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Franklin - Local Town Pages

Gilly’s House Plans 2nd Annual Summerfest

By Grace Allen
On Sunday, August 27, Gilly’s House will host the second annual Summerfest, a family-friendly, alcohol-free fundraiser from noon to 6 p.m. at the Wrentham Developmental Center complex, 131 Emerald Street in Wrentham. All are welcome.
The event will feature live music, food, restaurant tastings, soft drinks, kids’ activities, special guest appearances, and more. Everything is included in the $50 ticket price, and children accompanied by an adult are free.
Gilly’s House, a non-profit facility located in Wrentham, offers a comprehensive life-skills transitional program for young men who have successfully completed a residential treatment program. The sober home was founded by David and Barbara Gillmeister in memory of their son Steven.


Massachusetts is suffering from an exponential increase in opioid-related overdoses, overdose deaths, and people seeking substance-use treatment. In 2022, there were 2,357 overdose deaths in the state, a new record high and surpassing 2021’s tally by 57. “Now more than ever, addiction is affecting so many people and so many families,” said Barbara Gillmeister. “It’s just so difficult to recover and stay in recovery, and there’s so little long-term help available. There’s no financial support from the government for the residents, nor for the house. It’s all community support for Gilly’s House, and we are so grateful for the tsunami of support we have from the community.”
Gillmeister noted that last year’s Summerfest was a success with hundreds of people attending. Like last year, proceeds from the event will go towards Gilly’s House upgrades as well as its scholarship fund. 
One of the highlights of Summerfest will be a restaurant cook-off with many local restaurants participating. People can sample the food and then vote on their favorites. James Arsenault, owner of James’ Breakfast and More, is organizing the cook-off.

Comedian Michael Petit will serve as Summerfest emcee.
Students from King Philip High School’s community service group, KP Cares, will organize and run children’s activities throughout the day.
The Norfolk Lions will serve hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, and beverages.
Entertainment scheduled throughout the day includes a petting zoo, magic shows, a drumming circle, and caricature drawings. There will be a bouncy house, blow-up obstacle course, dunk tank, and an ice cream truck.
The Wrentham Fire Department will provide a “Touch-a-Truck” experience for kids.
Pat the Patriot and the New England Patriots cheerleaders will be on site. Keith Birchall, aka the Silver Bullet, will be available for photos with the Superbowl rings. 
Attendees can peruse various healthy living resource tables. Contact Maureen Cappuccino at [email protected] if your organization would like a free resource table at the event.

Summerfest will be held rain or shine. Organizers suggest attendees bring chairs and blankets to sit on while enjoying the music and food. Bathroom facilities will be available.
Tickets for Summerfest can be purchased at any time at, or by scanning the QR code at the end of this article or on posted flyers. Tickets are tax deductible.
Sponsorships ranging from $250 to $5,000 are available. Visit the Gilly’s House website for more information or contact Barbara Gillmeister at [email protected] with any questions.