13 RESIDENTS TO RECEIVE COMMUNITY RECOGNITION AWARDS
FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO GLOUCESTER AND THEIR NEIGHBORS
The Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church is pleased to announce that 13 people will receive the church’s 2011 Community Recognition Awards at a ceremony to be held at the church on Friday, May 20, 2011.
Selected by the church’s Social Justice Committee, the women and men receiving these honors come from all walks of life. (Their names, along with descriptions of their works, are attached.) Some are known for the deeds they have done for their neighbors. Others are being honored for giving generously to the entire community, often with little or no public notice. All have made a lasting mark on Gloucester and were chosen because, although they may follow a wide variety of faith traditions, their actions embody the best of the spirit that guides Unitarian Universalism – open-hearted giving to others, done without thought of remuneration or recognition.
These awards were introduced by the church Social Justice Committee in 2006 as part of the 200th anniversary of the landmark church edifice at Middle and Church Streets. Built in 1805-06, this Federalist-style church is the home of the first Universalist church in America, now affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association. Its lighted tower reaches 155 feet above sea level and is a Gloucester icon, quietly helping guide mariners day and night into America’s first seaport. The building’s historical importance is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and by the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the Essex National Heritage Commission.
The awards ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. and the public is invited. There is no charge. For more information, please call the church office at (978) 283-3410.
2011 RECIPIENTS OF COMMUNITY RECOGNITION AWARDS
FROM THE GLOUCESTER UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
David Brooks, founder and President of Cape Ann Art Haven. In 2008, shortly out of high school himself, Mr. Brooks started Art Haven after budget cuts reduced school art programs. Art Haven has expanded to serve all ages. Activities include mural painting, darkroom photography, pottery, beginner adult classes in drawing and pottery, afterschool art history classes, a home school class, and family studio time.
Stephanie Buck, Jane Walsh, and Sarah Dunlap, being honored together for their collaborative work with the Gloucester city archives and the Cape Ann Museum library — including basic research that helped to unravel the mystery of Fitz Henry Lane. Their love and knowledge of Gloucester history, and the pleasure they take in sharing this knowledge with others, are vital to our collective understanding of our community.
Thomas Byers, a volunteer at the Sawyer Free Library responsible for all the computer-generated graphics used there and by the Gloucester Lyceum, from posters and wall displays to images displayed on LCD screens. Following retirement from C.B. Fisk, Inc., in 1991, Mr. Byers enlisted as a volunteer at the library and soon had a completely new career. After 20 years, he continues to work at the library four days a week, six hours a day – in a room that the library recently renamed in his honor.
Joey Ciaramitaro, founder of the web blog GoodMorningGloucester: an online board of community events, photos, video interviews, and tributes to "good eggs — adding a new, Internet-based dimension to Gloucester’s sense of community. Begun as a “view of life on the dock,” GoodMorningGloucester four years later is a “good news” must-read web-based community meeting-spot that viewed by several thousand readers every day.
Dan Connell, co-founder and leader of the award-winning Cape Ann Forum lecture series. Initiated in response to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Cape Ann Forum presents programs on important topical issues, usually of global scale, but relevant to everyone. Mr. Connell draws on his extensive connections as a journalist to garner speakers of national and international acclaim. Through Mr. Connell’s efforts, the Cape Ann Forum also sponsors a scholarship given annually to a Gloucester High School student.
Phil and Pat Hadley, for their support of families confronting mental illness. Along with Linda Lewis of Rockport, the Hadleys lead support groups for people dealing with mental illness issues, help affected families seek resources they need, and even accompany them as they weave through the world of social services. Their work led to formation of the Cape Ann Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health, including establishing an office in Gloucester and helping people in recovery to market crafts and art works at local shops. In addition, since the loss of state funds for the Cape Ann Social Club, the Hadleys now mentor that group, hosting meetings, lunches, celebrations and art programs.
SooHwa Ono, for multiple charitable acts for the people of Gloucester. Through the Junior ROTC unit at Gloucester High School, where she is unit commander; her membership in the National Honor Society at GHS, and independently, Ms Ono’s contributions are many. She has served three years as a Trained Teen Mentor with the Cape Ann Families Program operated by Pathways for Children; volunteers with other ROTC members to shovel snow at homes of elderly people, assists at Harvest Meals served by the Cape Ann Interfaith Commission, and helps set up the race course for the Fishbox Derby. Ms. Ono will be entering the Air Force following graduation.
Donald Riley, for multiple contributions to youth reaching far beyond his role as MCAS supervisor at Gloucester High School. Each fall for six weeks Mr. Riley teaches, without charge, six-week-long SAT preparation classes for college-bound students. He helps students write college-entrance essays and scholarship applications. He organizes bus trips for students to out-of-town sports events. As a Hall of Fame candlepin bowler, Mr. Riley last year hosted a GHS baseball-team fundraiser at the Cape Ann Lanes. And as Youth Awareness Coordinator for the Cape Ann Moose Lodge, he trains GHS student-athletes as motivational speakers at Gloucester’s elementary schools – this year leading those students to the Moose International Youth Awareness Congress in North Carolina.
Rick Roth, co-founder and executive director of Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team, a volunteer run, non-profit founded in 1990 that has identified and helps to protect more than 100 vernal ponds in Gloucester and Rockport – ecologically unique ponds that are home to vulnerable amphibian species. CAVPT also has produced an award-winning vernal pond video, helped create a Vernal Pond Scout badge, led dozens of vernal pond field trips, and given vernal pond and snake presentations to thousands of people statewide. He is also on the board of the non-profit Kestrel Educational Adventures, whose naturalists lead classroom workshops and student field trips to help children and adults better understand ecologically sensitive habitats.
Dick Wilson, for leadership in founding the Gloucester Fisherman Athletic Association and longtime volunteer work for Wellspring House. Mr. Wilson, an athlete as a Gloucester High School student and later a School Committee member, helped start the GFAA to sustain school sports programs following loss of public funding. Creating the Gloucester Triathlon and sponsoring the Twin Lights Half Marathon, along with other events, the GFAA has raised tens of thousands of dollars so school sports might continue. Most recently, the GFAA has led the campaign to completely rebuild Newell Stadium at a cost of $3.5 million. The GFAA hopes raise $2 million of that, to be added to the $1.5 million that the cash-strapped city government has been able to budget.