Rain does not damper Zip Trip fun in Westborough

Anchor Gene Lavanchy interviews Westborough Board of Selectmen Chair Ian Johnson and Vice Chair Shelby Marshall.

Boston 25 News celebrates town’s people, businesses – and a wedding! – in live broadcast

By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor

Westborough – When it was announced earlier this summer that Boston 25 News was coming to Westborough July 12 to broadcast live as part of their summer Zip Trip feature, residents, businesses and town officials relished the opportunity to participate, eager to show off their community.

And although heavy rains that periodically fell that morning as the show was broadcast from the Bay State Commons, causing the show’s anchor Gene Lavanchy to quip that they were in “Wet-borough” the hundred or so people who came out to watch the show enjoyed the chance to view the popular show in person.

During the broadcast, Lavanchy, as well as co-anchor Elizabeth Hopkins and Sports Director Tom Leyden, spoke with number of residents and officials, highlighting different aspects of the town.  Pre-filmed clips from businesses around town were shown.

The Westborough Fire Department was honored as part of the show’s First Responder Friday segment. Leyden interviewed Fire Chief Patrick Purcell who spoke on the importance of signing up for an emergency notification system in your community and learning CPR. Also featured in the spot was Donald Bouffard, whose life was saved last year, Purcell explained, after a bystander gave him CPR after he had a heart attack while playing golf at the Westborough Country Club.

The students and administrators who participate in the popular Boros Sugar Shack were also honored by the show with the Hometown Hero Award, sponsored by Boston 25 News partner DCU.  The Shack, located in the downtown area at 15 East Main St., employs adult students ages 18-22, with special abilities, to actualize their potential through community-based academic, social, and vocational experiences.  Monies raised from sales of candy and Westborough paraphernalia at the store help  to support the program.

Westborough High School Basketball Coach, Brian Willar, along with members of the team, were lauded by Leyden for their successful year that saw them win several prestigious titles, including the Clark Tournament.

Before Hopkins spoke to Karen Chapman, the president of the Corridor Nine/495 Regional Chamber of Commerce, who appeared with Ed Turner, the owner of the Art & Frame Emporium, Hopkins noted that Turner had just performed a heroic deed by coming to the aid of a man who had fallen in a nearby parking lot.

“You do it all!” she said, noting that Turner was also a talented caricaturist and in fact, had done one of the Boston 25 team.  (Turner also does a weekly cartoon for the Community Advocate.)

The Art & Frame Emporium was just one of Westborough’s many success stories, Chapman said.

“Westborough celebrates and supports local businesses,” she added.  “We have a  lot going on and we’re growing.”

Several businesses were featured in their own segments including Release Well-being, VA New England Health Care and Yummy Mummy. Restaurants were also represented with segments on the Central House, South Street Diner and Civic Kitchen & Drink. Lavanchy spoke with Board of Selectman Chair Ian Johnson and Vice Chair Shelby Marshall who touted the many facets of why the town is a great place to live.

For the morning anchors, there was one new segment that they had never featured before on a Zip Trip, they said – a wedding ceremony.

As Town Clerk Wendy Mickel explained prior to the segment, Westborough residents Bryan Feagans and Mily Palmer had recently come in to her office to apply for a wedding license. One thing led to another with the couple agreeing to get married on TV during the Zip Trip.

The Feagans’ do have an upcoming ceremony in Vermont for their family and friends, they said. And in fact, they had only notified their families of the impromptu Zip Trip wedding that morning.

“It’s just us, this morning,” Bryan laughed, although nearly 100 new friends were happy to witness the ceremony, cheering as the couple completed their vows.

To see clips of the segments, visit www.boston25news.com/fox25cares/ziptrips.

Bryan Feagans and Mily Palmer with Westborough Town Clerk Wendy Mickel
(l to r) Elizabeth Hopkins, Gene Lavanchy and Westborough Town Clerk Wendy Mickel applaud after Mily Palmer and Bryan Feagans are married.
Ryan Summers, 12, with his mom, Denise, and sister, Emmy 9. Ryan turned 12 July 12 and later that day was going to be celebrating his birthday at the Boro Sugar Shack.
Amber Bock, the superintendent of the Westborough Public Schools, with Jimmy, a participant in the Boro Sugar Shack program
Elizabeth Hopkins points to the caricature of the Boston 25 News team that Ed Turner, the owner of the Art & Frame Emporium, drew, as Karen Chapman, the president of the Corridor Nine/495 Regional Chamber of Commerce looks on.
Sisters Hadicha, 6, and Lola, 3, dance to the music of The Nays.
Carissa Jenkins with her daughters Avery 4 months, and Hadley, 6.
Westborough Town Manager Kristi Williams with her daughters Hailey, 6 and MacKenzie, 10
The Boro Sugar Shack is honored as the Hometown Heroes.
Justin, 9 and Michael, 7 of Grafton, don’t let the rain dampen their fun.