The following press release was submitted by The Medfield Foundation.
The Medfield Foundation proudly recognizes Albert Manganello, Jr. with its 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award for his four-decade long life work to benefit all things for all Medfield veterans.
Medfield Veteran Service Officer Ron Griffin put it perfectly when he said, “From breaking ground at Baxter Park to coordinating the Senior Christmas party, Al's fingerprints are on every veteran related town project. His foot turned over the first shovel of dirt when the American Legion Post was relocated from the old GAR building on Pleasant Street to its present location at Peter Kristof Way. Again it was his shovel, when ground breaking began on Baxter Park. Though this Veterans Park was the dream and effort of many citizens, Al was there from conception to dedication.”
Al entered the service right out of MHS during the Vietnam War, and he returned to become the manager of the American Legion, where he has worked ever since.
However, Al’s volunteer work for veterans goes far beyond running the Legion. Within the Legion, Al volunteers his service on 14 committees, and he has
served as the commander five times. He volunteers for the Legion’s Executive Board, the Board of Trustees, the Sons of the Legion, Finance, Scholarship, Life Membership, Distinguished Service Memorial, Public Relations, Chairman of Athletics, Entertainment, Sick Call, Memorial Day, and Community Services.
Al initiated creation of Medfield’s Vietnam Memorial Stone in front of the Legion, and he was responsible for getting Grove Street Extension, where the Legion is sited, renamed in honor of Peter Kristof, a Medfield resident killed in Vietnam. Al started and grew the Sons of the Legion, for those whose parents or grandparents were in the service. He volunteers as their advisor and oversees their fund raising. Yet between all, he finds time to visit sick veterans.
Al helps to organize and coordinate Medfield's annual Memorial Day parade. He is also one of three Cemetery Commissioners overseeing the Vine Lake Cemetery. On Veteran's Day at Baxter Park he reads the names of all the veterans who have died in the past year.
Al has also volunteered time on Medfield Day, Memorial Day, and for the Little League, Council on Aging, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and with the Medfield Police and Fire Departments with events. At Christmas, Al helps coordinate the Lions senior citizens Christmas party, purchases over a hundred toys with funds he raises during the year for the annual Legion Children’s Christmas party, and coordinates a visit from Santa. At Medfield Day, he sells sausages to raise money for MHS scholarships.
Al also coached little league for twelve years, yearly oversees the Sons of the Legion fishing derby, and is both advisor and finance manager for the Medfield Legion Baseball Team.
Many know to turn to Al when they need assistance, but you'll not find him being "Front and Center" when the spotlight is turned on. But do look for him when it's time to fold the chairs and sweep the floors.