LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Wilmington Living Legend Jack Cushing Endorses Bendel & Caira

Dear Editor & Wilmington Residents,

I was born in Wilmington on Jones Avenue, 75 years ago, and have maintained by Wilmington residence since then. (I did live in Tewksbury on Salem Street for 9 months while I was having my first house built.) I was educated in the Wilmington school system and worked my entire life in town (Demoulas Markets, National Polychemical, Sweetheart Plastics, and the Town of Wilmington.)

My father was the town’s first physical education teacher, athletic director, and director of physical education. He also started the town’s Recreation Department and was its first director. It was only natural for me to follow in his footsteps and become extremely active as a volunteer in youth, adult and town activities.

In my “volunteer lifetime,” I have led the Elks’ youth activities, served as a Town Recreation Commissioner (15 years); Commission of Adult Sports: Softball (40 years), No-Check Hockey, and Flag Football; Town’s Anniversary Programs; created and chaired the Town’s Fourth of July Celebration (for its first 15 years); and ran a food concession for the high school athletic department to raise funds for the teams and the department.

I am a 50-year member of the Elks, 50-year member of the KofC, an active member of the Wilmington Rotary Club, President of the Wildcat Athletic Alumni and Friends, and original and still active director of the W.H.S. Athletic Hall of Fame.

With my background as a volunteer and a leader of volunteers, I take exception to the yearly attack on the way our town is run by wanna be politicians. I am a proud Wildcat and proud resident of the town. I am also proud of the volunteers that I have worked with throughout the years that makes this town as unique as it is. Our kids play school sports for free, park their cars in the “free” parking lot, free recreation areas (Silver Lake, Yentile Farm, Rotary Park, etc.), free rubbish/leaf pickup, and a manageable tax rate with a longtime balance of industry and residential areas.

To continue this longstanding tradition of electing leaders who have paid their dues by volunteerism and participation in keeping Wilmington as the place to live, I wholeheartedly endorse the re-election of Selectman Greg Bendel and Selectman Kevin Caira to lead the town for the next three years.

Greg Bendel is a longtime resident of Wilmington who teaches at Shawsheen Technical High School and is the school’s varsity basketball coach. With his active schedule at the Tech, he still found time to serve the town on the Wilmington Housing Authority, Wilmington 4.0 Campaign Committee, the Relay for Life Cancer Fundraiser, and the Local Heroes Support Program. He also holds membership in the Knights of Columbus, the Rotary Club, and the Brady Foundation.

Kevin Caira, another longtime resident of the town, is currently the retirement administrator for the Town of Amesbury. Kevin’s volunteerism begins with his active life in the Sons of Italy at the town, state and national levels. His unique fundraising skills have made the Sons of Italy a valuable member of the community in sponsoring many of the town’s programs for the young and old. He has volunteered as a coach of Little League Baseball, Senior League Baseball, Recreation Basketball, and the Band Parents program. He is a founding member of the Wildcat Athletic Alumni, a member of the Knights of Columbus, and a member of the Sons of Italy.

Greg and Kevin are the new wave of the next generation who have given an abundance of their time to make Wilmington “the place to live in” and I urge you to vote to keep them in place to continue their work.

Yours in Wilmington,

Jack Cushing

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