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SSCAC's 25th Annual
Local Heroes Awards Night

PLYMOUTH – South Shore Community Action Council, Inc. (SSCAC) hosted its 25th Annual Local Heroes Awards Night and Auction sponsored by Rockland Trust Co. and NFP. Each year, SSCAC honors a select group of Local Heroes in our communities - compassionate and dedicated people who uphold the mission of community action and its work to eliminate poverty on the South Shore. The Heroes were nominated by local South Shore residents and selected for the powerful difference they make in the lives of low-income children, elders, and families in our communities. This year’s Local Heroes are:

A Simple Gesture of Norwell -

Back in 2015, two long-time Norwell neighbors - Karen and Neil Farmer and Geoff Gordon - decided they wanted to do something to help those in their community struggling with hunger. So they started A Simple Gesture – Norwell. A Simple Gesture is a volunteer-driven, grassroots food collection program that started in Paradise, California. The concept is simple: local households sign up to be food donors. They receive a green bag to fill with non-perishables over the course of two months, picking up food items for donation on each grocery run. Volunteer drivers schedule to pick up the bag, leave another bag in its place, and take the full bag to the Norwell Food Pantry. Karen, Neil, and Geoff have gone on to help volunteers in Hanover and Marshfield start their own A Simple Gesture non-profits as well. SSCAC recognized A Simple Gesture – Norwell as a 2019 Local Hero for demonstrating the greater impact that can be achieved when dedicated community members unite in a common effort to end hunger and food insecurity.

Sophia Ricci of Kingston -

Sophia is a Silver Lake High School student who exemplifies the promise of community action and youth leadership. Two years ago, Sophia reached out to SSCAC and began running food drives for its Food Resources Program which fights hunger on the South Shore. From start to finish, Sophia plans and executes each food drive. She contacts the managers and makes arrangements with each grocery store that hosts the drive. Then she recruits other volunteers to help staff the food drive collection tables outside the grocery stores. Since Sophia does not yet have her driver's license, she has even recruited her mother to help transport the donations she collects at her food drives to SSCAC’s Food Distribution Center in Plymouth. Over the past 2 years, Sophia’s food drives have collected over 1,500 pounds of food donations - that's roughly 1,155 meals to fight hunger and food insecurity in our communities! Sophia was honored as a promising example of the power young leaders have to mobilize our communities.

Mayflower Brewing Company of Plymouth -

Founded in 2007 by Drew Brosseau - tenth great grandson of John Alden – the beer barrel cooper on board the original Mayflower ship – Mayflower Brewing Company embraces and celebrates the history and legacy of the Pilgrims. Mayflower Brewing has generously contributed to a number of non-profits and hosted community events over the years including hosting the annual America’s Hometown Throwdown Chef Competition to raise funds for the restoration of the Mayflower II and SSCAC’s Backpack Food for Kids, participating in the Brewing Some Good Charity Golf Classic tournament to benefit local veterans, holding “pop-up” beer gardens at the historic Mayflower Society House, and expanding their Plymouth tasting room to include a meeting space for use by local community groups and businesses, local artists who exhibit and sell art work, and local restaurateurs and musicians. SSCAC recognized Mayflower Brewing Company for embracing its Pilgrim heritage of leadership and contributing to the vibrant fabric of community life and culture in Plymouth.

Plymouth Sunrise Rotary -

Members of the Plymouth Sunrise Rotary are dedicated individuals from diverse professional and business backgrounds who share in a common mission of enhancing the quality of life in Plymouth through collaboration and community service. They gather together in a spirit of friendship and service to volunteer their time, energy, and endless support for non-profits and other community groups in the greater Plymouth area. Over the years, they have rolled up their sleeves and opened their hearts to assist Meals on Wheels, the Plymouth Recovery Center, the Home for Little Wanderers, Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army, and more. Sunrise Rotary members have been instrumental to the success of the America’s Hometown Throwdown chef competitions that have raised funds for Plimoth Plantation and SSCAC’s Food Resources Program. Never ones to shy away from a job, Rotary members washed dishes, cleared tables, directed traffic, and so much more. The list of their service projects goes on and on. SSCAC honored the Plymouth Sunrise Rotary as 2019 Local Heroes for upholding the ethics of community service and caretaking to bring greater meaning to its members and enhance the quality of life for everyone who calls Plymouth home.

Campbell Christmas Angels of Hull -

Laurie Good was once a homeless woman with a family, struggling to get by. She was blessed by the kindness and generosity of others who helped her through. Once she was back on her feet, she wanted to pay it forward and give back to the community. And so Laurie founded and runs Campbell Christmas Angels, a non-profit in Hull dedicated to helping families coming out of shelters and parents that are too sick or unable to provide a nominal Christmas experience for their children. Her philosophy is to offer “a hand up, not a hand out.” Campbell Christmas Angels and Laurie Good were honored for bringing compassion, hope, and cheer to hundreds of disadvantaged children and their families during the holiday seasons.

SSCAC's President’s Award

SSCAC’s Board President, Dan Shannon, also awarded the President’s Award for Extraordinary Leadership and Outstanding Community Service to 10 current and active SSCAC employees who have dedicated 25 years or more of service to the agency, its mission, and most importantly, the countless children, seniors, and families whose lives they've touched: Lynne Bergeron, Karen Bryant, Joyce Daniels, Marlene Falvey, Donna Hall, Susan McCarthy, Russell Pontz, Elise Smith, Lisa Spencer, and Harold Taylor. The powerful and enduring impact of South Shore Community Action Council comes from the commitment of its employees who do their part to make a difference each and every day.

A true representation of community action, the 275 attendees hailed from throughout the South Shore and represented a wide cross-section of local organizations, businesses, faith-based and educational institutions, and more. Guest Speaker, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, the legendary Red Sox pitcher - entertained the audience with stories of his pitching career with the Red Sox and his perspectives on the importance of community engagement. The event program included a performance by Plymouth North High School’s acapella group Northern Lights, as well as silent and live auctions. Attorney F. Steven Triffletti served as auctioneer, helping to raise nearly $9,000 to benefit SSCAC’s Backpack Food for Kids project. Master of Ceremonies, Senator Vinny de Macedo, presented each Local Hero with a Congressional Certificate of Recognition and Official Citations. Joining Senator deMacedo in congratulating Local Heroes Award recipients were Mike Jackman from the Office of Congressman William Keating, Plymouth County Register of Probate Matt McDonough, Senator Michael Brady, Senator Patrick O’Connor, Representative Kathy LaNatra, Representative Matt Muratore, and Representative Norman Orrall.

About South Shore Community Action Council, Inc.

Founded in 1965, SSCAC works to eliminate poverty along the South Shore by working together with its communities to provide low-income people with opportunities and supports for education, training, and work, so they may live with dignity and realize their fullest potential. SSCAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that assists over 20,000 low-income people of all ages each year.