PAWTUCKET â€” RI Governor Lincoln Chafee and RI Attorney General Peter Kilmartin helped welcome 430 guests at the Pawtucket Armory Arts Center to honor local community leaders for The Pawtucket Foundation Ninth Annual Awards Celebration.
Nancy Whit, of Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation (PCDC), received the Special Distinction Award. Vincent Ceglie, of Blackstone Valley Community Action Program (BVCAP), received the Heritage Award. John J. Partridge, Esq., of Partridge Snow & Hahn, received the Person of the Year Award. The Awards Celebration is quickly becoming one of the largest business events of its kind in Pawtucket.
â€śThe Awards Celebration is a unique opportunity to recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the Pawtucket community,â€ť said Michael Horan, Master of Ceremonies for the event. â€śThe award recipients represent the best examples of civic leadership and entrepreneurship that the Foundation tries to embody and encourage throughout the community.â€ť
Students from JMW High School of Performing & Visual Arts Jazz Ensemble, with guest saxophonist, Chase Ceglie, provided live music for the cocktail networking reception while guests wore blinking pins advertising ExperiencePawtucket.org, a one-stop web portal developed by The Pawtucket Foundation.
New Urban Farmers grew lettuce and tilapia for mini-aquaponic systems as table centerpieces. The non-profit organization is raising fish and greens in their greenhouse in Pawtucket. [website: http://www.newurbanfarmers.org]
Chairman Dennis Kelly and Thomas Mann, Executive Director of
The Pawtucket Foundation, presented Nancy Whit with the Special Distinction Award. Ms. Whit thanked those who support the efforts of PCDC in the community, including her collaboration with the other two honorees, Mr. Partridge & Mr. Ceglie.
Kevin Tracy, Co-Chair of The Pawtucket Foundation, and Vice President of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, presented Vincent Ceglie with the Heritage Award. Mr. Ceglie reminded the audience of the ways BVCAP aids over 90% of the community in a struggling economy through education, training and assistance to restore economic opportunity.
Dan Sullivan, President and CEO of Collette Vacations, and Co-Chair of The Pawtucket Foundation, presented John J. Partridge, Esq., with the as the Person of the Year Award. In accepting his award, Mr. Partridge explained his process as a mystery novel writer.
He led a comical illustration of his creative process for selecting Pawtucket characters, settings and plot lines for a murder-mystery novel that could be set in the City. Mr. Partridge is also co-founder of The Pawtucket Foundation.
Gail Ahlers of Ahlers Designs crafted the actual awards for each honoree from recycled materials from Pawtucket mills reused creatively.
In addition to a standing ovation, each honoree also received citations and resolutions from RI Senator Jack Reed, Gov. Lincoln Chafee, RI Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien.