Honoring Our Past

Abby's House Celebrates 40 Years with Successful Inaugural Event!

Women of the Founding Collective

With more than 100 people in attendance, Abby’s House commenced its year of 40 anniversary celebrations with a very successful inaugural event, “Abby, Annette and the Women of the Founding Collective: Rabble-Rousers and Reformers.”

During the luncheon at Maxwell Silverman’s, Executive Director Stephanie Page gave a brief summary of Abby’s House today and the impact on the women served by its shelter, housing and advocacy programs. Founder Annette Rafferty delved into history, recounting the formation of the Women’s Collective, a committee of women who planned and then opened the shelter on Crown Street. She honored them and the many women whose efforts kept the shelter open, the porch light on, meals prepared and the laundry washed, including those in attendance:  (Pictured, left to right) Anne O'Connell, daughter of Fran O'Connell, Annette Rafferty, Mary Bonina, Elaine Lamoureux, Barbara Kohin and Anna Marie Kane, and also Geri DiNardo. (not pictured).

Annette also lauded the College of the Holy Cross Chaplain’s Office, which recruited student volunteers to staff the shelter overnight, forming a 40-year partnership that continues to this day.

Local actress and former Abby’s House board member Lynne McKenney Lydick appeared as Abby Kelley Foster. Using artistic license, Lydick performed excerpts from Foster’s letters as if they were written to Annette, and recognized the spirit of activism and passion for human rights that connects the two women, both the past and present.    

With the theme “Honoring Our Past- Building Our Future,” Abby’s House will host 40 Anniversary events throughout the year, including the upcoming Spring Fashion Show and Spring-Tacular, a Family Fun Day at Liberty Farm, a fall Anniversary Gala and an Open House.