ABCD hosted the first in-person Community Heroes Celebration (CHC) in three years at the Omni Boston Hotel. Event Chair Russell Norris, General Manager, Slalom Boston helped honor 16 extraordinary community partners, collaborators, volunteers and leaders who uplift underserved and under-represented people and families throughout Greater Boston.
Former ABCD President and CEO, John J. Drew, a national leader in the community action and nonprofit sector who retired in June after a 51-year storied career with the organization was inducted into the ABCD Hall of Fame. Recently retired after 41 years, former ABCD medical director for family planning, Dr. Gary Gross received the Lifetime Health Equity Access Champion Award. Dr. Gross helped form the Massachusetts Family Planning Consortium and bring Title X funding to Massachusetts, with ABCD as the grantee. The CHC also featured keynote speaker, Marcia L. Fudge, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Karen Holmes Ward of WCVB-TV who served as emcee.
The Community Heroes were nominated from across the region by ABCD neighborhood centers and programs for their selfless contribution of time, energy, expertise and compassion including: Debbie Amaral; Ana Berreondo; Felix Bezeredy; Nora Blake; Victor Brogna; Shon Brown; Clodagh Drummey; Reverend Barbara Dulin; Leneva Penton; Leandra Rivera; Fatima Ali – Salaam; Massachusetts State Representative John Santiago; Jessica Espiritusanto; Clare Sheridan; Anna White and Jenny Young.
Heroes never go it alone. Support for the evening was made possible thanks to Diamond Sponsor, Slalom Boston; Emerald Sponsors, ClearResult, Eastern Bank, ENGIE Impact, Eversource, Four Corners Development Corporation, Gavin Partners, Paradigm Energy Services and State Street; Sapphire Sponsors, ACT Leasing, Inc., Advanced Windows, Inc., Casner & Edwards, Donna Coard, Emerson Swan, Fluid Industrial Association, Hemenway & Barnes, LLP, HUB International, K.S.O Carpentry, Morgan Stanley, Point32Health, PPI Benefit Solutions, Pyramid Global Hospitality, Rich May, P.C. and many generous individuals.