Roslindale residents win wedding giveaway contest

First responders Giordano, Umbro set for Hollywood style celebration

By Cary Shuman

There will be a Hollywood-style wedding soon for two local healthcare heroes.

Roslindale residents Michele Umbro and Jack Giordano are the winners of the Boston Harbor Hotel “Heartfelt Thanks to Healthcare Heroes” Wedding Giveaway contest.

The Boston Harbor Hotel, in an effort to honor the heroism of frontline workers who distinguished themselves so bravely during the COVID-19 pandemic, wanted to thank one lucky couple by offering an all-expense paid package for 10 people to take place in the unparalleled John Adams Presidential Suite overlooking the Boston waterfront. Jack’s mother suggested that the couple submit an entry in the contest and the future Mr. and Mrs. Giordano were selected for the grand prize.

Michele and Jack have been on the frontline throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Michelle, 34, is a mammographer and X-ray technician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. During the pandemic, her team of medical personnel has worked directly with COVID-19 patients administering daily test X-rays for diagnostic purposes.

Jack, 33, has been a firefighter in the Boston Fire Department for eight years and has worked out of the Jamaica Plain Fire Station since 2018. Jack has been a part of the contingent of first responders who have answered the call so gallantly during the unprecedented, international health crisis. Firefighters and police officers have merited praise for being “the real heroes” in life as they proceed undauntedly into the field during these stressful times caused by the uncertainty of the pandemic.

“I’m proud of Jack,” said Michele.

Michele grew up on Prospect Avenue in Revere and attended Immaculate Conception School. She graduated in 2005 from Pope John XXIII High School, Everett. Joseph and Anna Umbro, Michelle’s parents, still reside in Revere and will be proud guests at the lavish wedding reception.

Michele attended Salem State University and later studied Radiology at Bunker Hill Community College.

 Jack, son of Kim Giordano and Sheila Giordano, grew up in Wrentham. He does have an educational connection to his wife’s hometown of Revere.

“I did my thesis in 2019 on revitalizing Revere as a gateway city,” said Jack, “Revere hits home to me in many ways. I really love Revere Beach. Michele and I have been to Bianchi’s Pizza, but she still hasn’t brought me to Kelly’s Roast Beef.”

Jack recalled conversing with Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo during his research for his thesis.

“We talked at length about the city – he’s a really, really nice guy,” recalled Jack. “This was the week before the election, so I was like, ‘he has other things to worry about,’ and there he was talking with me for more than hour.”

Jack has been a resident of Roslindale since 2014 and homeowner since 2015. He attended Bay State College and holds a Master’s degree from Northeastern in Security and Resliency. He is currently pursuing a second Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity.

He is enjoying life in one of Boston’s most vibrant neighborhoods. “I love living in Roslindale,” said Jack in a telephone interview this week. “I’m actually watering the grass right now.”

A Five-Year Journey to Wedding Day

Michele Umbro and Jack Giordano met in 2016 and have been engaged since May, 2019. They had scheduled their wedding on two prior occasions – the first was to be held in Tuscany, Italy -but the wedding dates were postponed due to the pandemic and travel restrictions.

“We were planning our wedding for a third time for somewhere in the United States and then we ended up winning this sweepstakes,” said Michelle.

The couple submitted a heartfelt video for the Boston Harbor Hotel contest and a few days later Michele and Jack were notified that they were finalists for the grand prize.

“When we actually went to the Boston Harbor Hotel, they surprised us and said we were the winners,” said Michele.

“I want to say Michele and I are just grateful for this opportunity because it’s been a very challenging past couple of years trying to have a wedding during a pandemic,” related Jack.

An Amazing Wedding Ceremony and Reception

The Boston Harbor Hotel’s “Heartfelt Thanks to Healthcare Heroes” Microwedding for Michele and Jack will include the following: Wedding ceremony in the Presidential Suite overlooking Boston Harbor; tableside cocktail service; plated hors d’oeuvres; sit-down three-course dinner by Chef Daniel Bruce; wedding cake; and wine and champagne for ten guests served during dinner.

There will be also white linens, ballroom chairs, flowers from The Wedding Collection by Winston Flowers, including a dining room centerpiece, a bride’s classic white rose bouquet, a groom’s white rose bouquet, and flowers for the parents of the bride and groom and the best man and maid of honor.

The hairstyling and makeup for the bridal party will be compliments of Megan Graham Beauty. The couple will enjoy a one-night stay in the one-bedroom John Adams Presidential Suite and breakfast for two in the suite the next morning. And not leaving anything uncovered, the Boston Harbor Hotel will provide free parking.

According to sources, actor George Clooney was recently a guest in the John Adams Presidential Suite.

“I’m very excited about the wedding,” said Michele. “It’s finally going to happen and we’re just really appreciative and really excited and overall very happy.”

On Being a Hero

Both Michele and Jack were asked about the recognition that they have received deservedly as heroic first responders, working to help others during the pandemic.

“I wouldn’t look at myself as being a hero,” Michele responded humbly. “I think definitely at the hospital we’ve all worked as such a good team and I was really proud to be part of that team. I think the real heroes are those doctors and nurses that are working one on one with those patients, but without radiology and all the other departments – we all just work together. Without radiology, they wouldn’t know the diagnostics of looking into the X-rays and MRIs and CTs – so it’s a team effort and I’m really proud to be a part of the Brigham.”

Jack also accepted the recognition with grace, stating that it is an honor to serve in the Boston Fire Department. “It’s actually an honor to be able to be part of such a great community and to help people,” he said.” Everybody’s facing a certain battle that not everyone is seeing  – and to be a first responder at a time like this, it’s an honor and honestly a privilege.”

Asked if he has noticed the universally positive light that has shone on firefighters during the pandemic, Jack replied, “I wouldn’t say I’ve been noticing how people have been treating me, but I’ve been treating people with the utmost sincerity because you never know what someone else is going through.

I don’t see myself as a hero,” continued Jack. “I think we just do the jobs we do with the resources and tools that we have. At the end of the day, we just want to help people and promote the communities to stay safe and healthy and increase the quality of life – I think that’s a team collaborative effort on the whole healthcare front, protective services as well. It’s just an honor to be part of this huge team that’s helping our communities thrive during this.”

Advice for Other Couples

Jack had some good advice for other couples who are in the planning stages for their weddings.

“To all the newly engaged couples who have been trying to figure out how they’re going to plan a wedding during the pandemic, I think the most important thing is to see this as a steppingstone in learning how to become stronger partners together,” said Jack. “I’d say the biggest advice is: communicate. It’s been quite the experience and I just think that this is going to set us up for success in the future.

“This has been our first big challenge as a couple together, and it’s made us realize that the most important thing in this life is having each other and having our health and well-being,” added Jack.

He sees brighter days ahead for all. “As a human race and as history has shown, we tend to be resilient. And I know that through social cohesion, we’re going to become resilient, overcome this [pandemic] and we’re going to be stronger than ever. And Boston is a very resilient city and I’m looking forward to great things to come.”

(Information from Boston Harbor Hotel press materials was used in this story).

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