FEF Honors Lorusso Family at Winter Gala on February 27
Tickets for the Gala are $75. Tickets can be purchased by calling Lyn McNaught at 508-540-3985, or printing a ticket order form and mailing it, with full payment, to FEF, P.O. Box 1061, Falmouth MA 02541
Sam and Judie Lorusso flank granddaughter Grace Peterson.
For Sam and Judie Lorusso of East Falmouth, giving back to the community is second nature. Growing up in East Walpole, Mr. Lorusso saw his father make a difference in the lives of others on a regular basis, through his family’s sand and gravel business, S.M. Lorusso & Sons.
“My dad was very good to a lot of people and he provided many jobs,” Mr. Lorusso said. “If his employees ever needed anything, he made sure they had it. Especially if there was a child involved.”
The Lorusso family’s dedication to doing good in their community inspired the Falmouth Education Foundation (FEF) to honor the entire family at its annual Winter Gala, this year on Saturday, February 27, at Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth.
“Falmouth Education Foundation is thrilled that three generations of the Lorusso family have agreed to be our 2016 honorees, and we know this year’s Gala will be a very special one,” said FEF President Ellen Barol. “We are looking forward to a great celebration.”
Sam and Judie moved their three children, Laura, Sam Jr. and Paul, from Walpole to Falmouth in 1980, where they had summered for nine years, and established Cape Cod Aggregates. Since then, the family has been immersed in the community, generously giving their time, talent and treasures to make Falmouth a better place.
“After we moved here and the boys got involved in Little League and other activities, we were amazed at how much the coaches, and so many people in town, gave to children,” Mrs. Lorusso said. “They volunteered their time like it was nothing, and we were very impressed with that.”
Daughter Laura Peterson sees the dedication of Falmouth volunteers in countless aspects of the community, which motivates her to give back. “Some of the most important help I’ve received has been in the form of time, which is why I believe the greatest thing you can do to help another person is to offer your time,” she said.
The Falmouth Public Schools hold a special attraction for the Lorusso family. When Judie Lorusso volunteered at Teaticket Elementary School, she saw firsthand the commitment of teachers and staff. Mrs. Peterson served as president of the Teaticket PTO for several years before serving one term on the Falmouth School Committee. And Cape Cod Aggregates helped create the walking track at Teaticket Elementary School and the greenhouse for Falmouth High School’s Well-Grounded project.
Mrs. Peterson also sits on the boards of the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce and Falmouth Service Center, and is a Falmouth Town Meeting member. As a mother of two daughters in the Falmouth Public Schools: Grace, a junior at Falmouth High School, and Olivia, an eighth-grader at Lawrence School, she has also witnessed firsthand the dedication of Falmouth teachers.
“My parents have a great deal of respect for organizations, such as Falmouth Education Foundation, that help the ‘boots on the ground,’ which in this case are the teachers. Teachers are already doing so much, but FEF allows them to tap into their own skills and come up with creative ideas to give their students even more opportunities. The teachers have the ideas but they don’t have the money, and FEF is the piece that makes it happen,” she said.
Sam and Judie are the co-founders of the Falmouth Veterans Day Breakfast, which recently celebrated its third year. “I have so much admiration for those who serve. I never did, but I have friends who went to Vietnam and came home with a great deal of problems,” Mr. Lorusso said. “We just want to show our thanks. It’s the least we can do for them.”
The Lorussos’ youngest son, Paul, represents the family on the board of the Lyndon Paul Lorusso Charitable Foundation, which Sam’s uncle Paul and his wife established in memory of their only child, and has supported many organizations across Cape Cod Healthcare. In collaboration with the Falmouth Road Race, the foundation purchased and installed a new floor for Falmouth High School’s field house last year.
At the high school, Grace represents the next generation of the Lorusso family contributing to the greater good. She is serving her third year as class president, and is a student representative for Jack’s PACT (Positive Alternatives for Community and Teens). She also works with Falmouth Prevention Partnership’s steering committee.
“It makes me feel good to know I’m making a difference in someone else’s life, whether it’s helping them or just setting a good example so that down the road, younger kids will hopefully do the same thing I’m doing, and when I go off to college, the trend won’t stop,” Grace said. “We will continue to see improvements throughout the town that kids are directing.”
FEF’s Ellen Barol admires the countless ways - most often without fanfare – in which Judie and Sam Lorusso and their family members have strengthened Falmouth schools. “The family cares about education and athletics, health and wellness, housing and hunger, and public safety. Their concern for so many aspects of the fabric of any community has had a significant and lasting impact on ours.”
The recognition came as a surprise to the Lorussos.
“I don’t really know what we did to deserve this; I don’t think we’ve done very much,” Mr. Lorusso said. “I’m sure there are other people who deserve this more, but it is a great honor.”
The Foundation’s Winter Gala at the Coonamessett Inn, which regularly sells out, will feature a live and silent auction as well as dinner and dancing to Puffy Elvis. Among the auction items this year are a weekend in Washington, D.C. with exclusive access to the Newseum, a five-course dinner and overnight for eight on the Cape Cod Canal, items donated by many local businesses and individuals, and much more. The event begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails.
Proceeds from the Gala will support teacher-initiated projects, based on grant proposals submitted to the Falmouth Education Foundation board. Since it was founded in 2006, the Foundation has granted more than $546,000 to 168 innovative projects ranging from new engineering programs at the Lawrence School to literacy programs, playground enhancement, art projects, and new technology.
Tickets for the Gala are $75. Tickets can be purchased by:
Calling Lyn McNaught at 508-540-3985, or
Printing a ticket order form and mailing it, with full payment, to FEF, P.O. Box 1061, Falmouth MA 02541