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The Upper Falls dynamo

2013 June 17
by Jerry Reilly

Seana Upper Falls has got a lot going for it these day.  There’s all sorts of people, working on all sorts of community projects but there’s probably no more powerful human dynamo around these parts than Seana Gaherin of Dunn Gaherins Restaurant.

Two weeks ago she was behind the “For Pete’s Sake Fun Run” to raise money for Newton, Needham and Wellesley high school athletes who need help paying for their sports participation.

This past week, she spent every free moment in dance rehearsals in preparation for Saturday’s “Dancing With the Needham Stars” event to raise money for a public sculpture at Needham High.  All the preparation paid off, when she was dubbed “queen of dancing” at Saturday’s event.

This coming weekend will unveil Seana’s biggest vision yet, The Feast of The Falls.   The Newton’s Patch interviewed Seana and just published a story about that vision today.

In any case, this level of involvement in so many community project would be impressive, but doubly so since this is all in her very limited spare time.   Her real and very demanding day job is running Dunn Gaherins Restaurant here in Upper Falls.

What’s so inspiring about Seana’s approach to all of these community projects is how much of it is based on the power of good will.  In the few short years I’ve lived in the neighborhood, I can’t think of any neighborhood project that Seana hasn’t helped it some way.  Whether it’s providing lunch for the volunteer work crew, on the twice a year Hemlock Gorge cleanup, helping out with Upper Falls Village Day, selling Ken Newcomb’s history of Upper Falls books at the restaurant, buying ads in the program for the Countryside show, if it’s for the neighborhood – she’s in.   Because of all of that, she has a huge reservoir of goodwill with nearly everybody.

The upcoming “Feast of The Falls” is an amazingly ambitious undertaking.  The key to the whole idea was to recruit everybody in Upper Falls to pitch in to make it happen – the businesses, the local organizations, the residents, the elected official, the city.  With just a few weeks to pull it all together, people came pouring out of the woodwork to help, largely because it was Seana’s vision.  At the heart of that vision are all the things people love about Seana – neighbors, friends, community, food, and a big ole party.  I can’t wait!

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4 Responses Post a comment
  1. June 17, 2013 01:29 PM

    Seanna’s tremendously positive influence on Upper Falls and the city is all the more impressive, because under the previous owners her restaurant was a blight on the neighborhood.. She and her partner have not only turned their place around but helped to turn the neighborhood around in all the ways that Jerry describes. I was pleased to nominate Her for the Upper Falls Business Award last year and delighted that the EDC gave it to her.

  2. Joshua Norman permalink
    June 17, 2013 01:41 PM

    Brian, it appears you’ve been another Upper Falls Dynamo too.
    http://village14.com/netwon-ma/2013/06/newton-conservators-rip-up-vegetation/#comment-34144

  3. June 18, 2013 01:27 PM

    Actually another Upper Falls dynamo would be Jerry Reilly himself. From saving the eastern raceway with his friend Barbie to web-publishing “Makers of the Mold” to pushing the Upper Falls Greenway to tearing up Garlic Mustard to helping to lead the “Feast of the Falls”, he’s been a tremendously powerful influence for the better. The best way to get your project done is to get Jerry interested in it.

  4. Joshua Norman permalink
    June 18, 2013 01:33 PM

    Brian, with regards to Upper Falls dynamos, I’ll see your Seana and Jerry and raise you Jan and Susan Huffman.

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