54th Annual Wellesley Veterans’ Parade honorees

More than a dozen individuals and organizations will be honored during the 54th Annual Wellesley Veterans’ Parade on Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend. The parade takes place Sunday, May 22, 1-3pm, through the middle of town.

The Wellesley Celebrations Committee has shared these profiles of this year’s honorees:

 

Grand Marshal of the Parade: Constantin Chrysafidis

 

Constantin Chrysafidis
Constantin Chrysafidis

The United States of America owes so much to every generation of American soldiers. 

On Sunday, May 22, 2022, thousands of Wellesley residents will join to honor those veterans who served our country and recognize those organizations and people who serve our community. Our town is grateful to the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States military. 

This year we have a special theme: Commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Purple Heart. The Purple Heart is awarded by the President to those wounded while serving. The residents of Wellesley have had a long and storied history of serving in the military. 

On this weekend we will remember those we have lost and cheer veterans from the second World War, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraqi Freedom. 

This year, The Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley honors, Constantin Chrysafidis for Grand Marshal

Constantin Chrysafidis was born on 8/13/1925. His life is a story of courage and dignity. 
Constantin is a Purple Heart veteran and former Wellesley resident and now lives in Rochester, NH.   In Wellesley, he was your neighbor living at 35 Fells Road. 

Constantin Chrysafidis said he was 18 when he left high school to join the Marines in November 1942, during World War II. 

Constantin Chrysafidis
Constantin Chrysafidis

He was a corporal of the 21st Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, primarily stationed in Guam. 
“Back then, people lined up around the block to join,” Chrysafidis said. “We were all united in this fight and we all wanted to serve.” 

Wounded in battle, this injury sent him to several military hospitals to recuperate  but he suffered significant nerve damage, which ultimately cut his time in the Marines short to 28 months. 

Constantin Chrysafidis represents the noblest history and traditions of the United States military. His steadfast resolve helped us live in peace and security. 

Chrysafidis said he has many memories of the war that were terrifying, but he also has many that are good, too. He said he served with and met a lot of people in his time in the service, and that he’s never forgotten their names to this day.

“I’ve lived a very successful life that I’m proud of, and I love my three beautiful grandchildren that my son and his wife gave to me,” Chrysafidis said. 

“We’re all heroes, they say, but we were all just doing our jobs.” 

Constantin Chrysafidis, we are proud you are our Grand Marshal.

Chief of Staff: Jim Bishop

 

Jim Bishop
Jim Bishop

The Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley, honors Jim Bishop as Parade Chief of Staff.

Jim Bishop has been a very involved and dedicated resident of Wellesley for the past 51 years, having purchased his home in 1971 which he still resides in today.  He proudly served as a corporal in the US Army from 1964 to 1970.

Jim made his living at Brooks Brothers in Boston, at their flagship location on Newbury Street, for an impressive 62 years.  Having mastered the art of sales and providing impeccable customer service to the most discriminating of customers and long-term clientele, he was forced to retire in 2020 at almost 80 years old, due only to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He continued his love for serving the people in his community by joining the Newton Jaycees in 1967, then serving on the Wellesley Jaycees during the 1970’s.  His dedication to his service led to his being elected as a Massachusetts Jaycee Senator in 1980, and later being elected President of the Massachusetts Jaycees in 1991.  He has continued his service to the organization for decades which has included countless charity events and community betterment projects, in Wellesley and throughout the state.

Jim’s lifelong interest in politics inspired his membership in the Wellesley Republican Town Committee and was elected to the Wellesley Town Meeting in 1992, becoming invested in many crucial decisions and community projects throughout the town for almost 30 years.  While a Town Meeting member, he has also served on the Wellesley Celebrations Committee for several years, coordinating many aspects of the annual veteran’s parade, as well as many other community events.

Jim has raised two children in Wellesley who attended Perrin School, Bates School, Wellesley Middle School, and Wellesley High School.  He has also been involved in several successful campaigns for both town and state elected officials over many decades.

Special Recognition Award: Herlda Senhouse

 

Herlda SenhouseHerlda Senhouse was born before World War 1. She has lived through the Spanish Flu, the great depression, World War II and even Covid.

She brings our town 111 years of wisdom and truth and standing up for what’s right. While civil rights leaders marched in the 1960s for equality and against racism, activism showed up in Senhouse through her jazz dance shows.

She founded what was Boston’s Clique Club, a social club of dancers and musicians to help educate Black students.

She helped countless Black students pay for everything from books to college tuition.

The Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley, honors Herlda Senhouse its Special Recognition Award as Wellesley’s oldest citizen.

In a recent interview Herlda said: “I’ll be 111 this month and remember, anything you have today is a privilege to have it.”

Before her joyous jazz days, she experienced some blues. Both parents died by the time Senhouse was 6. Half of her nine siblings were dead by then, too.

“We didn’t have any adults to raise us, so we had to raise ourselves,” Senhouse said.

Herlda Senhouse
Herlda Senhouse, family & friends

 

She added, her older sisters did a great job going to work and raising her at the same time.

As for advice for living a happy, healthy long life? Senhouse says do your best to resolve issues, but if you can’t fix it, forget it, let it go — that’s how you get through life. Limit the stress.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen after 110.”

President Kennedy said, “It is not enough for a great nation merely to have added new years to life – our objective must also be to add new life to those years.”

Herlda Senhouse has certainly added life to everyone in this town.

Special Recognition Award: Corcoran & Havlin Insurance Group

 

Corcoran & Havlin Insurance GroupThe Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley, honors Corcoran & Havlin Insurance Group its Special Recognition Award, celebrating 55 years in business in Wellesley.

The Corcoran & Havlin Insurance Group was founded in 1967 as an agency focused on protecting families and businesses. With locations in Wellesley, Medfield, and Duxbury, C&H works with clients ranging from multinational companies to sole proprietorships, to individuals – but our commitment remains the same. Corcoran & Havlin is passionate about your protection. Your success is our success, and we operate with a client-focused approach in everything we do.

In 2015 Corcoran & Havlin became an affiliate of Cross Insurance, the 6th largest privately owned insurance agency in the U.S.  This partnership afforded our clients additional resources, including access to an even larger stable of insurance carriers, which has now grown to over 60.  This has resulted in enhanced product offerings, and competitive pricing for our clients.

Long term relationships with our clients, our employees, and the carriers we represent are the hallmarks of our history. We feel honored to have served such a legacy, and strive to remain true to our guiding principles of providing exceptional service and peace of mind to our clients.

Today, our town feels more secure with Corcoran & Havlin Insurance Group, thank you for unwavering support.

Special Recognition Award: Anderson’s Jewelers

 

The building of America is the world’s greatest human adventures. It is a success story without equal.

America’s remarkable soul was formed by people with energy and ambition.

It’s a story of ordinary shopkeepers in small towns like Wellesley building brilliant businesses and an enduring legacy.

Anderson’s Jeweler has been our towns special gem.

anderson's jewelers
Anderson family

 

John W. Anderson, grandfather of today’s owners, established Anderson’s Jewelers in 1947.

Right after the end of WW II, at a time when the price of an average house was $6,000, a loaf of bread 13 cents, gas 15 cents per gallon, and the Big Band sound was in full swing, John was inspired to live the American Dream of owning his own business.

The Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley, honors Anderson’s Jewelers with its Special Recognition Award, for their 75 years serving customers in Wellesley Square.

Here’s their story in their own words:

John had a simple yet powerful philosophy about running a business, but it held him in good stead throughout the years. If you ask any of his grandchildren, they will tell you his motto: “Treat all customers the same—whether they are replacing a watch strap or purchasing a diamond.   Every customer is special to us—we consider them part of our family.”

This philosophy of customer service was passed down to future generations of Andersons and is reflected in the company’s record of success.

Neil Anderson, Vickie Anderson Mancini
Neil Anderson, Vickie Anderson Mancini

After graduating from Boston University with a business degree, John’s son Robert joined his father’s growing business. He then became a certified gemologist, expanded the store’s diamond inventory, and added a line of giftware.

In the 1970s, three of Robert’s children, Neil, Vickie (Mancini) and Kurt joined their father in the Wellesley store. Neil and Kurt enrolled at the Gemological Institute of America and became certified gemologists. They helped to grow the base of expertise for the business, while Vickie became the buyer of jewelry and giftware lines.

Today, Anderson’s Jewelers is currently in its third generation of Anderson ownership. Neil, Vickie and Kurt share ownership and management responsibilities for the shop that their grandfather started more than 70 years ago.

We thank Anderson’s Jeweler for being there for us and for helping to make our town special.

Special Recognition Award: Wellesley Animal Hospital

 

wellesley animal hospitalThe human-animal bond is sacred. Recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association as, “… a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors considered essential to the health and well-being of both. The bond includes, but is not limited emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals, and the environment.”

The Wellesley Animal Hospital has served local pets and their families for 25 years in Wellesley, Weston, Natick, and the surrounding areas. They, have one singular purpose: to build the best life possible for our dogs and cats.

The Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley, honors the Wellesley Animal Hospital with its Special Recognition Award, for their 25 years in caring for local pets.

Here’s their story in their own words:

Because Your Pets Are More Than Just Pets

At Wellesley Animal Hospital, we know that your pets are far more than that. They’re family. Our veterinarians and support staff are true animal lovers and treat our patients with the dignity and love they deserve. When you bring your furry (or not so furry) loved one to Wellesley Animal Hospital, we care for them like our own. Our, veterinarians and staff understand that your pets are more than just pets; they are family. As fellow pet lovers and pet owners, we pride ourselves on treating your pets as if they are our own. For everything from an initial exam for a rescued puppy to ongoing care for a senior cat, we look forward to promoting your pet’s ongoing health and happiness

Walk into the Wellesley Animal Hospital, and you can see the pride in treating patients, helping them feel safe and secure as they receive the care they need.

Thank you, Wellesley Animal Hospital you make our town special.

 

Special Recognition Award: Wellesley Recycling

 

wellesley recyclingRecycling in Wellesley is kicking off its second 50 years this Spring with a commitment to continue the proactive thinking and innovation that it used to establish the longest running municipal recycling facility in the country. The RDF started its program with a few glass jars and a determined group of environmentally minded residents. From its modest start to a program that is now state-of-the art, recycling has become a daily habit for so many citizens and a key money-maker for the Town.

 

According to Town archives, in late 1970 resident Martha Stone thought of the idea to start glass recycling in Wellesley after reading about a similar program in California. Stone, fellow resident Roselyn Coleman, and a few others founded a group called Action for Ecology to brainstorm ways to improve the local ecology. Members settled on the idea of collecting glass bottles, jars, and other containers and taking them to a nearby Coca-Cola plant where they would be paid a small fee. The group persuaded Wellesley’s then dump supervisor Everett Kennedy to set aside a small area where residents could bring their glass items. The new program was advertised in The Wellesley Townsman and kicked off on February 11, 1971.

Recycling has come a long way since those first glass products 50 years ago. In 2020, Wellesley recycled 418 tons of glass alone. In the half-century since the program began, those initial small fees paid to the Town have grown to more than $10 million in total revenue.

To mark the golden anniversary of Wellesley recycling and kick off the next set of innovations, the RDF has rolled out several new initiatives to expand its impact including a robust food recycling program and a recycling app to make the Town’s recycling program even more transparent and accessible.

 

Special Recognition Award: Maugus Restaurant

 

maugus
Vasi and Petros (Peter) Papakonstantinou

 

Looking back, it makes us all very proud.

The year 1937 had many major events.

  1. Amelia Mary Earhart mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during a circumnavigation flight
  2. The German airship Hindenburg bursts into flames while attempting to moor at Lakehurst, New Jersey.
  3. The Memorial Day Massacre takes place when Ten union demonstrators are killed when police open fire on union protesters in Chicago
  4. Walt Disney premieres “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”
  5. Aviator Howard Hughes breaks his own transcontinental flight speed record when he flies from Los Angeles to Newark.
  6. The Battle of Shanghai and was one of the first and costliest battles of the Second Sino-Japanese War
  7. British author J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel “The Hobbit” was published
  8. First Blood Bank Opens in Chicago
  9. San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge officially opens during May
  10. The Emergency 999 Telephone service is started in the UK

In 1937 one other major event also took place in our town:

The Maugus Restaurant opened for business. Nearly a century of achievement later, their good food still wins our hearts.

Here’s their story in their own words:

A Wellesley Tradition

Family owned and operated by the Papakonstantinou family since 1982. The Maugus Restaurant has been a staple in the town of Wellesley since the early 1900s. Maugus was officially established in 1937 and remains one of the last family-owned restaurants in Wellesley. The Maugus offers homemade soups (Chicken Noodle, Greek Egg Lemon, Lentil and Blackeye Bean), as well as homemade muffins (Blueberry, Bran, and Corn). Greek specials include homemade Greek yogurt, Spinach Pie, Pastitsio, Mousaka, stuffed Grape Leaves and Baked Lamb.

Maugus was purchased by the Papakonstantinou family who immigrated from Greece in 1969. Over the last 29 years, the Maugus restaurant has evolved from a small dinner to a 110- seat restaurant which features private functions. Maugus has a unique menu that features breakfast all day with an American, Greek combination. Maugus has received numerous awards including being featured on Phantom Gourmet, Chronicle (back street & back roads) along with many continuing newspaper awards.

This amazing place has shown the good taste of our town.

We thank the Maugus Restaurant for all those great years and the many years to come.

 

Special Recognition Award: Jarvis Appliance

 

jarvis
L to R: Danielle (third generation) Tony, Ellie, Nancy, Tim

A small business founded by an ambitious entrepreneur goes on to be successful and a pillar of our community.

But most of all it’s a lesson of ordinary people who believed they could build something special with hard work.

People that were willing to take risks to live the American dream.

Here’s their story in their own words:

A Store Deeply Rooted in the Community

Jarvis Appliance has been a family-owned-and-operated business for more than 65 years.

We sell major appliances and take pride in the fact that we service what we sell, using our own technicians.

Our founder, Antonio Jarvis, entered the service industry as a repair technician for a major sales/service company. He also serviced appliances for family and friends.

After several years his clientele grew, and he and his wife, Carol, decided to start their own business. Jarvis Appliance was born in 1957.

Antonio began repairs in his mother’s barn, but as weather became colder, he found an alternative location to do the repairs — the local fire department. He used this space while the firemen slept with the fire chief’s permission.

As his business and reputation grew, in 1961 Antonio was able to rent his first store on 464 Washington St. in Wellesley. He converted an old restaurant into a retail appliance store for sales, service, and parts. He used the owner’s garage as his warehouse. Being the only salesman, he began by selling two brands of appliances: Maytag and Hotpoint.

Jarvis Appliance moved to 958 Worcester St. (Rte. 9) in Wellesley in 1966, where we remain today. Antonio’s children, Nancy and Tony, along with their spouses Tim and Ellie, have been managing his company since his retirement in 1983.

Also, Tim and Nancy’s daughter Danielle, (third generation) is continuing the legacy.

We are proud of the history of Jarvis Appliance and strive to uphold the level of personal customer service and respect that began with Antonio over 65 years ago.

Come visit us and browse our state-of-the-art showroom. Our knowledgeable sales consultants will be happy to assist you, whether you are looking for one appliance or a complete kitchen.

 

Special Recognition Award: Marty Ryan

 

Marty Ryan
Marty Ryan

When great golf courses meet stunning green fields, it makes for the most epic experience in the game.

Fortunately, this great hub is here at the Wellesley Country Club.

For over 30 years our ultimate green space has been led by Marty Ryan who has now retired as the General Manager.

Mr. Ryan has certainly made our town more beautiful and led a tranquil respite for many of us.

The Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley honors, Mary Ryan with a Special Recognition Award.

Marty was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey.

He received his Associates Degree in Hotel / Restaurant Administration from Paul Smith’s College (Paul Smith’s, New York) and bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Iona College (New Rochelle, New York).

Marty’s first introduction to “The Hospitality Profession” was a family-owned and operated restaurant, tavern and catering business in Newark, New Jersey called The Clipper Ship.

His first position in the Private Club Profession was at Montclair Golf Club (Montclair, New Jersey), the home course of Robert Trent Jones and son Rees Jones.

Followed over the years with managerial positions at The Lake Placid Club (Lake Placid, New York), The Coveleigh Club (Rye, New York), Essex County Country Club (West Orange, New Jersey). Marty opened and was the first General Manager of “Highlawn Pavilion”, Eagle Rock Reservation (West Orange, New Jersey). He has been General Manager at Wellesley Country Club since 1992. Marty married the love of his life Lucinda (Cindy), Caldwell Ryan (34 years ago) and they reside on the Ryan “farm” in North Framingham.

We thank Marty for all he’s done for the town and for his dedication and service to his members.

Ironically, he has never played a round of golf in his life. But now with a little more time he just may take up the game.

Distinguished Service Award: Marc Waldman

 

marc waldman
Marc Waldman

Marc Waldman’s service as Treasurer is remarkable not just in length but also how much he did for the town.

His tenure shows how much good that people can do for one another with commitment and compassion and vision.

Economics was always his passion.

After obtaining a Masters in Public Administration, from Northeastern University, Marc held positions in municipal finance for the Town of Concord, MA and Dover, DE.

In February 1988, (32 years) he was hired to be the Treasurer/Collector for the Town of Wellesley by Arnold Wakelin.

The Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley, honors Marc Waldman with its Distinguished Service Award.

Marc served as Treasurer until his retirement in November 2020.

But he did much more than that. During those years he held numerous other important positions.

He was a founding member and thirty-year chairman of the West Suburban Health Group (the municipal consortium through which Wellesley obtained employee/retiree health insurance).

He also served, for over 20 years, as Treasurer of the Mass. Government Finance Officers Association.

Marc was also an instructor at the Mass. Treasurer/Collectors annual school for twenty- five years and represented Wellesley on the Mass. Municipal Association’s Personnel and Labor Relations Committee.

He also helped aspiring students as an instructor at the MMA/Suffolk University Municipal Finance Management Program.

Wellesley is fortunate to have a knowledgeable, dedicated, and experienced people like Marc Waldman.

For any town to survive it needs an honest and capable and brilliant Treasurer.

Marc made this town run. We thank him for his service and wish him well in his retirement.

Distinguished Service Award: Cathy Brauner

 

brauner
Cathy Brauner

Cathy Brauner has been an integral part of Wellesley her entire life.  The daughter of the late William (a physicist and electrical engineer) and Phyllis (Wellesley College ‘40 and a professor of chemistry at Simmons College), she and her sister Susan grew up on Benton Street, and Cathy graduated from Wellesley High.  A gifted writer who combines her journalistic training and skills with love for her hometown, she was editor of The Wellesley Townsman for the last 29 years.  She covered not only the news, but also the heart of the community.

The Distinguished Service Award is to be presented to Cathy Brauner, for her service as the Editor of the Wellesley Townsman for 29 years, by the Wellesley Celebrations Committee.

Cathy is the mother of Hyacinth and Kat, who both also grew up here and graduated from Wellesley High, and the grandmother of Lukas and Jaxon.  She has also been the devoted dog mom to a succession of rescues, the most recent being Misty and then Martha, who for years were mascots for the town’s Concerts in the Park, and who rode in the Townsman’s car during the parades.

Not only was Cathy a presence in all of our homes on Thursdays with the arrival of the paper, but she also worked hard in volunteer work in town, helping us to enjoy what Wellesley has to offer.  In addition to being part of activities at her daughters’ schools from Hunnewell through WMS and WHS, one of her major commitments was to the Celebrations/Wellesley Wonderful Weekend Committee, of which she was an active member for nearly 20 years.

Wellesley is proud to salute its hometown writer, editor, WHS parent, and community volunteer for enriching the quality of life in this town we share.

Community Service Award: Raina McManus

 

Raina McManus
Raina McManus

In our town community service is not only defined by the commitments one makes, but by the commitments one keeps.

Raina McManus served eight years on the Natural Resources Commission.

Her bold actions reflect an endless drive to protect the town we love and demonstrates than anyone with high aspirations can make a difference.

The Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley honors, Raina McManuswith a Community Service Award.

Raina is also a proud member of the Wellesley League of Women Voters, the Wellesley Conservation Land Trust, the Wellesley Club, and Sustainable Wellesley.

She led the effort to install the first community garden at Fiske elementary school 25 years ago and has been volunteering ever since.

Sustainability is Raina’s core principle and top priority for our community. By promoting environmental responsibility which reduces overall climate impact is a lasting gift for us all.

During her tenure her priorities included enhancing active and passive use in a cost-effective, environmentally-sound manner, which promote user enjoyment while protecting land, air, and water.

While we’ve lived through tremendous upheaval of Covid, Raina has been a steady force for good.

In Raina’s eight years on the Natural Resources Commission, she has learned what it takes to make things happen. She’s been a critical leader in all these successes:

  • New public bathroom at Hunnewell Field
  • Renovation of two girls’ softball fields
  • Renovation of Perrin Park basketball & pickle ball courts
  • Lights and restoration of Hunnewell Basketball Court
  • Plastic Bag Bylaw
  • Wellesley’s Organic Pesticide Policy
  • Shoreline restoration of Morses Pond
  • Restoration of Fuller Brook Park

Theodore Roosevelt said, “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.”

The environmental changes facing us are contentious issues that required strong leadership. We are so grateful we had Raina McManus dedication working for us.

 

Community Service Award: Catherine L. Johnson

 

Catherine Johnson, Wellesley candidate for Planning Board
Catherine Johnson

Catherine L. Johnson was an extraordinary woman.

The Town of Wellesley was saddened by her sudden passing on March 25, 2022.

In town meeting Catherine was dynamic. She probably could remember every house she sold, every store rented, and every zoning law verbatim.

The Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley honors, Catherine L. Johnson with a posthumous Community Service Award.

If the town ever created an award for being fair and decent and kindness and caring, it would surely be called the Catherine L. Johnson award.

Recently at town meeting there was read a resolution dedicated to Catherine L. Johnson:

Whereas: Catherine’s efforts on behalf of the town included her dedicated public service as a 

Town Meeting member from 2012 to 2022, Advisory Committee member from 2010 to 2013, an appointed and then elected member of the Planning Board from 2013 to 2022, and Planning Board chair from 2018 to 2022; and a mentor and friend to all of her fellow board members and colleagues; and

Whereas: Catherine had an unmatched knowledge and appreciation of the history of the town; was the author and driving force behind the Demolition Delay Bylaw, the Outdoor Lighting Bylaw, the Natural Resource Protection Bylaw, revisions and additions to the Large House Review Bylaw, the creation of historic districts, and was an expert on all matters concerning Wellesley’s Zoning Bylaw; and             

Whereas: Catherine held degrees from Brown University and Yale University, was a thoughtful and tireless real estate professional and broker for DeWolfe Real Estate, Hammond Real Estate, and Coldwell Banker Real Estate in Wellesley, Weston, and surrounding towns for more than 33 years; an avid Brookside Gardens gardener and dog lover, especially her beloved Cinnamon; and   

Whereas: Catherine chose her friends carefully, loved them deeply, and above all will be remembered as a friend to Wellesley and Wellesley Town Government, having given her all to keep our community the beautiful place that it is today.

Catherine’s legacy cannot only be measured by her service but also what she built and left behind. Everybody here, for a long, long time, will have the opportunity and privilege to enjoy a better life because of Catherine L. Johnson.

 

Community Service Award: James R. Rodrigue, Ph.D.

 

JimRodrigue
Jim Rodrigue

Novelist Cynthia Ozick said, “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

Sometimes we find ourselves feeling so comfortable that we take the most basic aspects of life for granted.”

Our town is blessed with so many recreational comforts we may take them for granted:  ball fields, tennis courts, pickleball, after school events, Morses Pond and a wonderful Recreation commission that makes it all happen.

Their services create an environment where all residents can play, dream and flourish. The mission: “To increase people’s enjoyment of living in Wellesley and build a deeper sense of community, as we provide recreational and educational opportunities to all Wellesley residents, regardless of age, ability & means.”

The public service of this commission is an honorable calling. But it’s the individual commitments to the group effort that makes the whole team thrive.

Rodrigue has been a large part of the team and the town’s success.

The Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley honors, James R. Rodrigue, with a Community Service Award.

Rodrigue was born in Augusta, Maine and lived in Wellesley since 2006 with wife Kathy, and his children.

Sports and recreation have been a huge part of his life.  He coached girls’ softball and basketball for several years and was Recreation Commissioner from 2019 to 2022.

One of his proudest achievements was starting nonprofit with his children Grace, Olivia, and Simone in 2020 called Kids Backing Kids.

Kids Backing Kids is dedicated to improving the lives of children experiencing poverty, food insecurity, homelessness, and trauma by providing material goods, raising community awareness, and training the next generation of community leaders.

A true Celtics fan, his work schedule is a record of achievement:

•Vice Chair of Research, Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

• Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Surgery, Harvard Medical School

•Clinical & Health Psychologist, Transplant Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

• Adjunct Professor, Department of Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston SC)

Jim Rodrigue has also served as a Town Meeting Member.  We thank him for his service and commitment.

 

Community Service Award: Renee Spencer

 

R_Spencer 2022
Renee Spencer

Wellesley is a caring town.

We care about the environment, about the houses we live in, and most importantly about each other.

We live an honest dream, to build a better life for us and for those in need.

The Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley, honors Renee Spencer its Community Service Award.

Renee Spencer has been a Wellesley Housing Authority advocate and Wellesley resident since 1983.

She was the President of the Barton Road Tenants Association 1997-2001, and a Town Meeting Member 1997-2000, 2018-2021.

Renee served as a Wellesley Housing Authority Board Member 2018-2021.

She currently serves on the Wellesley Friendly Aid Board and a member of the Wellesley League of Women Voters.

At the State and Regional level, she serves on the Mass Union Public Housing Tenants Board and recently was voted to the Mass Law Form Institute Board.

Renee is a proud mother of 6 and has 15 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren all of which are her greatest treasures.

Renee works tirelessly to ensure all public housing residents have a voice in their communities and empower residents to advocate for their rights.

Thank you, Renee Spencer for being such a big part of our lives. Thank you for the beautiful career you had and marvelous judgment you displayed.

 

Dedicated Service Award: Patty Hickey

 

hickey
Patty Hickey

“Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a teamwork, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” So said Vince Lombardi. This holds true for his mighty Green Bay Packers or for Wellesley High’s athletic trainer Patty Hickey. Patty was there for her us, since 1981, day after day, game after game, season after season, creating so much value for the benefit of the team.

There are many accolades for Patty Hickey over the years, but today our town has a special one: The Wellesley Celebrations Committee, a standing committee of the Select Board, Town of Wellesley honors Patty Hickey athletic trainer extraordinaire with its Dedicated Service Award, for her 39 years of training with Wellesley athletes.

The Milford Daily News said of Patty Hickey, “Although she lives in Franklin now, Hickey is Wellesley to the core. She attended Wellesley High. So did her eight siblings. Patty was there in the late ’70s.”

“A physical education teacher got me interested in training,” Hickey said. “She saw the connection of physical education and health care.”

With that new knowledge tucked away, off Hickey went to Bridgewater State where she studied the nuances of athletic training, graduated, and immediately got hired at her old high school.

As she takes leave, she has her powerful, nostalgic memories, and created even more. “I’ve been getting a lot of emails and texts from former students,” Hickey said. “And photos of their kids.”

“Patty’s quiet, she won’t toot her own horn, that’s why we have to do it,” said Mary Anne McDonald, administrative assistant in the Wellesley High athletic department. “She’s very soft-spoken. She’s very dependable. If she says she’s going to do something, she does it. And goes beyond.”

Perhaps this quote from Mother Theresa says it all,

“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”

Thank you, Patty Hickey.

 


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