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Birthday party will raise money for Dianne Wilkerson

Former state Senator Dianne Wilkerson (center) spoke with friends and supporters in February.

Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe

Former state Senator Dianne Wilkerson (center) spoke with friends and supporters in February.

Supporters of former state senator Dianne Wilkerson, released from prison last September after serving more than three years on federal corruption charges, will rally next week to help the former Democratic powerhouse celebrate her birthday.

A “welcome home and 59th birthday celebration” party for Wilkerson is scheduled for the evening of May 1 at the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, according to an event invitation.

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Sent to several of the city’s leading political figures, the invitation says that the event’s “purpose” is to raise money “to help Dianne pay for her everyday living [expenses] to help her prior to her securing permanent employment.”

The invitation was sent Wednesday from a private email for Mukiya Baker-Gomez, an employee of the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance.

Wilkerson pleaded guilty in 2010 to eight counts of attempted extortion for taking $23,500 in bribes when she was a state senator. Once hailed as a rising star in the Democratic Party, she told the Globe in February that she was grateful for community assistance that had helped her pay her bills following her 2008 resignation from the Senate.

She said she wanted to work to improve neighborhoods in Dorchester and Roxbury, her former district.

“I’m going at this as someone whose status has changed,” Wilkerson said then. “And I’m excited about the opportunity that God has given me to start this new adventure.”

Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at Jim.OSullivan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.
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