Hingham: 25th Annual Father Bill’s & MainSpring FoodFest Held

Hundreds of people attended the 25th Annual Father Bill's and MainSpring FoodFest, held at the Hingham Ship Yard. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

The 25th Annual Father Bill’s and MainSpring FoodFest was held at the Hingham Ship Yard. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Over 800 people attended the 25th Annual FoodFest fundraiser for Father Bill’s and MainSpring.

The event was held at the Hingham Beer Works, and included live music, over 30 restaurants, and an auction.

Proceeds from the event will go to help the nearly 6,000 people FBMS serves each year. President and CEO John Yazwinski says they’re hoping to raise more than $300,000 to close a funding gap at two emergency shelters.

“We only receive about 50% of the resources to make sure that every family and individual that is homeless has a safe place to stay every night in the South Shore,” said Yazwinski. “We run this event to make up the gap from public funding to make sure that we don’t turn anybody away, ever at our doors. We don’t want any child, family, or individual to have to stay outside.”

The event has grown from raising $3,000 to reaching $300,000 from the generosity of private and public partnerships.

George Burke and his family have donated more than $100,000 to Father Bill’s over the years. They were presented with the Welch Dedicated Volunteer Award.

Burke joked in his remarks, “Christ said: if you want to get into heaven, take care of Father Bill’s.”

The theme of this year’s event was “Through the Years.” Marshfield Community Television put together a video featuring two women who experienced homelessness.

Jennifer Payne says she went to Father Bill’s in the 90’s. She says it changed her life.

“It was a very difficult time in my life. I had pretty much lost everything from substance abuse, drinking in particular. Fortunately I was sober when I went to Father Bill’s,” said Payne. “At Father Bill’s, I attended AA meetings, I got involved in the sober community. That was a really big support for me.”

Payne was inspired to start a career in human services. She learned computer skills and got an education from Suffolk University and the University of Massachusetts.

“I just can’t tell you the depth of my gratitude for Father Bill’s. We need temporary emergency shelters, we need transitional programs,” said Payne. “It’s a great program, let’s keep it going.”

More information on Father Bill’s and MainSpring can be found at HelpFBMS.org.

Father Bill's and MainSpring President and CEO John Yazwinski (right) with State Senator Patrick O'Connor. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Father Bill’s and MainSpring President and CEO John Yazwinski (right) with State Senator Patrick O’Connor. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch meets with Christie Cocci and Alyssa Edge from Marylou's. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch meets with Christie Cocci (right) and Alyssa Edge from Marylou’s. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Jennifer Payne says “there’s not enough stars in the sky to tell you all the points, of the ways that Father Bill’s has changed my life." Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Jennifer Payne says “there’s not enough stars in the sky to tell you all the points, of the ways that Father Bill’s has changed my life.” Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

George Burke and his family received the Welch Dedicated Volunteer Award, presented by the Welch family. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

George Burke and his family received the Welch Dedicated Volunteer Award, presented by the Welch family. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest additions to the WATD News team. Lenny has won two Edward R. Murrow awards for breaking news coverage, and a Mass. Broadcasters Award in the sports feature category. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny now lives in Rockland. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at Lenny.Rowe30@Gmail.com.