When Nancy Kelly-Lavin and Tom Kelly announced last month that they would be closing Lord's Department Store, they had no idea the community would respond as they have.
Since then, the Kellys have been inundated by long-time customers, past employees -- including 97-year-old Fred McMasters who worked at the store for 62 years (and whom they hadn't seen in 10 years) -- and others with stories of thanks and of what the store means to them.
They say they've also gotten calls from all over the country from people who heard the news the store is closing after 73 years in town.
"I knew it was going to be rough but I had no idea that people would feel this way," she said. "But how grateful are we, and how great for Dad."
"When Dad passed away, there were a few hundred people lined up in front of the store; I had no clue they would do that, no clue," said Kelly-Lavin, who says the community's response is a tribute to their father.
And now, tonight, the community is rallying once again as the store celebrates its final "Midnight Madness," the Lord's event that kicked off the Christmas holiday season for the last 43 years.
In the past, that event was a way for Lord's to say "thank you" to its customers.
Tonight's event is a way for customers to say "thank you" to Lord's.
The party will be held tonight, Feb. 15, at the store from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The public is invited to stop in for food, music, photos at the lunch counter, audiovisual taped memories with Medfield TV (to be shared with the Kelly family and kept at the Medfield Historical Society), gift basket giveaways, a ginger ale toast, and much more (including a few surprises).