Lucy Dearborn says she’s learned a lot from her business partner, David Solimine, but the lesson she treasures most is the importance of giving back to the community. “Whether it’s time, ideas or personal effort, he has spent his lifetime giving back,” Dearborn says. While this latest award came as a surprise to Dearborn, exceptional community involvement has been part of the company’s mission since it opened in 2005. “It’s entirely part of our nature because of [David],” Dearborn says.
In December 2010, Lucia Lighting employee Cynthia Balesteri Ray died from injuries she sustained after being struck by a drunk driver. An interior designer with a degree from Endicott College, she worked as a lighting specialist at Lucia Lighting for five years.
At the suggestion of fellow Lucia Lighting employee and classmate Lisa Proulx, the company, along with Cynthia’s friends and family, established the Cynthia Balesteri Ray ’03 Memorial Scholarship. Each year the scholarship helps an Endicott student majoring in Interior Design who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement.
A recent Lucia Lighting-sponsored fundraiser for the Lynn Community Health Care Center took place at the Lynn Auditorium. The show starring the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus filled the theater. There were side benefits, too, Dearborn says, like teaching tolerance and diversity. In a related development, Dearborn reports a pediatric room at the Lynn Community Health Care Center will be named in honor of Cynthia Balesteri Ray.
Because it is still in its start-up phase, Lucia Lighting cannot give great sums of money, Dearborn says, but she and others on the staff can give time to worthy people or causes. “Whether we are spending time to mentor others, or sharing our store space, or selling raffle tickets for others, it’s a conscious decision to give back in any way we can.”
Even in difficult economic times, Dearborn says she has found the lighting industry to be very generous when asked to donate to her causes. “That’s why it is amazing that we were singled out for recognition,” Dearborn says. “I hope our story will spur others to do something to help their own communities. Everyone is busy these days, but everyone can do a little. To me, that’s what this is all about.”