By HERALD STAFF Five graduates of the city's public schools will be honored as the newest inductees into the Cranston Hall of Fame during a ceremony next month. Doreen Holmes, Jeffrey A. Lanphear, John Macera, William M. Stamp Jr. and Anthony Tomaselli
Five graduates of the city’s public schools will be honored as the newest inductees into the Cranston Hall of Fame during a ceremony next month.
Doreen Holmes, Jeffrey A. Lanphear, John Macera, William M. Stamp Jr. and Anthony Tomaselli will join the ranks of the Hall’s previous 196 honorees on Friday, Oct. 15, at the Alpine Country Club.
It will be the first induction ceremony for the Hall of Fame since 2019, when Michael Chalek, the late Leonard D’Errico, Meri R. Kennedy, Steven J. Maurano and David Schiappa were honored.
Last year, due to the pandemic and uncertainty surrounding social gathering limits, no selections were named and no ceremony was held. Instead, those nominated for induction in 2020 were considered during this year’s selection process.
The Hall of Fame, established in 1980, selects graduates from Cranston high schools who have distinguished themselves on a city, state, or national level in any field or profession.
Tickets to the induction ceremony cost $45 and must be purchased in advance. They may be purchased by contacting Deborah Greifer at email@example.com.
Additional information can be found on the Hall of Fame’s website, the link to which can be found under the “Culture” tab on the Cranston Public Schools website, cpsed.net.
The following are biographies of the five 2021 Cranston Hall of Fame inductees, as provided by the selection committee and lightly edited for space and clarity.
Doreen Holmes has overcome health obstacles to not only live her life to the fullest, but to serve as a guide and an inspiration to many others.
Suffering from a quick and unexpected onset of macular degeneration, she lost nearly all her sight in 2010. She refused, however, to let the handicap slow or define her. She continued to volunteer at the St. Patrick’s Soup Kitchen, where she has served for more than 30 years and for which she was given a George H.W. Bush Daily Points of Light Award in 2004. She is an R.I. Blue Star Mom. She not only continued to take a yoga class at the YMCA, but began teaching yoga herself at In-Sight, which serves more than 1,200 Rhode Islanders – from toddlers to elderly adults – who live with limited to no vision. For her efforts, she was recognized in 2018 by the New England Patriots as one of 26 winners of their Myra Kraft Community VIP awards.
A 1971 graduate of Cranston High School East, Holmes wasn’t born with vision problems and had no issues through most of her life. She and her husband, Tom, raised a son and a daughter, and she was involved in her children’s lives as a scout mom and PTO parent. She also began serving as volunteer coordinator of St. Patrick’s Soup Kitchen, and established service-learning partnerships for the kitchen with several universities, colleges and local high schools.
However, over time her eyesight began to deteriorate, and she was told in 2008 that, despite having no history of vision problems in her family, she was suffering from macular degeneration. By 2010, she had completely lost sight in her left eye and had only blurry vision, with floaters, in her right.
Holmes attempted to quit the yoga class at the Y, but her instructor said she should be able to continue since she only needed to follow verbal cues. She was not only able to stay in the class but she thrived, giving help to others. In 2015, the instructor urged her to begin teaching yoga herself. That Christmas, her son, as a gift, enrolled her with Yogafit to become an instructor. Soon afterward, she was contacted by In-Sight to teach yoga to the visually impaired. A coworker entered her name for the Myra Kraft Award and she was chosen as one of the 26 winners out of approximately 450 nominees.
Her work, at In-Sight and elsewhere, has inspired a countless number of people. “You have touched hearts and souls of so many in all ways,” she was told by one person, and another called her “truly a special angel on this earth.” She is now an employee at In-Sight, and continues to work at the soup kitchen and food pantry at St. Patrick’s.
The Honorable Jeffrey A. Lanphear, a 1974 graduate of Cranston High School East and a lifelong resident of the city, has established himself as one of the most prominent jurists in the state of Rhode Island as well as being a pillar of the local community. He has served as an associate justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court since 2003, when he was nominated by then-Gov. Donald Carcieri and confirmed unanimously by the state Senate. In his time on the bench he has presided over approximately 70 jury trials, handling major criminal and civil matters. He is in charge of the entire civil calendar in two separate counties, including jury and non-jury trials, pre-trial proceedings, injunctions, arraignments, various writs and conferences, settlements, mediation, scheduling and all administrative matters.
Lanphear also chairs the Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline, which provides a forum to hear and investigate complaints made against judicial officers of all Rhode Island state courts and can recommend disciplinary action to the R.I. Supreme Court.
After graduating from Cranston East, Justice Lanphear received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Providence College and a Juris Doctor degree from the New England School of Law. In addition to practicing law as a private attorney for more than 20 years, he began working as legal counsel to Rhode Island Senate Minority Leader Lila Sapinsley in 1981. He continued in that role, serving six different minority leaders, until his nomination and appointment to the Superior Court in 2003.
Lanphear is also on the board of directors of the Rhode Island Trial Judges Association. He serves on the Superior Court Bench-Bar Committee and the Commission on Judicial Technology of the Rhode Island Bar Association. From 1995 to 2000, he was a Special Master of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, assisting clients of an attorney who was barred from the practice of law.
In addition, Lanphear has been a leader in the city he has lived in all his life. He has co-chaired the Pawtuxet Village Association, encompassing Cranston and Warwick; has served as chairman of the city of Cranston’s Charter Review Commission; and was a member of the Cranston Bicentennial Commission and the Cranston Conservation Commission. Since 2003, he has been a trustee at the William Hall Library in Edgewood, serving as president from 2004 to 2013 and again from 2015 to the present. In 2011 and 2012 he was commodore of the Edgewood Yacht Club, and has contributed to the club in various capacities since 2008. He has been a head coach and an assistant coach for girls CLCF recreational soccer.
His wife, the former Kathleen Maccarone, also is a product of the Cranston public school system. Their two daughters, Hope and Kate, are, like their parents, graduates of Cranston East.
John Macera has dedicated his life to his students at Park View Middle School, where he has been a physical-education teacher since 1988, and to the Cranston community through his tireless commitments to charity and helping the less fortunate.
He has motivated thousands of young people over the years to prioritize their education and physical well-being, and has also worked to help feed and clothe the homeless, hold blood drives, and promote inclusivity in our culture. In addition, he is the driving force behind the annual Park View Veterans’ Day 5K, which honors and raises money for local veterans.
A lifelong resident of Cranston, Macera graduated in 1981 from Cranston High School West. He majored in physical education and health at the University of Rhode Island and later earned a master’s degree in counseling at Providence College. He began teaching at Park View 33 years ago and has spent his entire career there.
Macera has a remarkable ability to reach students through engaging health lessons, which focus not only on physical fitness but on mental well-being as he draws on his experiences working with the Cranston Substance Abuse Task Force to guide students through the challenges of adolescence. He is aware of, and reacts to, the changing culture, raising issues like vaping and synthetic drugs in his classes. He has also coached basketball, track and cross-county at both the middle school and high school levels.
Macera’s work in the community is equally wide-ranging. For many years he has worked to help the homeless, cooking and serving meals at different locations throughout the state, and packing and delivering boxes of donated clothing. He has volunteered on dozens of committees to bring awareness to the need for inclusivity in society.
He has also spearheaded two high-profile and very successful charity events. For more than a decade, he has coordinated a blood drive in honor of Katie Lavey, a Cranston East student who died after undergoing routine surgery at the age of 16 in 2005. The R.I. Blood Center says the drive is one of its best, with more than 600 donors participating over the years.
And in 2013, Macera embarked on his largest charitable undertaking – the Park View Veterans’ Day 5K to benefit local veterans. He involved Park View students in the effort, enlisting the band and the chorus while having other students hand out race packets and shirts. Even when the race was canceled because of the pandemic in 2020, he worked with the Park View community to make a contribution to Operation Stand Down, which provides thousands of veterans with access to many important services.
Macera and his wife Diane, also a lifelong Cranston resident, have three sons, Daniel, Brendan and Josh. All their children attended Cranston public schools, and Macera spent many years coaching his sons and serving on the board of the Cranston American Little League.
William M. Stamp Jr. has distinguished himself in a long and successful career as a businessman and lifelong champion for those dedicated to agriculture and land preservation.
A 1957 graduate of Cranston High School, where he served as president of both the Future Farmers of America and the National Honor Society, he was born into a farming family and has been a farmer his entire life. Working at Stamp Farms, which was founded by his father in 1940 and has grown to include locations in Cranston and Exeter, he became president of the Rhode Island Farm Bureau in 1974 at the urging of his aunt, who wanted him to succeed his late uncle on the board.
Stamp went on to spend 41 years as president, the longest-running term of service in the nation. Other professional accomplishments include serving as president of the R.I. Poultry Producers for 26 years, and also serving as president of the Farm Family Insurance Company. In addition, he was chairman of the board of Farm Family Holdings. He is a Master of Antioch Grange and has been a trustee of Eastern States Exposition since 1974, where he also currently serves as a Board Member.
Throughout his life, Stamp has been devoted to the causes of open space, agriculture, land rights and food production. A property rights and farmers’ rights advocate, he spearheaded one of the strongest “right-to-farm” laws in the country. He was also an advocate for Rhode Island’s Farm Forest and Open Space Act, which allows property enrolled in the program to be assessed at its current use and not its value for development. In the 1970s he worked with then-Gov. J. Joseph Garrahy to establish the Development Rights Program, which further protected open space and farmland in the state. In conjunction with the Rhode Island Farm Bureau, he also helped to ensure passage of Inheritance Tax Legislation, which allows future generations to continue farming. He has spent countless hours focusing on safeguarding and preserving farming, and working on behalf of the families who run them.
For these efforts, Stamp earned induction into the inaugural class of the R.I. Agriculture Hall of Fame, which “recognizes and honors those who have made a significant contribution to agriculture in Rhode Island over time,” in 2007. He also received a resolution from the Rhode Island House of Representatives in 2015 that lauded him “for his dedicated service to agriculture and the people of this state and our nation.”
Stamp and his wife, Carol, raised five children – Cindy Duncan, Bill Stamp III (who, with his wife Ann, now runs the family’s Greenhouse business on Comstock Parkway in Cranston), Cheryl Phelps, Nancy Ferrara and Brenda Kerr. Over the years their family has grown to include 20 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Anthony Tomaselli has earned acclaim for outstanding achievement in two separate, and vastly different, fields – business and art.
In business, Tomaselli and his wife, Tina, are well-known as the proprietors of the popular T’s Restaurant, which had its roots in a small variety store on Budlong Road and has grown over the years into a chain of three eating establishments across the state, starting with the original site on Park Avenue in Cranston that opened in 1986.
He is also an accomplished artist. His work has been exhibited in galleries and locations throughout the country over the last 30-plus years, and is displayed not only at the various T’s locations but in many businesses and private homes throughout the area. In addition, he teaches at the Providence Art Club and gives workshops and presentations throughout New England.
A 1972 graduate of Cranston High School East, Tomaselli’s art education included apprenticeships with well-known artists Gene Tonoff (for drawing and graphics) and Joseph Rotondo (for painting) while he was still in school. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art at Rhode Island College, one of the first students to pursue a BA in that discipline at RIC, and also went on to study Architectural Design at the Boston Architectural Center. He later served an apprenticeship with Ira Rakantaski of the American Institute of Architects.
As he and Tina worked to make T’s a success, Tomaselli continued to pursue his interest in art. His work has been featured in dozens of one- and two-person exhibitions throughout the state and the region, and he is represented by several galleries in the Northeast. Described as “an expert in quotidian landscapes,” he is well-known for his depictions of life in New England. Most people have become familiar with his art through its display at T’s, but his work as also been shown at (among many other galleries) the Paul Gildea Gallery in Key West, Florida; Sheldon Fine Art in Newport and Naples, Florida; Scott Bundy Galleries in Kennebunkport, Maine; Gallery Z in Providence; and A-Z Fine Art in Winchester, Massachusetts.
Tomaselli has also been active in the community. In the 1990s, he offered college scholarships to Cranston East art students and he currently mentors aspiring artists in The Art of Light Group. T’s was a sponsor of CLCF athletics from 1990 to 2010, and Tomaselli also coached soccer and baseball for CLCF in the mid-1990s. He and Tina have offered T’s for neighborhood/village public meetings to discuss community issues, and for the last 10 years a percentage of T’s ceramic mug sales has gone to No Kid Hungry, a national organization dedicated to feeding children. He also speaks to local community groups about learning to be successful in life.
Tomaselli and his wife are the proud parents of two children and one granddaughter.