2011 Hometown Hero Award Ceremony
The Ninth Annual Reminder Publications Hometown Hero Awards Ceremony
In Honor of Anne Bueno, Co-Founder, Reminder Publications, Inc.
Thursday, February 4th 2010.
Sponsored by Visual Changes, Robert Charles Photography & Reminder Publicaitons
2010 Award Recipients:
Agnes T. Fleming
Nominated by Suzanne Herlihy
|Agnes T. Fleming|
I would like to consider a woman who for most of her life has given to the community. Never thinking of herself, only how she can help people in the community that have so little.
I met Agnes Fleming while working at the Mercy Hospital forty years ago. She was a supervisor on the Re-hab unit until it closed. Lonely weeks after losing her job she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Having no job, no insurance, with breast cancer. Having no job, no insurance with a long battle ahead of her. It was not easy but Agnes was and is a fighter for what she believes. Strong faith friendships and family got her though this rough time in her life. Agnes is a 20 year survivor. She has been on the Rays of Hope committee ever since. A committee that does a walk every October to help find a cure for Breast Cancer. We all believe this will happen!
Agnes then started working for the sisters of St. Joseph, where she spent almost 20 years doing conferences to help with finances for the sisters. After the conference center closed, Agnes went to work f or the elderly. Helping them to receive help in whatever they needed. At present, Agnes tirelessly to help our seniors have a better life.
Agnes is always giving back to the community and is a great citizen as well as a business person. Agnes also gives many hours, volunteering her time at the Ronald McDonald house of Springfield, MA. She is a member of the volunteer committee and one of the first to be called to help on projects, Raffles and anything else we ask of her. I think Agnes Fleming deserves this hometown hero award for her volunteer serviced she gives to many groups. Her main goal in life is helping others.
Nominated by Sarah Tsitso and Jennifer Schimmel
Bob Perry is truly a philanthropic leader in our community. After nearly a decade, Bob left Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity's Board of Directors in June 2010. He had served as its president for seven years, and treasurer for two. After his departure from the board, he continued serving as chairman of Habitat's Fall Feastival the organization's largest fundraiser of the year. He and his wife also contributed $70,000 toward a new Habitat home in Monson in honor of their 35th wedding anniversary. He has served on the executive Board of Directors at the YMCA of Greater Springfield for many years, and is mentoring a student at Roger L. Putnam High School. He officially retired as a partner in the accounting firm Meyers Brothers Kalicka, but he continues to offer his expertise and guidance to nonprofits and others in the community that he believes are doing good work. This space only allows me to scratch the surface. Bob Perry truly is my Hero.
Captain Hipolito Nunez
Nominated by Ana Nunez
|Captain Hipolito Nunez|
I proudly nominate, my brother, Captain Hipolito (Paul) Nunez of the Westfield Police Department for this honor. An exemplary role model for Hispanics and all citizens, his commitment to the citizens of Westfield as a police officer and volunteer are commendable.
For over 30 years Paul has been giving back, as Vice President of the board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club and member of Kiwanis, he works tirelessly to promote their mission of a "positive place for kids" youth oriented programs, an environment he enjoyed as a young boy. One of 10 children of Puerto Rican immigrants, he heeded parental wisdom and pursued higher education. He was instrumental in establishing an educational scholarship program for Hispanic youth. Over the past five years he's helped raise over $60,000 to support this program.
As a father he spearheaded efforts and co-founded Cub Scout Pack 09 at St Mary's School. Paul's ability to work with our culturally diverse community, his dedications to our youth, along with his personal philosophy of "giving back to the community and not forgetting your roots" makes him a true Hometown Hero.
Gina and Radcliffe Kenison
Nominated by Mary Davidson
|Gina and Radcliffe Kenison|
I am nominating Gina and Radcliffe Kenison to be my Hometown Hero. Gina and Radcliffe are a lovely couple with two beautiful boys, a nice home and wonderful friends and family with whom they share their spare time. That would be if they had any spare time since they are usually very busy raising funds and or awareness for Radcliffe is the reason and Arthur too!! Fight Autism. Gina and Radcliffe aren't just a typical married couple; they are more like a force of nature. Not only are they working so incredibly hard to make life better for their own children, they are including my child and those in our neighboring communities as well. Every May they organize a golf tournament and dinner that raises money for funding and research. They have a huge team for Autism speaks walk event in September. They are always available to answer a question, offer a suggestion or just let you vent or cry. They do this all with great poise and class. I am honored to know them and assist them in any way I can with their noble efforts. I am blessed to be one of many recipients of their generosity and I'm thrilled to nominate them for my Hometown Hero. 'Sleep is for the weak my friends'. Thanks for everything!
Nominated by Henry Jennings and James Hoar
John 'Jack' is always there when anyone needs help. He served two terms as a City Councilor in Holyoke. Has donated countless hours to American Legion 351. Jack's an excellent golfer and constantly plays in fundraising tournaments to help others. Tournaments such as the one for Children's Leukemia. He has had served on the Board of Directors for American Legion 351 for 11 years and was Jr. Vice Commander 3 years, Finance Officer 4 years. Jack is a Vietnam Era veteran. He served as Military Police in the Army. Every year Jack helps put the American flags on over 2000 veteran gravesites. He and his wife Kris are currently trying to help the Therapeutic Equestrian Center raise money for their programs to help handicap and special needs children.. Many Thanksgivings and Christmas' his wife Kris would cook Turkeys and fixings and he would deliver meals to veterans they knew were alone for the holidays. He's a very special and kind person dedicated to our city and its people.
Nominated by Jay Sutter
Kathy Lee has valiantly helped mothers and children who society has thrown away. It's not the homeless; it is the refugees from "High Conflict" divorces. Women and children who have been beaten and or sexually abused by men. Additionally, they've been hurt by the family court systems because the men who abuse almost always get custody. Kathy has housed the women, counseled them, fed them, and encouraged them. For the past five years, every woman that Kathy has encountered with this heavy cross has touched and actually did something concrete for them. Most of all, Kathy lives her faith in Christ-giving women a voice and a spiritual identity to thrive. She is the Harriet Tubman, the Sacajawea, the Alice Paul, the Rosa Parks, the Sally Ride, the Florence Nightingale, and The Amelia Earhart. If a mom needs any help at all, she is there-willing, able confident and loving. Kathy Lee is my Hero. I hope you make her yours.
Katie and Bob Glasgow
Nominated by Shera Cohen
|Katie and Bob Glasgow|
Katie crochets a prayer shawl for a cancer patient while being interviewed. Bob checks his calendar for the next time he will read to the kindergartners at Kensington School. Katie and Bob Glasgow will celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary in February. Between the two, these Springfield residents volunteer for a total of 17 different local agencies. Their volunteer careers rarely cross, with Bob out and about 7-days-a-week and Katie only five. Katie volunteers for First Church of Christ in numerous positions, the Springfield Library reading to children. She is also a cook for the Open Pantry, and does just about anything asked of her at the Springfield Girls Club. Bob gives communion to the sick and shut-ins of Bethel AME Church, he is on hand at Heritage Nursing Home, delivers food through the Mason Wright Center and Urban League, is a United Way representative. Bob feels like a father figure when volunteering. "The little kids call me 'Mr.G.'" Katie likes the little ones too. It's a way of giving back, because it's in your heart to help.
L. Scott Kelly
Nominated by John F. Carolan
|L. Scott Kelly|
Officers were dispatched to 436 Dwight St, (Massachusetts State Building) Springfield, MA for a call of an unarmed robbery. Dispatch stated that a suspect was being detained by passersby at the scene. Upon police arrival, we were met by the victim (who shall remain anonymous) and Mr. Larry Scott Kelly. The suspect, a convicted felon, was being detained in the rear of a motor vehicle watched by an off duty parole officer who was just leaving the rear of the state building and witnessed what was happening. The victim stated to police that she was just leaving work with a fellow employee, when she noticed the suspect loitering in front of the building, staring at her. As the victim went to cross Dwight St., the man who had been staring at her ran up to her and grabbed on to her purse, which was over her shoulder. She briefly struggled to maintain her purse, but the suspect overpowered her and got the purse. The victim, a woman in her mid-fifties, tried to give chase, but lost sight of the suspect as he ran around the corner down Lyman St. by the train station.
As this crime was happening, Mr. Larry Scott Kelly observed it from a parking lot directly across the street. Without hesitation and with utter disregard for his own personal safety, Mr. Kelly gave chase to the suspect, who was running, still clutching the victim's purse. Mr. Kelly closed ground on the suspect and caught up to him within several seconds (a distance of approximately 100-150 yards) at the corner of Lyman St. and Kaynor St (which is directly behind the Mass. State Building). The suspect, seeing Mr Kelly chasing him, threw the purse to the ground in an effort to flee. Mr. Kelly bravely tackled the suspect to the concrete sidewalk, again in complete disregard for his own personal safety. Mr. Kelly held the suspect on the ground until off duty parole officers and a State Building security guard came to assist him. The victim described Mr. Kelly as "the fastest angel that I have ever seen, coming to my rescue" or words to that effect.
Mr Kelly's selfless actions and bravery at the risk of his own personal safety reflect great credit upon himself and the citizens of Hampden County.
Nominated by Laura Posnik
Holyoke native, Patrick Shanahan (PJ to his friends) is the real deal when it comes to heroes. He has always been a well loved and respected friend, counselor to his students - many of whom struggle with issues facing our young people today. He is a loving husband, father, brother and son as well as an avid outdoorsman and sports fanatic! More importantly, he has always been a faithful servant to God in every sense of the word. Now his faith has been put to the ultimate test. While on vacation with his family, out enjoying a warm July evening on Cape Cod, he was the victim of a senseless act of violence which left him in a wheelchair with a bullet that severed his spinal cord still lodged in his collarbone.
PJ has decided to make this a positive experience instead of a tragic one. He has started a new foundation called "Random Acts of Kindness" that will raise money enabling him to help other victims of senseless crimes. He is not a self-pitying person and does not wallow in his own circumstances.
He will make lemonade out of lemons.
I have never met a person that so personifies the meaning of a hometown hero. He has already given so much back to his community that everyday we learn the meaning of true love and friendship.
The daily struggles that he and his family now endure just to start his day give us all the message that life is worth living and the power of faith and the love of God will get us through the tough times.
His ability to laugh at his misfortunes (breaking his toe just to put a boot on) and see a higher power makes us all take a step back and appreciate what we have.
We should all learn a lesson from PJ and his beautiful family about the importance of life
and the blessings we have. Big or small, they are all worth cherishing.
Paul and Denise Kapinos
Nominated by Barbara Amsden
|Paul and Denise Kapinos|
I would like to nominate Paul and Denise Kapinos for the Hometown Hero award. These two people do many things for many people. Paul picks up bread and other goodies at Panera Bread in Chicopee Saturday and Sunday and gives it out at the food pantry at his church -Bethany Assembly of God. He also picks up food in West Springfield and brings it to the soup kitchen in Chicopee. He repairs lawnmowers he finds and gives them to people in need. He volunteers at the love center at church on Sunday giving out clothing and appliances to those in need. He works for the water department in Chicopee and is the go-to guy when someone needs something done. He does all those things for "free" When my husband was ill he was right there for us. His wife Denise works at Baystate medical and went on a missionary to South America (at her own expense) to help build a school. Denise works right along side of Paul in everything he does. He and Denise also give out corn, tomatoes, peppers etc. when a Westfield farmer has it left over on his stand. We feel very blessed to have the Kapinos family in our lives!
Nominated by Dot Lortie
Bill exemplifies the best in both his business career and his civic involvement. Four years ago Bill became invlolved in "Sandwiches for the Homeless" after Sunday mass at Holy Cross in Springfield. Because of this ministry's growth, up to today, they have provided over 100,000 sandwiches for the homeless! No surprise! Bill became a deacon in 2001, and you can always depend upon him to put everyone's welfare before his own! He is on the board of numerous non-profit organizations, spending endless hours! From 1970 to 2004 when he served with the Hampden County Sheriff's Office, he was responsible for all human service programs for men & women inmates and oversaw an educational and spiritual program assisting over 3,500 incarcerated, making an incredible impact on society. This earned Bill the Outstanding Adult Education Administrator in Western Massachusetts". Bill dedicates his life to help the unfortunates and improve their lifestyles, and has certainly proved highly successful."