RUMFORD — As part of Hope Association’s efforts to shine light on the people who make the association great, staff is highlighting some of the volunteers. Today, they are focusing on Jeanne Gaccetta.

Gaccetta has been serving as a volunteer since around 1970, when Antoinette Umbro, a founding member of the association, approached her to help raise money through a craft fair. Gaccetta said “Yes!” and has been helping ever since.

When asked to share what she’s been involved with, she quietly told about a bit of this and that, then quickly said she just likes doing things and not worrying about getting any credit for it.

“It’s not who we are.” (The “we” refers to her husband, Vito, who, like Jeanne, has always been behind the scenes making things happen.)

As the discussion continued, she said she’s been involved with the association’s annual Snowmobile Ride-In since at least the mid-’70s. She helped organize the ride-in and prepped bean suppers for club members, made raffle items, helped collect tickets and kept track of the ticket sales and took care of other chores that she could do. 

Gaccetta has made countless afghans, quilts and other crafts to help support fundraising efforts. She was an active member of the What Not Shop board of directors until a decision was made to merge the shop with the Hope Association. She was a founding member of the Papillion Development Corp. that helped provide needed support to the association, and she was active on the beano committee that raised money for the association’s special projects.

And now, 50 years later, she continues to volunteer her services to the Hope Association two days a week. Gaccetta provides hands-on support to participants in the Community Support Services Program by teaching crafts such as quilting.

When asked what keeps her going, she said she loves working one on one with the participants. She said she appreciates the pride that they take when they lay out and sew their own quilts.

Jeanne Gaccetta

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