Solace for Stephanie Raised $15,000 for Cancer Victims

Thursday September 15, 2022

Photo: Stewart Lytle / The Town Common. The Eiras playground, which Stephanie Jenkins helped design

REGIONAL – Maureen Sabino has been one of the stalwart volunteers for years for Solace for Stephanie, which supports cancer victims, including her brother Peter and a close friend. 

This year, Maureen not only helped with the annual Solace Comedy Night fundraising event, she and the Purple Team softball team in Topsfield organized their own fundraiser.

Named for Stephanie Jenkins, a popular Rowley hairdresser here, who died of cancer in 2010, the all-volunteer Solace helps dozens of cancer victims with gift cards for food and gas, their prescriptions, massages and physical therapy. In its 12 years of operation, Solace has assisted almost 100 people with cancer. 

It also funded the construction of the Eiras playground behind the Rowley Police Department.

“We have a great following,” said Mary Ann (Mo) Levasseur, Stephanie’s friend, who works closely with Stephanie’s husband, Ron, her brother, Dominic, and her sons, Steven, Dan and Kyle Jenkins to manage the non-profit organization.

Solace believes that one person can make a difference and start a chain reaction of events to enable Solace to assist people with cancer. 

Levasseur believes the Sabinos are a good example of how the chain reaction works, 

“Unfortunately, we had to help her brother, Peter, who eventually passed of his cancer about five years ago, and we helped Maureen’s friend who also passed of her cancer about a year ago.”

The Sabinos, including Maureen’s husband Randy and daughter Haley, volunteered at Comedy Night, which attracted a packed Coolidge Hall building at the Topsfield Fair and raised more than $15,000 for Solace. 

A few weeks later, Maureen proposed to the eight-team softball league that they hold a small fundraiser during the annual league banquet on Aug. 23. Since her Purple Team was organizing the banquet, they selected Solace as the beneficiary.

To raise money, the women softballers sold tickets for $10 to play the heads or tails game. Of the 120 who attended, 105 joined in with some players giving more. 

A member of the Tie Dye Team won half the pot. She plans to use her $525 in winnings to take her son, an avid Patriots’ fan, to a game. It was something she never thought she could do for him. 

An anonymous person then donated two pairs of TD Garden Club tickets as live auction items. One was for an Eric Clapton concert; the other for a LIZZO concert. 

“Maureen was the auctioneer and THE bidding was great!” Levasseur wrote. 

The Eric Clapton tickets went for $400. The Lizzo tickets went for $600. Then a second bidder gonatid a second pair of Lizzo tickets.

“We made $1,600 on those live auction items. It was amazing,” Levassaur wrote. 

The Topsfield Women’s Softball League event raised a total of $2,600 for Solace.

“We will never forget this act of kindness,” Levasseur wrote. “Thank you, Maureen and the Topsfield Women’s Softball Team, for choosing Solace for Stephanie!” 

Others who have contributed to Solace this year include Nelly Kozlowski, who donated Solace for Stephanie journals on each table at the Comedy Night. She also contributed a necklace for the silent auction. 

People who donated this year and in previous years include Barbara Hasselbeck, Nishan Mootafian, Lorraine Martyniak, Reenie Noone and Mary Ryan, Anne Marie Chouinard, Dawn and George Bessie, Janice and Steve Anderson, Judy Cunningham, Scott Dumas, Deb Eagan, George Medeiros, Kim Wright, Joan and Dave Peterson, John McCarthy, Renee Jacavanco, Bob Allison, Michelle Deluties, Jan and Charlie Levasseur, Kathy Magee, Cait Perry, Corinne Disciscio, Shirley Faulkner, Allan Hoffman, The Learning Latta and Leonard Mirra. 

Supporters included Nancy Judge and her crew, Aunt Ruth and Roland Brewer, Tim Hough, the Femino family, Johnny Polansky, Tom Amoroso and the Topsfield Police Department. Other supporters were Kim and Doug Perilli, Shirley and Tom Faulkner, Roger and Karlene Merry, Diane and Joe Hickey, Kathy and Dave Woytovich, Lauren and John Magnifico, Katie and Mike Bean, Mimi DiPietrol, Pauline and Tim White, Marie and Bill Cassidy, the Mulkern Family and Chris Connolly. 

Volunteers at the Comedy Night were Deb and Scott Perry, who coordinated the raffles; Lindsey Finn and her mother, Jeanne; Rolly Levasseur, Joe Levasseur, Sheila McDaid, Alysa Southall, Chris Perry, Dan Perry, Emma, Courtney Latta and Marissa. 

George Degas was described as “a silent partner, who gives and gives and gives and gives.”

Sponsors were Off the Vine, Dr. Peter St. Clair, Mark Audette, owner of The Deck, Guiseppe’s, The Village Essex, Mark Meaney, Bradford Tavern, JLP Construction and Profile Research. 

Former Middleton Police Chief James DiGianvittorio, known as Chief DiGi, and his Catering A La Carte, served the food.

The comedians performing at the Comedy Night were Paul Gillian, a Boston comedian who has been a regular at Solace Comedy Nights; Dave Russo and Carolyn Plummer. 

Jim Wilson, editor and owner of The Town Common, placed the Solace Comedy Night flyer on a full page of the newspaper for months. He also donated his Good Earth soy candles for the raffle. 

“Thank you, Jane and Jim and The Town Common Newspaper. Jim will always be there for Solace, and we will always be there for Jim,” Levasseur wrote.

To learn more about Solace, visit

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