Rotary Club’s West Bridgewater Citizens of the Year: Calvin & Francis Gray

For the fourth successive year, Bridgewater Savings Bank served as the Grand Sponsor for the Rotary Club of the Bridgewaters’ Citizen of the Year program, this year honoring:  Calvin & Francis Gray of West Bridgewater at a ceremony last week at the Center at Sachem Rock in East Bridgewater.

Speaking on behalf of the bank, Senior Vice President Joseph W. Mitchell, Jr., said:  “The importance to the community of recognizing individuals who make significant contributions to the quality of life in the Bridgewaters.”

Calvin and Frances Gray’s biography reads:  “Decades ago, Cal’s family owned a store on Blue Hill Avenue.  Cal worked there, and Frances’ mom shopped there, with Frances in tow, especially on Saturdays. Decades later, a relationship that sparked in a food store continues to bear fruit in service to a Food Pantry serving up to 100 families in West Bridgewater.

The two were married nearly 53 years ago.  Cal graduated Boston Tech high school and attended Boston University briefly.  He spent his career in design and construction management for large projects in food service, health care, and other areas.  Frances graduated from the Burdett Business School, retiring not so long ago from the office staff of a medical practice group.

Their daughter Lori had started a food pantry in Norton six years ago, and in doing so ignited what’s now a family philanthropic effort.  Frances got involved with the Food Pantry in West Bridgewater about 6 years ago, and one year later, recruited Cal.

Cal turned his effort to establishing the Food Pantry as a 501c3.  In doing so he laid the groundwork for a big step, that of affiliating with the Greater Boston Food Bank.  This helps to bring a reliable source of fresh dairy, meat, produce and bread products to the West Bridgewater Food Pantry.  The logistics of transporting food from Boston twice a month are challenging and the pair talked about ways to accomplish that.

“Hunger is a year-round issue,” says Cal.  And indeed, so is the hard work of keeping cupboards filled.  The Food Pantry leaders work continually to balance their food supply, fundraise, foodraise, and manage volunteers.  It’s an effort that keeps Cal and Fran home in West Bridgewater, giving back, on a daily basis.
Rotary Citizen of the Year Presentation, Courtesy of WBTV
Rotary Citizen of the Year Presentation, Courtesy of WBTV
Spending retirement in service to others: The Rotary Club of the Bridgewaters is very much pleased to recognize Calvin and Frances Gray as the 2016 Citizens of the Year for West Bridgewater along with the other two recipients, Samuel Baumgarten of Bridgewater and Rose-Marie Culp of East Bridgewater.