hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

February 6, 2014

Singer deserves praise for helping hometown


The Haverhill Gazette

---- — Jillian Cardarelli is making quite a name for herself.

The 21-year-old country-western singer from Haverhill has performed on the same stage as icons such as Willie Nelson.

She has performed at the Grand Ole Opry — the dream of any singer developing a country-western career.

She has sung the national anthem several times at the TD Garden in Boston, most recently before a Bruins game.

She has star power that is luring the national spotlight.

But Cardarelli has not forgotten where she came from.

The proof is in her recent effort to raise money for Haverhill’s Boys & Girls Club.

She recorded a song that is being sold to help the organization, as well as other Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the region. All proceeds from the sale will go to the clubs. (See story, Page 1.)

Haverhill’s club, in particular, can use the help. At the edge of downtown, the club provides inner-city kids a safe place to go, keeping them off the streets. It gives them good meals, sports, other activities and help with homework.

This gesture to help the club is not the only recent thing Cardarelli has done to support Haverhill. After performing in Maine last year, she stopped here to sing at the farmers market. Organizers raved about the boost she provided to their event.

Her willingness to help her hometown is reminiscent of visits to Haverhill by TV personality Tom Bergeron and best-selling author Andre Dubus, both Haverhill High graduates.

Despite their busy schedules, they have supported the city by returning to attend community events. They have also performed other generous acts to help Haverhill. They, too, have not forgotten where they came from.

Cardarelli is a star in the making. But given the way she balances celebrity status with maintaining her local roots, we expect her ties to Haverhill to always be strong.

Of that, she should be proud.