Local Heroes 2017

Local Heroes Class of 2018

SSCAC's 24th Annual Local Heroes Awards Night

PLYMOUTH – Last night, South Shore Community Action Council, Inc. (SSCAC) hosted its 24th Annual Local Heroes Awards Night at the Hotel 1620, sponsored by NFP Thorbahn, Rockland Trust, Proven Behavior Solutions and Rogers & Gray Insurance. Each year, SSCAC recognizes those individuals and organizations that demonstrate extraordinary commitment to fighting poverty and improving the lives of South Shore residents. Before an audience of over 250, 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 Michael Jackman of Congressman William Keating’s Office, Senate President Therese Murray, State Senators John Keenan, Patrick O’Connor and Louis Loura representing Sen. Marc Pacheco; State Representatives Tom Calter, Jim Cantwell, Josh Cutler, and Mathew Muratore; and representing Plymouth County, Treasurer Tom O’Brien, District Atty. Timothy Cruz, Sheriff Joe McDonald and Register of Probate Matt McDonough. This year’s Local Heroes are:

Bob Davidson - Bob Davidson of Plymouth has supported service members from Plymouth and their families for many, many years. When Desert Storm began, Bob initiated a campaign to send care packages of much-needed supplies to our service members in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He is also responsible for the beautiful Memorial Tribute to Fallen Soldiers at Plymouth Memorial Hall. Bob, a U.S. Navy Veteran and retired teacher started working on the display after taking over as curator of the American Legion Museum where he is an active member and heavily involved with the high school kids. He had a vision for all the Plymouth Fallen Heroes and turned his vision into a reality through enormous selfless time and efforts. He totally revamped the American Legion room which is now loaded with memorabilia representing our fallen heroes from many years ago up to today.

To name another one of many more significant Plymouth County projects Bob was instrumental working on was the "Welcome Home"ceremony for Vietnam War veterans where he reaches out to parents, siblings, and children of service men and women, offering support and kindness in quiet yet deeply meaningful ways. This ceremony was incorporated into Plymouth's Veterans Day Celebration in 2016.

We are proud to honor Bob Davidson as a 2018 Local Hero for his dedication to our service men and women and their families, personal acts of kindness, and all his efforts to mobilize the community to honor and support them.

Congratulations Bob.

Liz Stefan –Liz Stefan is a Manager at the BJ's Wholesale Club in Plymouth. For 10 years, the BJ's Corporation sponsored a "Giving Tree" during the holidays. Preschoolers at South Shore Community Action's Head Start wrote their names and 3 wishes on tags for the tree. Customers would then take a tag and purchase the wished-for gift. Three years ago, when the BJ's corporation ended its "Giving Tree" tradition, Liz Stefan organized the employees to continue the "Giving Tree"on their own so the Head Start preschoolers could still have a joyous holiday. The employees purchased the tags and shoppers purchased items for each child. These generous BJ's employees took any remaining tags and purchased the items so that each and every child received toys, coats, boots, clothing, hats, mitten and pajamas during the holidays. Hundreds of children in the South Shore Community had a brighter Christmas morning thanks to the efforts of Liz Stefan and her BJ's Team.

Speaking of team, Liz donated countless hours and energy to the children of the Plymouth Youth Soccer Association. She was the Equipment Coordinator for 17 years, and volunteered as a coach where she inspired players to be the best they could be. Without fail, Liz gives selflessly to others at every opportunity! Her dream job during retirement is to be a volunteer "baby cuddler" for hospitals. With her warm spirit, it is a skill that will benefit the babies, just as it has benefited the community.
So, we are proud and privileged to honor you here tonight for your generous commitment, time, support and inspiration you dedicate for your community.

Congratulations Liz!

Harley-Anne Hamlton - Harley-Anne Hamilton lives in Carver on her family farm. She is a 20-year-old student at Quincy College in Plymouth whose life has revolved around service. Harley-Anne is the kind of young person who gives hope for the future. She got her official start in service in the 4H and Girl Scouts. One of her favorite thing to do was donate handmade quilts to children in hospitals – something she continues to do today with her quilt guild.

For 5 years, Harley-Anne poured her heart into the New England Wild West Fest in Marshfield to raise funds for Boston Children's Hospital cancer ward, under the motto, "curing cancer 8 seconds at a time."In high school, Harley's love for community service skyrocketed. She joined FFA – the Future Farmers of America – where she brought together her two loves – community service and agriculture. In 2017, Harley began her reign as Massachusetts Miss United States Agriculture. She helped organize blood drives, fundraisers, toy drives, making boxes for nursing home patients, and much more. Harley-Anne currently has set her sights on starting gardens at the Carver schools, the fire station and any other land to help fight hunger and educate people about how to grow their own home gardens. After her recent trip to South Africa with FFA to learn about agriculture, she returned home with a broadened worldview and even greater motivation to bring about changes in Massachusetts and the world around her.

We are beyond thrilled to honor Harley-Anne Hamilton as a 2018 Local Hero for being a shining example of the hope and promise of youth to change lives and the world around us through leadership, compassion, and engagement.

Congratulations Harley-Anne!

Lisa Adams -If there's a fundraiser, community project, or event going on in Plymouth, chances are good that Lisa Adams is involved in some way. For the past few years, she's been a great partner to South Shore Community Action in its efforts to fight children's hunger in Plymouth and along the South Shore. For many children, the breakfast and lunch they receive at school is their only meal of the day. Back in 2015 at Indian Brook Elementary School in Plymouth, Lisa spearheaded the spark and leadership needed for South Shore Community Action's pilot Backpack Food for Kids Initiative. She organized the Indian Brook PTA to pick up food from South Shore Community Action each week and fill backpacks for school children to make sure they had enough to eat during weekends and school vacations. In its pilot year, the Indian Brook Backpack initiative provided 250 meals to the children. The second year, ballooned to nearly 4,100 meals. South Shore Community Action has since expanded its Backpack Food for Kids initiative to 11 elementary schools in Plymouth and Middleborough.

And that's not all. Whether she's pitching in with neighbors to weave plastic sleeping mats for the homeless, or organizing a Halloween candy "buy back" for Operation Gratitude, or collecting donations for the Plymouth Public Schools' Empty Bowls fundraisers, or persuading folks to join Team Adams at SSCAC's annual Pumpkin Run, Lisa is a gift to our community who keeps on giving. We honor Lisa Adams here tonight for her leadership in harnessing the energy and goodwill of parents, schools, and the community to fight hunger in Plymouth and for demonstrating how one person with a big heart can make a difference in the lives of so many.

Congratulations Lisa!

Craig Wolfe -Craig Wolfe of Hull is actively involved in helping his community as a resident and in his capacity as the town's volunteer emergency response coordinator. During January's "Bombogenesis”, Craig was the first responder on the scene as 26 families and individuals were flooded out of their homes. He helped them connect with the Red Cross, MEMA, and short-term emergency housing assistance so that they are all out of crisis today.

During Winter Storm Nemo in 2013, he worked as a Meals on Wheels Storm Trooper, rescuing 12 people and distributing meals to food banks, schools, senior centers, and apartment buildings. Beyond his incredible service as an emergency responder, "Wolfie" has served as the town of Hull's park and recreation commissioner, founded Hull youth soccer and basketball, and started an academic award night in the high school. He was a Charter Member and President of Hull Rotary Club, cohost of the Veteran's Voice radio show, organized a Veterans' Day visit to hospital with thank you cards from the Hull schoolchildren, spearheaded collection
of Christmas day gifts for patients at Brockton Hospital and much more.

It is for these reasons and countless others that we honor Craig Wolfe as a 2018 Local Hero. We cannot overlook his commitment to the residents of Hull, his steadfast assistance to friends and neighbors in times of crisis, and years of dedication to building the fabric of the community in Hull!

Congratulations Wolfie!

Charles Schena - Charlie's life is an anthology of service. Having served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War from 1970-1974, Charlie has dedicated over 40 years to advocating on behalf of veterans and people with disabilities at the local, state, and regional level.

For 30 years, he has been a member of the New England Paralyzed Veterans of America, serving on their Board of Directors, most recently as Treasurer. Closer to home, Charlie served on the Commission on Disabilities in Plymouth and is currently the Commander of the local William J. Bonney Chapter of the MA Disabled American Veterans. For years, Charlie has spoken at schools to share his stories of military service and raise awareness about disabilities with countless students on the South Shore.

Charlie is South Shore Community Action Council's Board Treasurer and is the longest standing Board Member after joining in 1991. For his lifetime of service on behalf of our Country and our communities, his years of leadership in raising awareness about and advocating for veterans and people with disabilities, and his selfless dedication to South Shore Community Action Council and its mission to end poverty, we honor you here tonight with our President's Award for Extraordinary Leadership and Outstanding Community Service.

Charlie, we thank you and congratulate you.