Spaghetti Dinner Another Rousing Success for WLP

Special to Sun

Over the past four decades, Women’s Lunch Place (WLP) has built a strong suite of programs and services that allow us to meet the growing needs of vulnerable women. Just as donors have helped lay the foundation for our proactive programming, the Newbury Street women’s day shelter is helping to lay the foundation for its guests to rebuild their lives.

The Spaghetti Dinner, held Friday, Oct. 20, at the Fairmont Copley Hotel ballroom, was a rousing success, with a sold-out crowd of more than 400 guests and over $500,000 raised for Women’s Lunch Place. Lisa Hughes acted as the host, and Treble Threat, an a cappella group from Berklee, provided a moving musical performance. Sen. Lydia Edwards and City Councilors Sharon Durkan, Ed Flynn and Ruthzee Louijeune were among the elected officials on hand for the event.

Dr. Jim O’Connell, founding physician and President of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, delivered a keynote address. Dr. O’Connell’s work overlaps with Women’s Lunch Place in many ways. In WLP’s medical clinic, his staff offers free mental and physical health care for the shelter’s guests. Over 1,000 women visited the clinic last year, receiving primary care, screenings, harm reduction, education, and vaccines. Along with WLP co-founder Dr. Eileen Reilly, Dr. O’Connell also leads a nighttime street team that provides outreach and care for “rough sleepers,” some of whom visit WLP during the day for rest, nutrition, and essential services.

Each year, Spaghetti Dinner raises funds that sustain the critical services we provide. WLP would like to thank all our supporters, sponsors, and partners who have lent their support at past events.

For more information on Women’s Lunch Place, visit

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