Once a New Bedford landmark, the storied Shawmut Diner, listed in the register of historic places, has been waiting for a re-awakening.

Instead, it sits weather-beaten on wood pylons on the property of the Bristol County House of Correction in Dartmouth.

That image may soon change, however.

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Newly-elected Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux sees the classic stainless steel diner operating somewhere else, under a local non-profit's ownership.

Jonathan Darling, spokesman for Sheriff Heroux, said the sheriff thinks highly of the idea of the diner benefitting the community philanthropically, but not from its present location.

"Sheriff Heroux would like to meet with Phil and Celeste Paleologos and family in finding a non-profit organization the diner can be donated to," Darling said.

To our family, this is the best news we've heard so far. The reason we donated the diner in the first place was to give the men and women inmates an opportunity to learn a skill that could benefit them upon their release.

Shifting the gears of life, it is now official: the search is on for interested non-profit groups who can envision a famous diner, used in movies and TV shows, being part of their good will. If it's meant for the diner to rise like the phoenix from its emblematic ashes and serve others in a meaningful way, then let us know.

If the Shawmut Diner is reconditioned and put into serving others, it also converts into something that will transmit positivity and good values, and will create a lasting community legacy beyond one's lifetime.

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