Charlestown residents/community heroes to be honored at 36th Annual ABCD Community Awards Dinner

October 21, 2010
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Two Charlestown heroes will be honored for their contributions to the community at the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) 36th Annual Community Awards Dinner on Friday, Oct. 29 at the Seaport World Trade Center. The dinner celebrates the voluntary efforts of individuals who work tirelessly to address and placate the plight of Boston’s underprivileged communities through voluntary leadership and service.

Among this year’s 28 honorees are resident Elizabeth Cronin Murphy, and Veronica Robles, who founded Dance, Camera, Action! at the Charlestown Boys and Girls Club.

Elizabeth Cronin MurphyElizabeth Cronin Murphy

The John F. Kennedy Center recognizes Elisabeth Cronin Murphy for her generous and compassionate efforts on behalf of the community’s most vulnerable residents.

Beth brings a business acumen to her philanthropic work in Charlestown, having worked for Fidelity Investments for the past 17 years, currently serving as a Vice President. Eager to find new and engaging ways to give back to the community she had grown to love she served on the Kennedy Center’s Board of Directors for several years. She was particularly active with the development committee, organizing innovative events to raise funds for the organization’s many programs. For the last two years she has collaborated with the Charlestown Wine Club to host a fundraiser for the Center. This past summer, the event was held at the USS Constitution Museum and included an impressive silent auction, raising almost $8,000 for the agency. The Kennedy Center is not the only organization to benefit from her creative philanthropic efforts. Beth also held a benefit for the local Boys and Girls Club in partnership with a local restaurant, featuring an appearance by the widely-acclaimed author of The Prince of Thieves, Chuck Hogan. Particularly opportune, the novel served as the basis for the recently released movie The Town which was filmed in and about Charlestown.

“Beth is a non-profit leader’s dream come true. From start to finish, she conceives of an idea for a fundraising event, does all the hard work soliciting donations and filling the room with new faces, all for someone else’s benefit,” raves Kate McDonough, Director of the Kennedy Center. “This kind of connection between a human service agency and a social network from the community is critical to our organization’s future. And none of this would have happened without her.”

Beth and her husband Ken recently celebrated their one year wedding anniversary and are expecting a baby boy in November!

Veronica RoblesVeronica Robles

Veronica Robles believes that helping youth understand who they are and where they come from inspires them to better themselves and their neighborhood. For harnessing the power of culture to make her community stronger, the Citywide Boston Hispanic Center recognizes Veronica Robles.

Veronica has been performing since she was 14 years old. Known affectionately by fans as La Mera, Mera (The Real One), Veronica is one of the most renowned Mexican artists in New England, producing, performing, and hosting television programs within Mexico, the U.S., and Canada. She has five albums, hosts and co-produces “Orale con Veronica” (Let’s Go with Veronica), and has performed in such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City.

While adored by fans worldwide for her incredible talent, it is Veronica’s work off the big stage that has earned her the respect and admiration of the community. For over a decade, Veronica has channeled her talent for the betterment of low-income youth and their families, using Latin American music and dance to promote and celebrate cultural diversity. She has created innovative and educational after school programs, exposing youth to new cultures and traditions. She co-developed the Latino Art and Culture Initiative at Centro Latino de Chelsea, founded Dance, Camera, Action! at the Charlestown Boys and Girls Club, and performs in public schools throughout greater Boston, customizing interactive educational workshops for teachers and students of all ages. In addition, Veronica uses her popular television show to connect underserved Latino families with vital social services and programs.

“Veronica is an exceptional role model for our youth, bridging cultural divides through the arts,” says Jenny Cintron, Director of the Citywide Boston Hispanic Center. “She has inspired generations of future leaders to embrace their diversity and discover positive ways to contribute to their communities.”