FRAMINGHAM – Growing up in Saxonville, the Foran kids were encouraged to stand up for their beliefs and make their hometown a better place.
A small business owner, Ed was a longtime member of the Framingham School Committee and Conservation Commission, and also served on Town Meeting. He was an active member of the Framingham Democratic Town Committee. He died in 2003.
Anne Foran, was a schoolteacher, who was a longtime member of the Framingham Board of Library Trustees.
This year, their daughter Karen Foran Dempsey is following in her dad’s footsteps and running for a seat on the 9-member Framingham School Committee. Dempsey is running unopposed for the District 2 seat.
And her sister Janet Foran Leombruno is running for a seat on the 11-member City Council in Framingham. She is one of three individuals seeking two at-large Council seats in November.
When Janet and Karen appear on the ballot in November, it will likely mark the first time ever in Framingham’s history two sisters are running for office.
“We raised our four kids in Saxonville to be active and engaged in our community. Janet and Karen are always volunteering to coach, serve on a board or committee, or just help someone in need. It’s what they learned, it’s how they live,” said Anne Foran.
Both Janet and Karen learned at an early age why you give back, and how it is important to be of service to others.
When Karen Foran Dempsey wasn’t able to attend schools, like Marian High School, because she could not get up and down the stairs due to her disability, her mother carried her in and out of school every day. This dedication inspired Dempsey to ensure no student would be denied an education due to a disability.
She was the pioneer and co-founder for the Framingham Disability Commission and still serves as chair of that Commission in the City of Framingham today.
“I have had the great pleasure of serving on the Framingham Disability Commission with Karen Dempsey. I have gotten to know Karen over the past couple of years through my advocacy through the school system and ultimately sitting on the Disability Commission together. Karen has demonstrated genuine concern and care for all citizens. She has been an encouraging mentor and will do an amazing job servicing our school children,” said fellow Disability Commissioner Sheryl Goldstein.
While Dempsey pushes for changes through government advocacy, her sister Leombruno isn’t afraid to break stereotypes and speak up for equality either. And, she has been doing that before she could vote.
Janet Foran Leombruno loved baseball, and when girls were not allowed to play, she fought to be one of the first girls to play in Framingham Little League.
Her determination to play the sport she loved paved the way for generations of girls to follow in her footsteps, including her own daughter Alex. She then went on to coach and serve as Baseball Commissioner.
Leombruno founded the Framingham Little League Annual Toys for Tots drive that partners with the Framingham Fire Dept and Timothy Toy Box, they’re going into the 16th year.
Leombruno was a long-time Town Meeting member, like her dad. She was elected to serve on the Framingham Charter Commission. She currently is a member of the Framingham Housing Authority.
“Ed and Anne were always the first to volunteer. Anne served on the Library Board when they renamed the Saxonville Library after Christa McAuliffe,” said former Selectman Dennis Cardiff. “Ed and I served together on the School Committee and Democratic Town Committee. And he served with distinction as Chair of the Conservation Commission.”
Cardiff said it is great to see his daughters continuing their parents’ volunteerism in their hometown.