Rachel Calabrese, Founder & Executive Director
Rachel is a Foxboro resident and a mom of three children. After working years in the nonprofit sector, Rachel worked as a Recreational Program Coordinator and learned first hand how many children would love to take programs but cannot afford to do so.
As a child, dance was Rachel’s confidence booster. Ballet, tap and jazz were highlights in Rachel’s childhood that built confidence and taught her about hard work and working together for a common goal.
Board of Directors
Kim Mellen, President
Kim is a Foxboro resident and mom to two daughters. She is currently a teacher at Horizons for children. She has spent decades volunteering for nonprofit organizations that serve at risk children.
Kim loved theater as a child. The confidence gained from walking on a stage with only a script and the ability to control her nerves has stayed with her. As an adult she is till reminded when nervous about undertaking a new challenge, that the task is like being part of a production and playing a role with many moving parts with so much to remember!
Colleen Brightman, Vice- President
Colleen is a Foxboro resident and mom to three children. She is a teacher in Norfolk . Colleen is no stranger to volunteering in her community, local schools and nonprofit organizations including Birthday Wishes, Fresh Air Fund and Progeria Research.
Colleen loved baton twirling in her childhood. She has used this skill and has run a volunteer program at the local schools for children to baton twirl in the town-wide Founder’s Day Parade. Colleen has watched many children in Foxboro grow confidence in performing in front of large parade crowds.
Tamara Dzialo, Secretary
Tami is a Bridgewater resident and mom of two children. She is the founder of Project Pack (Post Assault Comfort Kits) and works as a Domestic Violence Specialist for the Department of Transitional Assistance.
As a child, Tami’s confidence was helped a great deal by dance. She learned teamwork and how to juggle a hectic rehearsal schedule while balancing schoolwork and social life. Tami was introduced to charity work through dance by performing at events for Shriner’s Hospital and the Jerry Lewis-A-Thon. Tami continued with her passion by teaching dance to children as an adult and helping students prepare for dance competitions.
Laurie Jean Barkowsky, Treasurer
Laurie is a Kingston, MA resident and has three children. She has worked for Mellon bank for over twenty years on the trading desk. Her volunteer work is limitless ranging from Birthday Wishes party coordinator for over 0 years to working for the local food pantry and being a foster parent to cats and dogs before adoption.
Laurie was an avid horse rider and loved the way she felt working with horses! She loved riding and let that the confidence she gained from horseback riding made her ready for any of life’s challenges!
Michele Paluzzi, Board Member
Michele is a Foxboro resident and mom to two children. She has worked to organize funds for children’s programming for her local elementary schools for years. Her volunteer work career is long and varied!
Michele spent her childhood as a catcher on the local baseball team. They didn’t have left handed catchers mitts so she had to use a regular glove. Despite the setback, she vividly remembers the joy of being on a team and cherishes the great memories of the friendships that were developed on the field or on the bench.
Maureen is a Plainville resident and has two children. She is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Providence College.. Maureen has been a Birthday Wishes party coordinator for many years and spearheads many events benefiting local charities.
Maureen loved gymnastics as a young child and theater in her junior high and high school years. She feels like these experiences helped her grow with confidence into adulthood.