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Climbing for a Cause David Downs finished the last of 1,220 steps of Bostons 200 Clarendon Tower (formerly known as the John Hancock Tower) in 8 minutes, 31 seconds to become the first of 800 runners to complete the annual Climb to the Top on March 5, 2016, which raised $350,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter, based in Waltham. The seventh annual Climb featured elite runners like Downs, 35, a real estate project manager with Homeowner's Rehab, Inc. in Cambridge, and casual runners from across Massachusetts, along with firefighter teams from South Hadley, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. The funds will be used to help find the cause, treatment, and cure of multiple sclerosis, as well as support individuals and families living with MS.
Protecting the Great Outdoors Mass Audubon, a Lincoln-based nonprofit that works to protect the nature of Massachusetts, promotes that mission by holding an annual photo contest to highlight the beauty and diversity of Massachusetts wildlife, plant life, and landscapes. Steve Flint of Foxborough was named the 2015 grand prize winner for his image, shown above, of a short-tailed weasel gazing, taken at Mass Audubons Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk. The 2015 contest included two age levels, 18 and older or under 18, and seven subject categories: people in nature, birds, mammals, other animals, plants and fungi, landscapes, and travel. Founded in 1896, Mass Audubon today has 100,000 members and cares for 35,000 acres of conservation land.
Gearing Up for Winter Cradles to Crayons, a national nonprofit based in Cambridge that provides critical everyday essentials to low-income and homeless children, celebrated its 10th winter Un-Gala on Dec. 5, 2015, welcoming more than 800 volunteers and supporters at its Boston site to raise $1 million, as it did last year. Ten-year-old Maya Holzman, left, and her sister, Sydney, 12, of Brookline, helped by cleaning donated toys that will be delivered, along with clothing, outerwear, and other seasonal items, to 32,000 Massachusetts children in advance of the coming winter. Executive Director Sharon Reilly said the event was an amazing success, describing it as a one-of-a-kind, family oriented experience.
Pies for a Cause Community Servings, a Boston nonprofit, sold more than 20,000 pies to raise $748,000 via its annual Pie in the Sky fundraiser, held for the 23rd time in 2015, during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Funds raised will help the organization deliver meals to disadvantaged, critically ill patients across Massachusetts. Ready to sample a 3-foot diameter apple pie at Pie Day held at Boston Public Market, are, from left, Ken Tutunjian, Community Servings board member; Liz Morningstar, CEO of Boston Public Market; David Waters, Community Servings CEO; and Jenna Montilio, of Montilios Baking Company, which baked the pie.
Celebrating 20 Years The Art Connection, a Boston nonprofit that connects artists and donors to community service organizations through the placement of original artwork, is celebrating its 20th anniversary March 15, 2015, and inviting the public to the free event. Since it opened its doors, the organization has placed 6,723 works of art. Shown here is The River of Connectivity by Melissa Glick, placed at the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, based in Worcester.
Freely, Joyfully Making Music The Cantata Singers a nonprofit choral, orchestral, and vocal chamber music group based in Boston, celebrated its 50th anniversary season with a free concert of Felix Mendelssohns Elijah on Feb. 22, 2014, filling the 1000 seats at Jordan Hall. The eventunderwritten by Free For All Concert Fund, a foundation created to support the presentation of high-quality music and related cultural events in Bostonattracted so much interest that the dress rehearsal the day before was opened to the public. This groups first performance of Elijah also marked the first grant it received from the Free For All Concert Fund.
Grand Prize Winner Paul Mozell, longtime member of Mass Audubon, a Lincoln-based nonprofit that works to protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and wildlife, was named top winner in the organizations fourth annual statewide photo contest with his image of Mass Audubons Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Rowley, shown here. The contest, held from April through September 2013, drew 2,000 photos from nearly 700 photographers as a way, according to Mass Audubon President Henry Tepper, to help members and the public view nature as key to our collective quality of life. Besides taking top honors, Mozell received a $250 Mass Audubon gift card and will have his photo published in Connections, the organizations member newsletter.
Playground Time Biogen Idec employees Omar Quintero-Monzon, left, and Serena Bodner move a freshly painted panel of a mural to a playground they helped build for The Elizabeth Peabody House, a nonprofit settlement house and community center in Somerville, in connection with the companys third annual "Care Deeply Volunteer Day" on Sept. 20, 2013. Biogen Idec employees worked alongside KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that helps communities build playgrounds, and members of the community to build a play space, which includes new equipment, games, and mulch, to benefit more than 200 children who participate in the organizations preschool and afterschool programs, but who did notuntil nowhave a playground. The Biogen Idec Foundation supported the playground with an $85,000 grant. (Photo: Jessica Rinaldi)
And the Winner Is... those helping the visually impaired. Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MAB), based in Brookline, fielded 13 runners, including seven visually impaired, in the 116th Boston Marathon on April 16, 2012, who raised more than $60,000. Shown here are Aaron Scheidies, of Seattle, left, who finished first in the visually impaired division with a time of 2:55:53, and Adrian Broca, of Los Angeles, who placed second in the same division, at 3:20:54. MAB teamed with National Braille Press a Boston-based nonprofit, and The Carroll Center for the Blind, located in Newton, to debut the Blindfold Challenge, a 5K event held the day before the marathon, drawing 25 teams of runners each composed of a blindfolded member with a sighted guide. The goal: raise awareness and funds to give blind or visually impaired children and adults the power to live more independently.
Looking for Board Members More than 60 nonprofits throughout the greater Boston area connected with more than 100 people looking to serve as board members at the 13th Annual Board Connection organized by the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley on March 28, 2012. Shown here is Danelle Radner, center, and Jonathan Kranz, right, board members at Notre Dame High School Lawrence, speaking with Michael McWilliams, founder and executive director of the Rapporteur consultancy.
Walk Your Way to Health More than 200 people gathered in Kendall Square, Cambridge, on March 22, 2012, to support the efforts of WalkBoston, a Boston nonprofit dedicated to improving walking conditions in cities and towns across Massachusetts. Two days before, the organization was named the national Advocacy Organization of the Year by the Alliance for Biking & Walking. Despite WalkBoston's tireless work and national leadership, the small staff is generous with its time and expertise, ever willing to share best practices with other organizations and engage with national advocacy groups in a way that benefits people who walk, not just in Boston, but in communities across the continent, the citation noted.
Special Delivery UPS On-road Supervisor Brad Macomber loads up 100 bags with Thanksgiving meals that were distributed Nov. 19, 2011, by United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. The 14th Annual Thanksgiving Project, supported by Catholic Charities of Boston, area businesses, and 372 volunteers, distributed 5,000 meals five times as many as in 2009 due, according to United Way, to the prolonged economic crisis. The Greater Boston Food Bank contributed 2,200 turkeys.
Helping Pet Owners in Financial Need The Animal Rescue League of Boston in 2010 was able to buy a Spay Waggin' from funds from a bequest made nearly two decades ago, and is going on the road through southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod. The 33-foot long vehicle will be staffed by a veterinarian and two technicians. With a preparation area, a fully equipped surgical suite, and a recovery ward, it can accommodate up to 40 animals.
Thinking Beyond the Container Containers to Clinics, a new, Boston-based nonprofit that converts used shipping containers into medical clinics to help improve the health of women and children in developing countries, formally launched itself on Nov. 16, 2009, at a gala event at the Institute of Contemporary Art. The event sought to build constituency and raise funds, and attracted hundreds of people who got a chance to inspect converted containers, shown here on the museums parking lot.
Pitching in to Help People in Need Tawnya Johnson and 25 of her colleagues from AMAG Pharmaceuticals lent a hand to sort donated food at The Greater Boston Food Bank's new 77,000-square-foot facility on South Bay Avenue in Boston during an open house on Oct. 24, 2009, the first to which the public was invited. The Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and one of the largest food banks in the country.
Raising Hands for Green Energy Nearly 200 people rallied outside the Massachusetts State House on March 14, 2009, joining the call for clean electricity. The rally, organized by Massachusetts Power Shift, a non-partisan network of climate activists advocating bold, comprehensive solutions to climate change, was held a few days after the state Senate passed a resolution calling for 100% clean electricity within 10 years.
Boys, Girls, and Turkeys The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston teamed with Nexus Alliance to give away nearly 400 turkeys to Dorchester residents the weekend before Thanksgiving 2008. The Alliance, which fosters a network of black male professional mentors, tapped other sponsors to support the effort, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Tremont Credit Union, Robert White Associates, and the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.
In These Hands is the theme of a a major print, outdoor, and online advertising campaign for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB). The pro bono effort contributed by Hill Holliday of Boston aims to raise awareness among inner-city youth of BGCB programs that seek to help them make responsible choices. See more by clicking here.
Partying for the MFA The fifth annual summer party of the Museum Council of the Museum of Fine Arts, on June 14, 2008, attracted hundreds of young professionals to help support the Councils gift to the Building the New MFA campaign. The event featured a Latin American Feria de Arte, inspired by pieces from the MFAs collection and the new Art of the Americas Wing.
MOBA Opens in Somerville The world renowned Museum of Bad Art (MOBA), headquartered in the basement of the Dedham Community Theater since its founding in the 1990s, has opened a second exhibition space in the basement of the Somerville Theatre in Somerville. Featured here is Invasion of the Office Zombies by Jenna Cathyla. MOBA offers a classic case study in how to garner global publicity on a shoestring. Read more.
Power Lunch Steve Drew of Hollister, Inc., a volunteer for Everybody Wins! Metro Boston, spends lunch one day a week helping young readers in local elementary schools improve their reading skills and attitudes toward reading. Through reading aloud, sharing favorite stories, and talking about books, the program aims to promote a love of reading. The nonprofit's Power Lunch program currently matches adults with children at 11 schools in Billerica, Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Framingham, Somerville, and Waltham.
Rowing for Dollars Marblehead resident Paul Mazonson (left) and Jack Tatelman raced in the Blackburn Challenge, a 23 mile open-water rowing and paddling race off the coast of Gloucester this summer to raise more than $25,000 to benefit Hospice of the North Shore in Danvers. The two also organized "Rock n Row," a rowing club to encourage the sport of open water rowing.
Businesspeople Up in Arms This billboard, located on the side of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Boston, is the latest in the ongoing campaign by Stop Handgun Violence, a nonprofit founded by businesspeople in 1995 to prevent firearms violence through public awareness and sensible legislation without banning guns. The organization says gun injuries in Massachusetts have declined 50% since 1994.
Getting Beyond Grief Sieara, 7, and Joshua, 4, Belanger of Salem swim at Camp Stepping Stones at Gordon College in Wenham. Offered by the Center for Grief & Healing, a program of Hospice of the North Shore, the camp provides a special opportunity for children and their families who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Nearly 30 families attended the camp this year, making it the largest to date.
Summer's Here! And that means it's time to head to the beach. In this case, it's Crane Beach in Ipswich, one of 96 properties statewide maintained by The Trustees of Reservations, a membership organization. Through Labor Day, member admission prices at Crane Beach have been decreased from $11.00 to $5.00 per car. After 3:00 p.m., admission drops by another 50%. (Photo by Tom Kates.)
Going Public Beverly-based Health Quarters, a provider of reproductive health care and education services in northeastern Massachusetts, is conducting a public information campaign, using buses and commuter rail. The $25,000 effort, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, has also supported development of related informational postcards, posters, and new bi-lingual web content.
Developing Media Literacy Teens from the Somerville and South Boston Boys and Girls Clubs regularly meet at Somerville Community Access Television (SCAT) where SCAT staffers teach them media literacy and video production skills. The kids create their own music videos, documentaries, and studio programs that are posted on the Web and shown on public access television.
Grinning at Winning Gabrielle Guarracino, a senior at Rockland High School, right, was all smiles when she learned she won the statewide Poetry Out Loud contest recently held at Regis College in Weston, sponsored by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Huntington Theatre Company. Gabrielle will travel to Washington April 30 to represent Massachusetts in the national finals with a chance to win $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends.
Thumbs Up for the New Graduates Eighteen certified nursing aides and home health aides graduated in January from Vinfens Extended Care Career Ladder Initiative, a workforce development program funded through a grant from the Commonwealth Corporation. From left: George Gougian, administrator at Vinfen Hancock Center; ESOL/English Graduate Maria Medina, and Boston City Councilor Charles Yancey.
Time to Sing The Boston Childrens Chorus, a multi-racial, multi-ethnic arts education organization that unites local children to discover the power of singing, celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at its fourth annual concert, 7 p.m., Jan. 15, at Jordan Hall in Boston.
Friends Rewarding Work Resources, Inc. and provider agencies, such as Beaverbrook STEP of Watertown, help people with disabilities receive the supports they need to lead full and independent lives.