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South Boston Online
  Thursday, March 5, 2015
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xtra xtra!
Boys & Girls Club Cruise
By Rick Winterson

     One of the key fundraisers for the Boys & Girls Club South Boston clubhouse is its Annual Harbor Cruise, which took place last Wednesday, July 19.  It was, of course, the usual great South Boston time.  Close to 400 revelers enjoyed a marvelous DJ, Michael Chinetti, and the live tunes of the Don Alessi Band, well known to anyone who has ever attended Southie’s Italian Night on Third Street.

     But there is a very serious purpose for the funds raised by this cruise.  According to Clubhouse Director Harry Duvall,  “The dollars we raise tonight will support extended summer operations for our teen programs – nine weeks, rather than seven.  We can now stay open in the evenings until 10 p.m. as well, and this gives us the ability to open on Saturdays from 2 till 8 p.m. for 11-year-olds and up.”  No one has to be told how important youth activities are during the summer.

     Joe Rull, who is a Member of the Club’s Board of Advisors, said, “We’re anticipating 400 this year.  We almost decided to stop the cruises a few years ago, but we got some business sponsors.  In recent years, the annual cruise has been a great success financially, in addition to being a great party.”

Despite its serious purpose, the Boys & Girls Club Cruise was meant to be enjoyed.  And it was.  The weather had broken favorably.  In fact, if anything, it was on the cool side, which South Bostonians enjoy much more than the stifling heat.  The ship was the Provincetown II, kindly donated free of charge by Bay State Cruises.

     The Provincetown II wound around the harbor towards East Boston and the Navy Yard.  As it turned southeast, the sun was setting behind the Boston skyline.  All of South Boston – the power plant, the cranes, the monument, and Castle Island – was bathed in soft orange light.  No sunscreen needed.  As it got dark, the ship headed towards Spectacle and Georges Island.

     On the upper deck, the crowd danced enthusiastically if not gracefully to the music of DJ Michael Chinetti.  At one point, he had “Sweet Caroline” segue into Johnny Cash and “Ring of Fire”.  Hey, go figure, but the crowd loved it.

     Below decks, Don Alessi’s Band played classics.  Mostly, the people listened.  Clarinet, accordion, percussion, and vocals blended very well.  Don himself is an accomplished soloist on the guitar.

     It was one of those evenings that went by much too rapidly.    

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