governor’s points of light award

Recognizing the Dedication of VolunteersThe Governor’s Points of Light award is presented monthly to an individual who exemplifies the power of service and volunteerism.Award Presentation
Each month, the Governor will announce the name of the Points of Light  Award recipient.  The honoree will receive a certificate.
EligibilityThis award is available to Massachusetts residents of all ages who have served their community for at least one year.*  Their service should meet a critical community need and have long-term impact.  The nomination must clearly demonstrate why the nominee should be ‘singled out’ for recognition.Nomination ProcessNominations can be submitted on an ongoing basis.  Official nomination forms must be used.  A panel of judges has been appointed to evaluate the nominations and make recommendations to the Governor.  If you have Adobe Reader, you can download your nomination forms here.

* Massachusetts Service Alliance and Governor’s Office employees, Board members, and their families are not eligible to receive the Governor’s Points of Light Award.

The Massachusetts Service Alliance and the Governor’s office will work collaboratively to administer this award.  Questions concerning this process can be answered by calling the Governor’s Points of Light Award hotline at 617-542-2544 ext. 265.

List of Governor’s Points of Light Award Winners

Award Winners

Jan. 2002Ethel Ampey  
Feb. 2002Robert Saalfrank  
Mar. 2002Helen Souza  
Apr. 2002Manuel ValenteApr. 2001Sandra Butler
May 2002Linda ZachariewiczMay 2001Ted Rubin
Jun. 2002Tom & Sue GoodaleJun. 2001Stephanie Picon
Jul. 2002Carroll ClarkJul. 2001Robert Smith
Aug. 2002Elizabeth WilliamsAug. 2001Marcia McFarland-Gray
Sept. 2002Yasha KhibkinSept. 2001Steven Stroud
Oct. 2002Jerry ChristenOct. 2001Carlos Sousa, Jr.
Nov. 2002Nov. 2001Lorraine Bergeron, Ronald Steere, Fred Trissler
Dec. 2002Dec. 2001Gloria Desrosiers

Winner Descriptions

October 2002Jerry Christen 
Bedford Center for the Arts
Recognizing the need for an arts center in Bedford, Christen pulled together a group of people, secured funding, and created the Bedford Center for the Arts. With a network of over 300 people committed to the arts, the Center hosts a variety of events each year, including a children’s drama camp, concert series, and an annual arts festival.

September 2002Yasha Khibkin 
Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) – Boston
For the past couple of years, Khibkin has volunteered to work with 5-12 year-olds at the Broadmeadows After-School Program in Quincy. He serves the after-school program for twenty hours each week as a Foster Grandparent for Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD). His long history of teaching physics and astronomy in Uzbekistan makes him more than qualified to help these young students with their school assignments. Khibkin also brings his love of chess to the program and its participants. He spends countless hours teaching the students how to master the game, and has even made chess sets for the children to use.

August 2002Elizabeth Williams 
The Horizons Initiative Community Children’s Center – Dorchester
Over the past three years, Williams has volunteered for the Horizons Initiative Community Children’s Center in Dorchester. For two hours each week, she provides stability for pre-school children who have experienced tremendous loss and major traumas and are currently living in shelters. By leading age-appropriate group activities and working one-on-one with these children, she helps them to develop a sense of security and trust in others while stimulating the development of their cognitive, language, motor, and social skills. “My goal is to make a difference in these young lives by bringing them some happiness, hope, and stability,” stated Williams. In addition to her direct involvement with the children, she also provides training and resources to other volunteers.

July 2002Carroll Clark 
Cape Ann Families of Wellspring House – South Hamilton
Over the past five years, Carroll Clark has volunteered for two programs with the Cape Ann Families of Wellspring House in Gloucester. In the first program, Parent Aid, Carroll mentors parents of young children who feel isolated and under extreme stress. Through her efforts, parents have become more connected with the local community, and are better equipped to tap into local services such as health care, education, and financial assistance. In the second program, Empowering Youth, Carroll works with children whose healthy development has been negatively impacted by trauma. Through this program, Carroll incorporates unique assessments and treatment methods that stress mentoring and counseling over the use of medication.

June 2002Tom & Sue Goodale 
John F. Kennedy Elementary School – Brockton
At least once each week for the past eight years, the Goodales have volunteered at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Brockton. Sue provides one-on-one reading sessions and is a strong advocate for the underdogs, always taking a deep interest in the lives of the less recognized students both in and out of school. Tom has often been called the resident “Paleontologist” because every year he helps the children build a six-foot T-Rex. He also tutors every subject and helps students and teachers with computer literacy. Together, Tom and Sue have inspired many other parents to become more involved in their children’s education.

May 2002Linda Zachariewicz 
CASA Project, Inc. – Worcester
Since September 2000, Linda has volunteered with the CASA Project, a Worcester agency that recruits, screens, trains, and supervises volunteers who serve as advocates for abused and neglected children. In her position, Linda provides ongoing, comprehensive support for these children as they work their way through the legal process. She has spoken on their behalf in schools, clinical settings, DSS meetings, and in court.

April 2002Manuel Valente 
Mayflower Retired and Senior Volunteer Program – Plymouth
For the past 50 years, Manuel has served the people of Plymouth County in various capacities. Realizing the need for an organization that engages voluntary citizen participation among people aged 55 and older in the twenty-seven communities of Plymouth County, Valente was instrumental in convening local citizens to create the Mayflower Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. Through this program, older adults are given the means to organize volunteer services that bring about positive change in people’s lives. Additionally, Valente volunteers his time with the local Kiwanis Club, Means-on-Wheels, and the Salvation Army. His commitment to community has earned him the nickname, “Mr. Goodbar.”

March 2002Helen Souza 
Citizens for Citizens, Inc. – Fall River
Serving as a retired and senior volunteer (RSVP), Helen tutors elementary students in literacy five days each week at the Saints Peter and Paul School in Fall River. Despite her own failing eye sight, she continues to work with the students on a daily basis, arriving early to greet them as they enter the school. Her commitment has made her a role model for the students as well as the adults, and she has become a vital part of the learning process at the school.

February 2002Robert Saalfrank 
Quabbin Mediation – Orange
Growing up in the foster care system, Robert witnessed first-hand the effects of violence and abuse. Through Quabbin Mediation’s ‘Talking on the Edge’ program, he has taken what he has learned and has helped countless young people understand that conflict is an opportunity for growth instead of a contest to be won or lost. Through workshops, he has introduced others to behaviors that lead to peaceful solutions instead of escalating conflict. His youth and first-hand experience have enabled him to serve as a peer leader and role model to those he instructs.

January 2002Ethel Ampey 
Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program – Somerville
Ethel has visited the Charles G. Harrington School in Cambridge once a week for the past four years to tutor seven second graders who read below grade level. After working with Ethel, most of the students have shown marked improvement in their reading ability.

December 2001Gloria Desrosiers 
Citizens for Citizens, Inc. – Fall River
Serving with the Retired and Senior (RSVP) program, Gloria prepares and serves meals out of St. Patrick’s Church Annex in Fall River. She has been an active volunteer with the program for more than a decade, serving as a cook and supervisor every Tuesday and Thursday. Her leadership and direction have led to an efficient operation that impacts countless individuals in need, while motivating other volunteers who give their time to the program.

November 2001Lorraine Bergeron, Ronald Steere, and Fred Trissler
Community Teamwork, Inc. – Lowell
By serving as Senior Companions in the VETS (Volunteer Escort Transportation Service) program, these three have logged thousands of miles in an effort to make life easier for veterans and seniors by providing transportation to and from medical appointments and day care programs. They also have made stops at supermarkets, went out to lunch, and have formed friendships with those they serve. In many cases, the drivers are able to draw on their own life experiences to help individuals cope with their current medical conditions.

October 2001Carlos Sousa, Jr. 
Milford Police Department’s Law Enforcement Exploring Program – Milford
Since 1997, Sousa has played a key role in many local public safety programs throughout Milford. He has helped to fingerprint over 1000 children as part of Project KidCare and KinderVision – two programs that provide parents with identification tools for their children should they become lost or abducted; has assisted in the distribution of gun-locks to gun owners with small children; and has used his ability to speak three languages to translate domestic violence information for battered women seeking assistance.

September 2001Steven Stroud 
Hampshire Community Action Commission’s Retired & Senior Volunteer Program – Northampton
During the past two years Stroud has worked with a small group of youth, helping them to improve their literacy skills while also serving as a positive role model. Stroud, a retired professional who moved to Western Massachusetts from California, began volunteering with the RSVP-coordinated summer reading camps, and was assigned to work with four boys at Northampton’s Florence Heights housing site. Stroud immediately captured their attention by choosing books they enjoyed and providing one-on-one help with their reading. Since this program, Stroud continues to mentor the four boys, and has since added another student to his group.

August 2001Marcia McFarland-Gray 
Clarksburg After-School Program of Enrichment & Reading – Clarksburg
Marcia’s dedication has enabled children in kindergarten through eighth grade to participate in a variety of structured after-school activities. She was instrumental in creating the Hours of Organized Practice Session (HOOPS) Program, a co-ed basketball session that reinforces the principles of sportsmanship and teamwork; the “Who Wants to be a Mad Scientist” program, where children explore the ‘science’ of everyday household materials; and special trips called “Mrs. Gray’s Half Days,” which are activities that occur on days when school ends at noon for teachers development.

July 2001Robert Smith 
Challenger League – Norwood
Robert was chosen for his seven years of service with the Challenger League, a program that enables youth with special needs to actively participate in athletic programs. Since the program’s inception in 1994, Bob has served as coach, president, and recruiter. Initially a baseball league, the program has expanded to include basketball and bowling, thanks largely to Smith’s efforts. There are currently 80 boys and girls in the program from several communities, including Norwood, Wrentham, Attleboro, Millis, and Dedham. In addition to providing activities for these youth, this program serves as a support group for their parents and families, and gives local high school students rewarding volunteer opportunities.

June 2001Stephanie Picon 
Brockton Boys and Girls Club – Brockton
As a Peer Leader at the Boys and Girls Club of Brockton, Stephanie has chaired T.E.E.N.S. (Teens Everyday Encouraging Non-Smoking), a smoke-free youth coalition that through advocacy and education seeks to prevent tobacco use in Brockton and the surrounding communities. Stephanie has developed tobacco surveys, urged businesses to adopt smoke-free policies, and also serves on the Second Hand Smoke Study Group of Brockton Mayor John Yunits Task Force on Health and Human Services.

May 2001Theodore Rubin 
Department of Veterans & Elderly Affairs – Randolph
For years Ted has volunteered at numerous community organizations, many of which ensure seniors enjoy safe, active, and healthy lives. Now in his fifth year as President of the Randolph Council on Aging, he is also the community specialist for the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) Massachusetts, president of his local AARP, a longtime volunteer for Meals on Wheels, and a member of the Board of Directors of South Shore Elder Services. In his many leadership roles, he has provided seniors with hands-on assistance and advice, critical resources like books and food, and has worked with other seniors and law enforcement agencies to enhance safety support services for seniors.

April 2001Sandra Butler 
Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston – Boston
Sandra began volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in 1994, serving as a Chairperson of the Family Partnership Committee, regularly meeting with low-income families and helping them acquire the skills necessary to become successful homeowners.