Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Esssex Heritage Announces Heritage Hero's for 2019, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem Holds Annual Meeting


Essex Heritage Announces Heritage Hero Nominees

Two years ago, Essex Heritage in conjunction with the National Park Service initiated the Heritage Hero Award program. The first two winners of this now prestigious regional award were James McAlister, a Salem based historian and author and Thomas Costin, a former City of Lynn Mayor and noted community activist. Both of the events were held in Salem at the historic Hawthorne Hotel, and were social and financial successes. It is certainly important for us to note the wonderful participation and generosity of the Hawthorne Hotel management. We fully expect that in the future, the Heritage Hero event will once again return to the Hawthorne Hotel, as they have been such wonderful supporters of the Essex Heritage mission. Now to begin a new decade the event scheduled for May 20, 2010 will be held at the new Tupelo Music Hall in Salisbury. The choice of this location in the heart of the northeast corner of the region Essex heritage serves is due in part to the residency of the honorees, but this new facility in Salisbury is reason enough to hold the event at that location.

In 2010, Essex Heritage and the National Park Service have decided to honor three most deserving individuals from the communities of Amesbury, Newburyport and Salisbury. The very worthy nominees who will be honored are the former long time Chairman of the North of Boston Convention and Visitor Bureau and Salisbury promoter extraordinaire, Maria Miles and former Mayors and past and present Community Leaders of Amesbury and Newburyport Nick Costello and Byron Matthews. There is little chance that Essex Heritage could have a found a more deserving trio to honor than these three individuals. All three honorees have done extraordinary things for their “hometowns” and in addition all of them have been wonderful contributors to the success of the mission of the Essex National Heritage Commission.

All three honorees have been associated with Essex Heritage from the inception of this regional initiative, In fact their activities can be traced back to the time when the Commission was just being organized, and the support that they offered then was instrumental in both the short and long term success of this movement. It is certainly clear that as one looks at the three town region that makes up this section of the region that it would be impossible to find any more deserving candidates then we have identified. The event that will be held in Salisbury will be offered in one of the newest and most exciting venues in the entire region and the Tupelo Music Hall facility is almost reason enough to attend the function, but the work and the commitment of these three individuals supersedes all else.

The support offered Essex Heritage already is testament to the esteem that the three honorees are held in, as even at this early date we have already received a commitment as the Presenting Sponsor of the event from Provident Bank, headquartered in Amesbury an we also expect commitments before the end of the year from several other financial institutions and businesses in the tri town area. In addition to the sponsorship commitments, Essex Heritage is most pleased at the wonderful list being developed that has agreed to serve on the Honorary Committee for this event. The list of participants will certainly include a wide range of individuals that will truly represent the region where our honorees reside. Plans are already being developed to make the event a truly memorable one for the honorees, their families and the participants who will certainly enjoy the presentations that will both highlight the honorees but will also shine a spotlight on Amesbury, Newburyport and Salisbury. In the near term, more and more information about this event will be released to the public, and additional sponsorship opportunities will be offered. Information on ticket purchases and how tables for the event can be reserved will also be made available.

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem Holds Annual Meeting

On Tuesday morning, December 15th, I attended the annual meeting of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem held at the clubs facility on Hawthorne Boulevard in Salem. At this meeting of the club that currently serves 1100 youth between to ages of 5 and 18, Sumner Jones of Eastern Bank finished his term as club president and was succeeded by Frederick “Trip” Mason of F.D. Mason Company Both Sumner and “Trip” also serve in leadership roles at Essex Heritage, so their influence goes beyond the borders of Salem, I am pleased that I have also served the club for a number of years, and have agreed to rejoin the active board in 2010 after serving on the Advisory Board for the last several years. The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem, led by Executive Director Joanne Scott, plays an important role in the life of youth in this region and also serves constituents at a school in the City of Peabody. In addition to the daily recreational programs, day care and vacation time camps are provided to assist the parents of club members who in most cases are both working. The Salem club has always received wonderful community support and this year is no different with toys and financial support for the club members coming from collections made by the students at St John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, and from a local running club, the Salem Wicked Running Club and from a Salem dentist, Dr. Kevin Kalaher. The club members were also provided a Thanksgiving meal through the generosity of the leadership of North Shore International Insurance Co. In the near future the club will also benefit from relationships with Salem State College at both the Bertolon School of Business and from the Athletic Department of the school. The work of the club is certainly most worthwhile and support of this organization is encouraged.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please offer you comments in the section at the end of this posting or contact me with your thoughts at Thanks. Tom Leonard

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