It’s almost 2012; a New Year that brings a fresh start, promise for a better future and endless possibilities.
And, in keeping with tradition, many Rhode Islanders will make the often hard-to-keep New Year’s resolutions. Even more people, though, keep their wishes simple, hoping that the next 12 months will be filled with success, prosperity and good health.
We at the Sun Rise got a better idea of what folks in Johnston are hoping for this year by visiting Taso’s Diner and Anytime Fitness.
Although he generally doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions, Anastasios “Tommy Taso” Thomaidis still has high hopes for the year to come.
“I’d like to see everybody happy,” said Thomaidis, who owns the diner at 1500 Atwood Avenue. “I’d like to see everybody do good and get back to work. I hope things get back to normal, just like the good old days.”
Mike Church, a cook at Taso’s, has set personal goals for himself this New Year.
“Quit smoking,” he said when asked for his New Year’s resolution. “I’d like to see 2012 bring health and wealth – in that order.”
Brianna Devine, an always-smiling server at Taso’s and whose father was once the Johnston Police Chief, is concentrating her efforts on the future. A senior at Rhode Island College, Devine will graduate in May from RIC with a degree in communications with a concentration in public relations.
“I hope everyone has a healthy New Year,” Devine said. “A New Year that’s prosperous, too.”
Kelly Smith, another server at Taso’s, has a promise to herself to “save money.”
Smith is also excited because she just got another job in addition to her position at Taso’s. She is a student in the nursing program at the Community College of Rhode Island and her new part-time position will be as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Although she’ll have a new position as she continues along her career path, Smith has bigger things coming in 2012.
“I’m having a baby,” she said. “I’m due in April … it’s a boy. That will be my focus for 2012, and to finish school.”
The New Year probably couldn’t match 2011 for Bob Nadeau, a long-time employee at Taso’s, who closed out this year with two rather unique surprises.
“My son came home from Iraq,” Nadeau said with a wide smile on his face. “That was a great Christmas present. It was even more special, as I met my grandson for the first time.”
Nadeau’s grandson was born five years ago, but because his father was in the military, Nadeau had yet to see the tiny toddler.
Still, he has several resolutions for 2012.
“I want to try to save money in the New Year,” he said. “I hope it’s a good year for everybody, especially my son; he’s on his way to Afghanistan for another tour of duty. I also hope the price of gas goes down.”
Rob LoBianco, who recently opened the state-of-the-art 6,000-square foot Anytime Fitness in the Cherry Hill Center, has several New Year’s resolutions, courtesy of many of his members.
In fact, they’ll all be written on the “Resolution Board” that takes up the entire wall just inside the main lobby at Anytime Fitness.
“This is also the inspiration board,” explained Ron Dettore, who assists LoBianco at Anytime Fitness, which is located at 1577 Atwood Avenue. “We, too are asking our members to write their New Year’s resolutions on the board.”
The resolution board was the idea of Dettore and trainer Melissa Ferrell.
LoBianco, meanwhile, has a heartfelt New Year’s resolution, which is “to take more time to enjoy the simpler things in life. As we’ve learned by losing mom, life is too short. Live each day as it was your last with no regrets.”
As for 2012, LoBianco has just one goal, and that’s “to strive to continuously improve and build upon an exceptional facility that provides health and wellness for the community.”
As for Dettore, he has made some serious New Year’s resolutions that he wants to stick to.
“I want to start a strict diet. I want to start gaining muscle mass,” he said.
Dettore also wants “less hostility in the world” and “to see a more confident president [of the United States].”
Carina Pinto, a member at Anytime Fitness who lives in Johnston who is a social studies teacher at Mount Pleasant High School in Providence, is serious about the New Year on several fronts.
“I like to stay healthy,” Pinto said while taking a break from a workout. “I love this facility and what it can do for you.”
As for 2012, she said, “I want peace, I want prosperity, and I want good health.”
Leanora Napolitano, who owns two businesses in Johnston – Central 2100 Inc. and Temp Connection – and is a dedicated member at Anytime Fitness, has a rather ambitious New Year’s resolution.
“I’ve already lost 62 pounds,” said Napolitano, who also lives in Johnston and recently had successful weight loss surgery. “I want to lose another 50 pounds. That’s why I come here four times a week.”
The businesswoman, who has owned both her businesses for the past 18 years, is, like most people, hoping “for more jobs and a better economy” in 2012.