The Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge will present prestigious George Washington Honor Medals in memory of former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and to Operation Troop Support in Danvers and its founders Dick and Christine Moody. The Chapter will also present “Spirit of ‘76” Awards for meritorious service and patriotism to East Boston businessman and philanthropist Benito Tauro and honorable mentions to businessman and activist Donato Frattaroli of Boston and community volunteer Lt. Frank Scarpa Jr. of Winthrop.
The awards will be presented at the Bay State Chapter’s 34st Annual Awards Luncheon on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at 12:30 p.m., in Spinelli’s Banquet Facility, Rt. 1 South in Lynnfield. Tickets are $50.
“Our long-time friend Mayor Menino, who recently passed away, and Dick and Christine Moody of Operation Troop Support represent the best ideals of America – selfless service to community, helping those in need and working to provide a better tomorrow for the generations to follow,” said Joseph V. Ferrino, Sr., Founder and Executive Director of Bay State Chapter, Freedoms Foundation. “We honor these individuals and their work with a national George Washington Honor Medal because they have made a difference in the lives of countless citizens in our city and across our state.”
Thomas Menino was the mayor of Boston for 20 years before retiring in January 2014, and he served as a city councilor from Hyde Park from 1983 to 1994. During his unprecedented service to the city, he was known as “The People’s Mayor” and “The Neighborhood Mayor” because he was beloved by its citizens and he never forgot the people who inhabited the city’s many distinct and diverse enclaves. Mayor Menino’s legacy can be seen throughout the City of Boston in new infrastructure, schools, parks and playgrounds, community gardens, public art, libraries, police and fire stations, better housing, renovated school yards, professional development programs for teachers, higher test scores for students and a reduction in crime rates across the city. He also championed many worthwhile development projects that made Boston a better place in which to live and work. He was also compassionate, never forgetting the homeless person who needed a meal, the child who wanted to go to summer camp or the teenager who needed a summer job. And when tragedy struck, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack or the Boston Marathon bombing, he was the leader who helped comfort the victims and honor their sacrifices.
Operation Troop Support was begun in 2003 by Dick and Christine Moody of Danvers to help veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and to boost the spirits of wounded veterans coming back from the battlefield. The Moodys began collecting badly needed items, packaging them and sending the care packages to military hospitals overseas and then directly to soldiers in the field. As word spread, more and more of the troops sought to receive the care packages. The Moodys and volunteers who assisted them soon widened their mission to include Christmas gifts, a monthly military family support group and free legal advice for soldiers in need. During the 12 years of serving the troops, Operation Troop Support has shipped more than 250,000 care packages to deployed soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. This work was accomplished with the help of thousands of volunteers from hundreds of supportive organizations in the Greater Boston area.
Benito Tauro of East Boston will be honored with the Bay State Chapter “Spirit of ‘76” Award for his dedication to the good works of Freedoms Foundation, and his many years of community service and philanthropy. He is a long-time member of the Bay State Chapter and has served on many Chapter committees, including Youth Activities, Christmas Gala and Finance. He owned and operated a number of businesses in the East Boston area, which included sportswear, dry cleaning, hardware and later the Rapino and Kirby Rapino Funeral Homes. He was a member and past president of the East Boston Chamber of Commerce, and an active member of the Dante Alighieri Society and the Kiwanis Club.
Donato Frattaroli of Boston will receive a “Spirit of ’76” honorable mention for his long-time success as a restauranteur and his community service. He has owned and operated restaurants such as Lucia, Fillippo, Via Veneto and Artu. Besides the Freedoms Foundation, he has also been active in such community organizations as Casa Monte Cassino, Order Sons of Italy in America, the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, the North End Business Alliance, the Dante Alighieri Society, the Pirandello Lyceum, the North End Athletic Association and Italia Unita-East Boston.
Lt. Frank Scarpa Jr. of Winthop will receive a “Spirit of ‘76” honorable mention for his successful career in law enforcement and his commitment to the children of Winthrop. During his long career, he has started programs in the Winthrop schools about drug and alcohol awareness, mock trials, “stranger danger” and “sacred straight” that help keep local youth involved in positive activities. He has championed town-wide programs like “Operation Blue Light” and “National Night Out” as a way to fight crime. And he has been actively involved in the successful Winthrop Police Explorers Post #99, which has earned numerous state and national awards.
Tickets to the Bay State Chapter awards luncheon are $50 and are available from Chapter Founder and Executive Director Joseph V. Ferrino by calling 617-846-2122.