Fields Corner Civic Assn. hails those who made a difference

More than 60 people including Mayor Tom Menino, state Rep. Marty Walsh and City Councillor Maureen Feeney gathered at the Blarney Stone on Dorchester Avenue in Fields Corner last Wednesday to honor area civic leaders, business people, and community servants in the private, public and non-profit sectors for their contributions to the Fields Corner neighborhood.

Tom Gannon, President of the Fields Corner Civic Association, served as the emcee of the event, passing out more than 15 awards from the area restaurant’s outdoor porch on the cool June eve. It was Gannon’s final awards presentation after serving as president of the association for 16 years. Gannon tied the ceremony together with a theme of service and dedication by naming some of the awards after the his friend and late Detective John J. “Curly” Greene, who exemplified those characteristics throughout his career and life before he died of cancer just more than a year ago.

Boston Police Department Captain Richard Sexton, of Dorchester’s District C-11 helped present the civic association’s awards to patrol forces and detectives and said a few words about Detective Greene, since they had worked together in the district since 1991. He called him an excellent police officer and great mentor. “It’s very fitting that Tom chose to honor Jay in this manner.”

After receiving the award for outstanding non-profit individual, Elizabeth Reardon of the domestic violence prevention group Close to Home, echoed the theme of the evening. “I think the civic association reflects the real community and represents how together we can create healthy communities.”

The evening also included a surprise award. Alan Issokson, owner at H. Levenbaum Insurance Agency, not only received the award for outstanding businessman of the decade for maintaining and improving his property and businesses on Dorchester Avenue, but led the presentation of an award to Gannon.

Issokson, with fellow award recipient and managing partner of the Blarney Stone, Ben Johnson, gave Gannon the outstanding service award for his leadership and devotion to the Fields Corner Civic Association. “All of us are here for many reasons,” said Issokson, “but one we have in common is we appreciate the hard work Tom [Gannon] has done for so many years and we’re all lucky to have him.”

The night’s final awards were lifetime achievement awards and went to Michael Joyce of the Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester and Emmett Folgert of the Dorchester Youth Collaborative. Gannon credited them with changing the lives of Dorchester’s youth for the better.

Mayor Menino arrived at the Blarney Stone just as night fell and concluded the evening by thanking all the award recipients, especially Gannon, for their service to the community. “The people who really make it work are the people in the neighborhoods who do their jobs every day: Emmett, Mike, the police officers, and the Tom Gannons of the world,” he said. “It’s important we recognize the folks who really are the heroes of the city.”

Additional Awards:
Awards not given out at ceremony:

Award of Thanks:
Helen Carter, Jean Bounopane, Vicki Tate

Good Neighbor Award:

Marie Marshal-Branca

Awards given out at ceremony:

Detective John J. “Curly” Greene Public Service Unit Award:

Boston Police Area C-11 Detectives

Non-Profit Individual:

Elizabeth Reardon, Close to Home

Outstanding Non-Profit of Decade (2000-2009)
Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester

Business of the Year:

Anh Hong Restaurant

Detective John J. “Curly” Greene Public Service Unit Award:

Boston Police Area C-11 Patrol Force

Public Sector Individual:

Michael Manning

Outstanding Business of Decade (2000-2009):

Blarney Stone Restaurant

Outstanding Businessman of Decade (2000-2009):

Alan Issokson

Detective John J. “Curly” Greene Public Service Individual Award:
Detective Paul Schroeder

Lifetime Achievement Award:

Emmett Folgert
Michael Joyce

Detective John J. “Curly” Greene Public Service Individual Award
Patrol Officer James Harte

Founder’s Award:
State Rep. Marty Walsh

Outstanding Service Award:
Tom Gannon