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Friends of Chevalier Welcome Home Bill Cummings to Chevalier Theatre on October 10

The Friends of Chevalier extend a warm invitation to the Medford community to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary with a special Arts Across Medford event at Chevalier Theatre on Wednesday, October 10 at 7 p.m.

Come hear Bill Cummings share insights from his hit book “Starting Small and Making it Big: An Entrepreneur’s Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist,” his life story of going from modest Medford roots to multi-billionaire and international philanthropist.

Cummings grew up in the Hillside and Haines Square neighborhoods in the 1940s and ‘50s and learned the value of hard work and kindness from his parents, Gus and Dorothy. They also encouraged his youthful business ideas, like peddling sodas to workers removing trolley tracks on the Fellsway, selling used boats from his yard, and hawking Christmas trees in Medford Square.

After graduating from Medford High (1954) and Tufts University (1958), Bill’s business career blossomed. Sweet success selling Old Medford Fruit Punch out of a Fulton Street plant led to the creation of his giant real estate venture, Cummings Properties, which he founded with one building in 1970. In 1986 he and his wife, Joyce, started the nonprofit Cummings Foundation, through which they have donated millions of dollars to Medford nonprofit organizations — including the Friends of Chevalier for the Medford Boys & Girls Club — and hundreds of millions worldwide.

Cummings will be joined on the Chevalier stage — where he received his Medford High diploma — by former Medford mayor and longtime friend Michael McGlynn, who will serve as moderator. They’ll talk a lot about Medford – after all, Bill says “Starting Small” is at its essence a book about Medford – which befits this year’s Arts Across Medford theme: “Roots.” Audience questions and a book signing will follow.

Admission is free and no tickets are required. All seating is general admission. If you plan to attend, please indicate so on the Facebook event page.

Discounted copies of Bill Cummings’ book may be purchased in advance through the Friends of Chevalier for $15; all proceeds benefit charity. For ordering details please click on the “Order Bill Cummings’ Book” link at the top of this page, or email friendsofchevalier@gmail.com to request ordering information.

Arts Across Medford is a month of arts and cultural happenings in the city in October presented annually by CACHE in Medford, of which Friends of Chevalier is a founding member. Visit the Arts Across Medford website for a complete list of events.

Please join us in saying “Thank you” to Bill Cummings for his generosity to Medford when he returns to his “Roots” for a special Arts Across Medford event at Chevalier Theatre.

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Friends of Chevalier Receive Second Cummings Foundation Grant for Medford Boys & Girls Club

The Friends of Chevalier Auditorium and Gene Mack Gym were delighted to receive a second grant from Cummings Foundation on May 3, 2018, in support of the Medford Boys & Girls Club. The grant, part of Cummings Foundation’s new Sustaining Grants program, will provide the Club with a total of $250,000 over 10 years and support a broad new Literacy Initiative. The Sustaining Grants program builds on Cummings Foundation’s $100K for 100 program, through which the Friends of Chevalier obtained a $100,000 grant for the Medford Boys & Girls Club in 2014. Read the full press release on the Cummings Sustaining Grant and visit the Cummings Foundation website for details on the 33 Sustaining Grants recipients from Middlesex, Essex and Suffolk Counties.

 

Bill (left) and Joyce Cummings (right) with Friends of Chevalier Treasurer Ken Krause 
and Boys & Girls Clubs of Medford and Somerville Executive Director Lindsay Smythe.

 

Blumenreich Presents bringing talent to Chevalier Theatre Under 5-Year Management Contract

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The City of Medford rang in 2018 with a new operator for its historic Chevalier Theatre! Bill Blumenreich Presents, Inc. (BBP), the company that manages the popular Wilbur Theatre in Boston, was retained in October to manage, operate, maintain, and make improvements to the 1,800-seat Chevalier, which was built in 1940 as an addition to the old Medford High School on Forest Street in Medford Square. Bill Blumenreich, BBP’s owner, has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry.  BBP has already lined up nearly 70 events at Chevalier, ranging from music, comedy, children’s shows, author talks and podcasts.  BBP has a five-year contract with the city, giving the firm time to make various improvements to the theater. Visit the Chevalier Theatre website for the event schedule.                                          Bill Blumenreich with Medford Mayor Stephanie M. Burke.

 

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Proud and grateful recipient of a Cummings Foundation $100k for 100 grant 

and a Cummings Foundation Sustaining Grant for the Medford Boys & Girls Club.

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