It started in the early 1970s, once her youngest child had reached grammar school. With her acknowledged mentor, the late Dr. Dorothea Willgoose, Roma Jean Brown began her current 30 years of volunteering in the Needham Community.
Assisting Dr.Willgoose, she was instrumental in the coordination and start-up (1971) of the “Traveling Wheels Programs” which delivered over 11,000 meals in 2000.To this day she continues to volunteer in the delivering of meals. Roma has held the position of Chairman and was instrumental in establishing a “Friends Of …” organization that has helped to raise private funds for this worthwhile program.
In the early 1990s, Roma, along with others, recognized a need for local hospice care. With their combined efforts the dream was realized and the Stanley R. Tippett House was established. Since 1995 this home has brought great comfort to family and friends of ill loved ones. Roma, to this day, continues to be an active hospice board member.
A staunch advocate for the elderly, Roma has been involved with the Council on Aging (COA) for over a decade. She has served as Chairman for two terms. Currently, she is very interested in the Council On Aging’s efforts to obtain a new senior center and is the Council’s representative on the town wide research committee. Sharon Lally, Needham’s COA Director says of Roma: “Her commitment and dedication to elder causes is unparalleled.”
Because of her efforts on the local level, several years ago Roma was asked to represent the Town of Needham on the regional West Suburban Elder Services Board which services seniors in eight communities. To no one’s surprise here in Needham she was elected President of the Board in the Fall of 2000.
As we are limited by time and space, mention of Roma’s additional contributions to our town are summarized by the following: currently a twenty-eight year Town Meeting member; twenty-three years as a Library Trustee and a long time involvement with The League of Women Voters.