As I anticipate the usual gluttony of Thanksgiving Day trappings, prepared and set on a festive table by my sister, I am reminded that some people don’t have that luxury. They often go hungry on Thanksgiving — and most other days, for that matter. That’s what makes the people I met recently so special. They give of themselves so that others can enjoy the basic necessities of life.

The people I am speaking about are the attendees of the recent “Gathering of Wetheads” outside of Boston. The event, the first of its kind, was attended by 200 people who discussed issues affecting the wet heat trade. (Look for further coverage in future issues of The News.) It was organized by Dan Holohan, a well-known speaker, writer, and a leading expert in the field of hydronic heating.


So how does one measure the success of a meeting like this? Usually, if you walk away with a better understanding of a topic, a few new ideas on how to run your business, or some tips on the latest equipment technology, you deem the meeting a success.

But two other things happened at the gathering that made me thankful for meeting these people. The first was a raffle benefiting a charity named “Rachel’s Table.” The second was a great favor done for me by a new friend. Let me explain both.

Throughout the course of the day, Holohan and his family collected raffle tickets from the attendees. The tickets were $5 each, or, if you chose to donate $20, you got six raffle tickets and a book, authored by a friend of Holohan’s. Like most people, I spent $20. The winner of the drawing would split the prize money with Rachel’s Table, a Worcester, MA-based volunteer group that distributes food to the homeless and hungry in the greater Worcester area.

The prize jackpot inched over $2,000 just before Holohan announced the winning ticket.

The winner was Bill Curry of County Supply, Lowell, MA. Curry had to leave the meeting early, but he left instructions as to what to do with his share of the winnings. He donated it to Rachel’s Table. “I thought it was one of the classiest things I have ever seen,” said Holohan.

I agree.

Coupled with a silent auction held throughout the day, $3,300 was raised to help the hungry and homeless.


I made a new friend at the gathering, too. Actually I made several new friends, but one person went out of his way to lend me a hand.

Scott Milne is owner of Milne Plumbing and Heating in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. He is also the father of young sons, and he identifies with my family background, which includes a young son and daughter.

I was looking for an item on my son’s Christmas wish list — a Pedro Martinez baseball jersey. Martinez plays for the Boston Red Sox and is one of the best pitchers in the game.

I asked people at “The Wall” if they knew of any stores that might carry this item in the Boston area.

Milne actually went one step further. He went out and bought a jersey and said he would have it for me to look at during the event. If I wanted the jersey, I could reimburse him. If not, he would return it to the store.

Here is a guy who didn’t know me, except for a few posts at The Wall. Yet he went out of his way to do me a favor. He also showed his generosity last year when he offered his assistance to a fellow “Wallie” that was having financial problems.

My new friend typifies this group of people. I don’t believe too many of them are multimillionaires. Most of them are average people like you and me — people who care about other people. That’s a lot to be thankful for.

If you’d like more information on Rachel’s Table, you can visit (website) or call 508-799-7600.

John Hall is business management editor. He can be reached at 734-542-6214; 734-542-6215 (fax); (e-mail).

Publication date: 12/02/2002