On Sunday afternoon, the Medfield Foundation, Inc. recognized three Volunteer Award recipients as well as 20 nominees at a reception held at The Center at Medfield.
Over 100 guests and honorees were greeted by members of the Jazz band (David Baler, Chris Davis, Nick Cruickshank and Anton Derevyanko) as they entered the Center on Ice House Road.
Osler "Pete" Peterson, a MFI board member, emceed the event. He, along with board members, Catherine Girard, Chris McCue Potts and Kathleen Brennan were part of a subcomittee that ran this event.
Event sponsor, , was represented by bank manager, Cheryl O'Donnell. She spoke briefly, welcoming all the volunteers and guests to this event.
"The Medfield Foundation, Inc. was created in 2001," said Peterson. "It has funded $1.3 million for the Town of Medfield with projects such as the field, the playground, and numerous initiatives, including the and many more. The idea of the Volunteer of the Year awards began in 2008 when Henry Marcel was chosen for his extensive work in the tree lighting at Baxter Park.
"The program has grown over the years and last year all nominees were invited and asked to speak on behalf of their work. Recognizing all nominees and hearing from each was magical ... so we have embraced that format."
Peterson then introduced each nominee along with their nominator and each spoke briefly about their volunteer work.
The nominees for Youth Volunteer of the Year were:
- Evan Berry ()
- Dan Pucci (MHS Math Lab)
- Kevin Wang (Community Teens/Backpack Project)
- Chelsea Robertson ("The Party Package" for underprivledged children)
- Emily Grossman with her dog, Maggie (Thunder Hill Canine Encounters 4H)
The nominees for Volunteer of the Year were:
- Christian Donner (Bay Colony Rail Trail)
- David LaFreniere (Trustees of Reservation/Noon Hill)
- Frank Iafolla (Toys for Tots)
- Laurie Nealon and Kathleen Cahill (Medfield Neighbor Brigade)
- Paul Dewey (Destination Imagination)
- Rick McKinney (Boy Scouts)
- Steve Catanese (Medfield Green)
- Katharine Steeger (Girl Scouts), who was not in attendance.
The nominees for the Lifetime Achievement Award were:
- Bob Luttman (Medfield Public Library)
- Cynthia Greene (Medfield Energy Committee)
- Jack Petersen (Medfield.TV)
- C.B. Doub ()
- Richard Desorgher (Town Historian)
- Pinky Meader (Medfield Garden Club), who was not in attendance.
The Youth Volunteer of the Year Award went to Jane Garofalo for . Garofalo created a way to increase donations for the food cupboard by offering Shaw's shoppers an easy way to help while shopping for their own needs. She garnered financial and volunteer support, partnered with Shaw's and the Food Cupboard has seen an increase in food donations.
"I really appreciate this big honor and am working to get this program to other towns and food cupboards," said Garofalo.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Bill Massaro for his work with environmental and re-use efforts at the . Massaro has worked tirelessly since 2009 on concerns with hazardous waste and clean up at the hospital site and its impact on the Charles River. He has attended numerous DCAM meetings and continues this work today.
When asked how he feels about being chosen for this award, he said "I am honored and humbled, given the previous recipients of this award."
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to John Harney for his 40-plus years dedicated to Medfield's civic and community causes. Harney served on the School Committee, was a Selectman and has served on many town boards. "This was unexpected," said Harney, when asked how he felt about this award, but thrilled that he had been nominated by his friend, Richard DeSorgher. He added, "I have always been interested in local politics."
Presentations were then given to the three award recipients from Selectman, Mark Fisher and Rep. Denise Garlick on behalf of Senators James Timilty, John Kerry and Scott Brown. Veterans Agent, Ron Griffin then presented each with a U.S. Flag that had been flown in their honor over the U.S. Capitol on March 12, 2012.
MFI President, Stephen Phillips concluded the event by thanking Rockland Trust for their sponsorship, Whole Foods and for donating refreshments and all involved in recognizing the importance of volunteerism.