Save the Harbor/Save the Bay recently honored this year’s Boston Harbor Heroes at the organization’s annual Destination Boston Harbor gala at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
Among this year’s honorees was Charlestown college student Fatima Fontes who worked as a staffer for Save the Harbor’s Youth Environmental Education Program over the summer.
Fontes was honored alongside Albert Deblas of East Boston and Aleena Mangham of Allston, for the important role they played in making Save the Harbor/Save the Bay the Boston Harbor connection for the region’s youth and families.
“Each year, Save the Harbor recognizes outstanding individuals as Boston Harbor Heroes for their commitment to Save the Harbor’s mission, our community, and the Harbor,” said Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Executive Director Chris Mancini. “We are proud to honor these young people for helping us to share the harbor with more than 10,000 young people from 100 community groups in 2021. It was great to be back on the beach together this summer. It was also great to be together again at Destination Boston Harbor to celebrate our Harbor Heroes and thank our partners and supporters for helping us to keep our promise to be here for our community during the pandemic, and to return to the harbor, the beaches and the islands when it was safe to get together in person again.”
Fontes, a junior at Boston University, returned to Save the Harbor this past summer for her third year. She is a Pre-Med student with a major in Psychology.
Deblas worked during the 2020 summer at the height of the COVID-9 pandemic. Instead of helping Save the Harbor share Boston’s harbor with busloads and boatloads of young people face-to-face, Fontes was instrumental in working to create virtual Boston Harbor programming through YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, and on Save the Harbor’s blog Sea, Sand & Sky throughout the Summer of 2020. In order to continue being the Boston Harbor’s connection for the region’s youth and families, Fontes and her coworkers explored Boston Harbor’s many beautiful views in small, socially-distant groups, including Charlestown Navy Yard, Castle Island, Malibu Beach, and the Harbor Islands. While there, she filmed videos, wrote lesson plans, and created other safe virtual activities for community partners across the city.
This year’s Destination Boston Harbor gala event featured an auction with exciting getaways including a luxury Irish vacation at Kilkea Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, as well as Harpoon private beer tastings, staycations at local hotels with dinner pairings, sports tickets, fishing trips, golf packages and more. Save the Harbor/Save the Bay also premiered a short video at the gala that captures the spirit of the summer.
According to Save the Harbor’s Development Director Patricia Salic, this year’s Gala and Auction raised more than $300,000 to support free events and programs, and the organization’s policy and advocacy work.
“Thanks to all our sponsors and donors for supporting our work to restore, protect and share Boston Harbor,” said Salic.