Some people do it with a simple cake and candles. Some do it with a bottle of champagne. But, earlier this year, when Real Estate 109 owner Sonia Boyajian started thinking about how she wanted to celebrate her 85th birthday, she decided she wanted to make a difference to homeless veterans. “I couldn’t accept that some of our veterans were returning home after serving their country,” she says, “only to find themselves with no job and no place to live. That just isn’t right.” – Watertown Wicked Local
Collaborating with the 16 New England Not Your Average Joe’s (NYAJ) restaurants, which dedicated 15% of all sales every Tuesday in October to NECHV, Sonia capped off the month with a birthday celebration hosted at the Watertown Not Your Average Joe’s.
Steven Silverstein, Founder and CEO, along with Ralph Vitiello, General Manager of the Watertown NYAJ, agreed to host a major ticketed four-course meal birthday celebration for Sonia, with over 200 in attendance and 100% of the net proceeds going to NECHV. The evening celebration included Boyajian’s neighbor, singer/songwriter Livingston Taylor, who led the guests in singing “Happy Birthday” to Boyajian.
NECHV CEO Andy McCawley pointed out that “The contributions from the Watertown community really keep the lights on to allow us to provide services to the Veterans. With almost 22 million Veterans in this country, these kinds of events raise awareness of the general needs of our Veterans.”
We are very grateful to Sonia for helping raise awareness for the work we do to help support Veterans.