David J. Solimine, Jr. served as an honorary member of the capital campaign responsible for raising funds for the expansion. The Solimine family not only contributed personally to the efforts, they worked tirelessly to raise funds and awareness throughout the community. For more information on the LCHC visit www.lchcnet.org.
Hospice of the North Shore and Greater Boston
David J. Solimine, Jr. served on the Board of Directors of Hospice of the North Shore for a number of years, dating back to the early 1980s. Dave, Jr. has served on various committees with Hospice of the North Shore where he has co-chaired the Annual Walk for Hospice and served on the planning committee for the new Hospice House. Dave, Jr. funded the Chapel within the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers. A number of years ago, the Solimine family donated a new spruce tree to the town of Swampscott as a Christmas tree in front of Town Hall. This tree is now used by Hospice of the North Shore for an annual Tree of Lights Memorial Ceremony. For a current calendar or support groups or more information go to www.hns.org.
All Care Hospice of Lynn
As the need for hospice services has grown with more families aware of hospice care, All Care VNA of Lynn launched the All Care Hospice. David J. Solimine, Jr. was asked to serve on the Board of Directors as an advisor, a position he continues to hold. In 2007 the Solimine family partnered with All Care Hospice, among others, to utilize the Solimine Family Community Center at 583 Chestnut St. in Lynn. For a current calendar or support groups or more information go to www.allcare.org/hospice/
Haitian Relief Effort
The devastation in Haiti is overwhelming and has directly touched the lives of many in our community. We recently raised over $26,000.for three well established charities that we have supported for a number of years for their work in Haiti. Hope for Haiti, Doctors Without Borders, and Food For The Poor are in place in Haiti and need our ongoing support. Our fundraising effort was conducted in partnership with Century 21-Hughes Real Estate, Lucia Lighting and Design, The Daily Item, North Shore 104.9 Radio, Laxy Dog Sports Bar, Infinity Boutique and Velocity Print Solutions. We raffled off 3 pairs of Opening Day 2010 tickets to see the Boston Red Sox host the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Fr. Gabriel Lormeus of St. Mary's Church in Lynn, a native of Haiti, drew the winning tickets after the Palm Sunday Haitian Mass held March 28, 2010.
The Solimine family and staff are well known throughout the non-profit community as heartfelt contributors of time, talent and treasure to the many programs and good works that benefit our entire community. Lynn Nonprofit Business Association leaders know that they can rely on Solimine Funeral Homes as a resource for their organizations. Such groups as All Care VNA, Boys and Girls Club of Lynn, Bridgewell, Catholic Charities, Cerebral Palsy of Eastern Massachusetts, Elder Service Plan of the North Shore, Family and Children's Services, Girls Inc, HAWC, Greater Lynn Senior Services, Greater Lynn YMCA, Project Cope, Centerboard, and others have benefited from the Solimine Family's participation and support.
Catholic Charities North
David J. Solimine, Jr. serves on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities North. This is a role that Dave, Sr. held several years ago. The Solimines have chaired a number of fundraising events for Catholic Charities, most notably the annual Spring Gala which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for community services. Mary Jane Solimine is well known for the dozens of handmade centerpieces that she has made and donated to several Christmas fundraisers over the years. Programs run by Catholic Charities focus on strengthening families. Child care, young parent programs, literacy and GED programs, along with counseling and assisting families in crises are a big part of the work of Catholic Charities. To learn more, go to www.ccab.org or call 781-593-2312.
For several years, Funeral Director Lisa Smith served as a volunteer tutor and mentor for young women participating in Girls Inc. Programs. Solimine Funeral Homes is a major contributor to the new Girls Inc. facility at High St. Lynn. David J. Solimine, Jr. has also assisted the staff of Girls Inc. in getting the message out to the community as part of their effort to raise $10,000,000 for their new home. Girls Inc runs a number of community programs aimed at strengthening the opportunities for young women. To learn more, go to www.girlsinclynn.org or call 781-592-9744.
Community Minority Cultural Center (CMCC)
Funeral Director Michael Phelps currently serves as the President of the CMCC and has served on the CMCC Board of Directors for a number of years. The CMCC's 27,000 square foot facility at 298 Union St., Lynn, provides a tremendous resource for the community. By serving the African-American, Latino/as, Southeast Asian, Russian, and Caucasian communities, the CMCC celebrates multiculturalism. The CMCC serves to assimilate the diverse cultures into the fabric of our community with its programs. To learn more, go to www.cmcc.citymax.com or call 781-477-1800.
The Lynn area is blessed with an abundance of parks and playgrounds as well as youth sports organizations. Youth sports are fundamental for young people to learn teamwork, leadership and physical fitness while just having fun. Many of these programs require substantial funding over and above what the participants are able to cover. The Solimine family has been a consistent supporter of a number of local programs.
Wyoma, Pine Hill, West Lynn, East Lynn, Lynn Shore, Swampscott, and Nahant programs all get funding from Solimine Funeral Homes. Michael Phelps was one of the longest serving Presidents of Wyoma Little League where he oversaw a number of improvements to the Farm Team field at Gowdy Park as well as the Major League field in Wyoma Square. Mary Jane and David J. Solimine, Sr. have had the pleasure of having their 14 grandchildren participate in Wyoma Little League. In honor of the support that Dave, Sr. has provided to Wyoma Little League over the years, the Club House at the Major League field is named in his honor.
Lynn Youth Soccer
When vandals stole the new aluminum bleachers at the Lynn Youth Soccer Field, it was David J. Solimine, Jr. who made a call to Lynn Youth Soccer President Pam Hinkle to ask if he could help. Dave, Jr. who served as an assistant soccer coach when his sons were young, paid to replace the bleachers. A number of his nieces and nephews continue to play in the Lynn Youth Soccer Program.
Challenger Little League
The Lynn community has one of the finest programs for young people faced with physical or mental challenges. Michael Phelps serves on the Board of Directors of this wonderful program in which everyone is a winner. The Challenger Little League plays at the East Lynn Field behind Lynn English High School during the months of May and June. All are welcome to come and cheer on these special athletes.
The Solimine family and staff have been members, officers, partners and supporters of all the area service clubs and fraternal organizations for years. Whether it is assisting with a fundraising activity, volunteering at the Lynn Special Games or Lynn's Special Needs Camp, organizing a group of volunteers to construct a handicap ramp for someone in need, or just getting things done, Solimine Funeral Home is there.
Knights of Columbus
David J. Solimine, Sr. and Jr. are the only father and son team of Past Grand Knights in Valladolid Council #70's 100-year history. Michael Phelps has also served as Grand Knight. All three have held a number of offices within the organization. Brian Field, Bill Landergan and a number of part time staff members at Solimine Funeral Homes are counted among the members of the Lynn Council. Of special pride is the work that the Knights of Columbus does to help those with physical or mental challenges. David J. Solimine, Jr. was the leading force in the fundraising as well as construction of a new handicap access addition to the Knights of Columbus Building on Lynnfield St. a few years ago. More recently, the Solimines led a team of volunteers in refurbishing the main function hall at the K of C. Dave, Sr., Dave Jr. and Joel Solimine were responsible for wallpapering the entire function hall.
David B. Richardson has served as an active member of the Mount Carmel and Golden Fleece Lodges of Lynn as well as the Philanthropic Lodge of Marblehead. A number of part time staff members have also served active roles in local Masonic Lodges over the years. The Solimine Family and staff have supported a number of initiatives that the Masonic Lodges have taken a lead in, most notably blood drives conducted with the American Red Cross and the Childhood Identification Program (CHIP).
All three service organizations have included in their membership ranks a number of full and part time staff members from the Solimine staff. Solimine Funeral Homes serves as a drop off center for used eyeglasses and hearing aides that are donated through programs administered by the Lions Clubs. David J. Solimine, Sr. has allowed the Lynn Lions Club to roast him at a fundraising event to benefit eye research. A few years later the Wyoma Lions honored him as King of the Jungle, raising more funds for eye research. Solimine Funeral Home is an active supporter of the Lynn Rotary Annual Auction, which raises funds for such worthy programs as the Lynn Special Games and camperships for inner city youth at Camp Rotary in Boxford. The former Kiwanis Club was the driving force behind creating the Lynn Special Needs Camp located off Pennybrook Road in Lynn Woods. This very special camp continues to receive support from the Solimine family.
The Boy Scouts of America has honored both David J. Solimine, Sr. and Jr. with Community Dedication Awards. Every year the mayor of Lynn hosts an annual breakfast to honor local community leaders and to raise funds for scouting programs. Dave Sr. has played a large role in ensuring the success of this annual event. Through their involvement with the Lynn Knights of Columbus as well as their own sons, both Michael Phelps and David J. Solimine, Jr. have both served as Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 5. They have also assisted with Boy Scouts Troop 80.
As a lifelong member of Sacred Heart Parish, David J. Solimine, Sr. along with his wife Mary Jane, has been active in all aspects of parish life. They have chaired numerous events have taken leadership roles in church organizations. In recent years they have sponsored the annual shut-in Mass and dinner with Mary Jane cooking for well over 100 frail or elderly parishioners. They can also been seen planting and tending to the flowers on church grounds. Lisa Smith is an active member of the St. Ann's Choir in Peabody as well as being a lector, liturgy committee member, and Parish Pastoral Council Member. She also fills the role of Wedding Coordinator at St. Ann's, assisting couples with wedding rehearsals as well as their wedding ceremony preparation. Mary Aveni has served as secretary at Zion Baptist Church where she also volunteered in a number of church activities. The Solimine family and staff have supported a number of church activities throughout the community. Dave Sr. has grown and donated countless fig trees to the annual Grecian Festival at St. George Greek Orthodox Church as well as participating in Holy Family Church Festa Italiana. Recently, the Solimines sponsored a raffle that raised over $14,000. for the elevator fund at St. Pius V Church. St. Stephen's Memorial Episcopal Church received handicap access funding as well as a grant toward stained glass window restoration.
Solimine Funeral Homes have been a business partner with Sacred Heart Grammar School for several years. The Solimines participate in a number of school activities, most notably as corporate sponsor of the annual walk-a-thon. David J. Solimine, Sr., Lynn Classical High School Class of 1953, has been an active member of his graduating class reunion committee for over 50 years. He is a founding member and a driving force behind the Alumni and Friends of LCHS which supports the current school community at Lynn Classical. The Solimine Family Scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior every year. The Lynn English Marine JROTC and the Lynn High School Band organizations have participated in a number of Veterans and memorial programs in partnership with Solimine Funeral Homes. The Agganis Foundation grants a number of student-athlete scholarships and hosts a number of regional athletic events annually while counting Solimine Funeral Homes as one of its major donors. The staff at Solimine Funeral Homes has participated in mock accident programs at Swampscott High School and Lynn Vocational Technical High School on educating high school students on the dangers of drinking and driving. Staff members have also participated in guest reading programs at Harrington Grammar School as well as others over the past several years.