Action for Boston Community Development rolls out the festivities on November 6 in a gala celebration of 18 outstanding neighborhood volunteers who selflessly give back to their communities, as well as private sector members whose steadfast support makes all the difference for low-income families and neighborhoods.
Fifty years ago, ABCD Honoree David Flanagan’s family lived in the Charlestown housing development. His mother was a single parent, and there were few places to go for help. “ABCD was the first,” he said. A range of programs helped David and his siblings gain access to Head Start and later to educational and job opportunities. The compassion and support he received then inspired him to pursue a career in public service. He went to college and graduate school, and during Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn’s administration, he represented then Boston City Councilor Maura Hennigan on the ABCD Advisory Board. He has remained an indispensable friend to ABCD, most recently serving on the 50th Anniversary organizing committee — and using his social media expertise to help promote and celebrate the event.
In addition, ABCD will honor Joseph L. “Jay” Hooley, Chairman & CEO, State Street Corporation, with the ABCD Corporate Champion Award for his tireless support of youth initiatives and neighborhood programs. Among other community commitments, Hooley serves on the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. For many years, State Street Foundation has provided $250,000 annually to the ABCD SummerWorks youth jobs/education program, with the funds targeted to neighborhoods with a high incidence of violence. For many years ABCD ran joint training programs with State Street, leading to employment of thousands of inner-city residents in upwardly mobile positions at the bank.
Featured speaker and Hollywood screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard received national acclaim with his script for “Remember the Titans,” a 2000 film starring Denzel Washington about the high school football team that integrated Alexandria, Virginia in 1971. Howard, who also scripted “Ali,” has won two NAACP Image Awards and a Christopher Award, which honors work that “celebrates the humanity of people in a positive way.” Current projects include “Freedom Fire,” the Harriet Tubman story.
“ABCD is proud to honor our community volunteers and others who go above and beyond to help those in need,” said ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew. “We thank Jay Hooley and State Street Corporation for their ongoing support of at-risk youth and other community initiatives. We’ll also enshrine two highly dedicated supporters into the ABCD Hall of Fame. For well over a decade, their remarkable commitment to Boston’s low income youth, elders and families has had tremendous and lasting impact. They are always there when we need them. ABCD couldn’t be a force for good all these years without everyone pitching in, and we are grateful.”
The 18 community volunteers to be recognized for their tireless efforts to address the plight of Boston’s underprivileged residents and communities are: Julio Perdomo, Allston/Brighton; Stephen Kunian, Asian American Civic Association; Rachele Gardner, Dorchester; Amy Lima, East Boston; Carol Stamper, Elder Services; James A. Owens Jr., Elm Hill; Katharine Handy, Head Start & Children Services; Jennease Hyatt, Health Services; Betty White, HP/Project Care & Concern; David Flanagan, John F. Kennedy Center; Magalis Troncoso Lama, Jamaica Plain/Boston Hispanic Center; Cassandra Cato Louis, Mattapan; Pamela Donahue, North End/West; Daniel Roman, Parker Hill/Fenway; Daniel Brown, South Boston; Mary Manuel, South End, Velma DuPont, Women’s Service Club of Boston, and Sharon Burton of Mystic Valley.
WCVB-TV anchor Randy Price will serve as master of ceremonies, and Grammy Award winning R&B, funk and soul music group Tavares will heat up the ballroom after dinner with “Check it Out,” “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel” and other top of the chart hits. Of Cape Verdean descent and hailing from nearby Rhode Island and New Bedford, the group started performing in 1959 as “Chubby and the Turnpikes.” Several reincarnations later, they are still rocking’ it out! Shake it up with Tavares at the ABCD Community Heroes Celebration on November 6!
For more information, please contact Amelia Aubourg at 617-348-6238 or [email protected]