Earlier this year, Essex Media Group’s editors and writers asked a simple question: Who are the people in Lynn and nine neighboring and nearby communities who went above and beyond to make a positive difference in their cities and towns? We are happy to say the list we compiled is long and packed with notable people with impressive accomplishments.
We celebrated the persons of the year listed below at the Lynn Museum Wednesday night, including Beyond Walls CEO and founder Al Wilson, who spearheaded last summer’s mural and community beautification initiative with plans to bring it back to downtown this summer.
We saluted Lynnfield for Love members who focused on the qualities that make their town great and used racial and cultural diversity to bring about positive change.
In Malden, we picked Anne D’Urso-Rose, Malden Reads: One City, One Book co-founder, for her group’s efforts to launch community discussions on issues including police brutality and race.
Marblehead’s persons of the year are Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo, the philanthropists who cast their generosity far and wide to benefit early childhood and after-school programs and the YMCA.
Our Medford salute went to John Veneziano, who demonstrated his love for his city in part by spurring the historic Chevalier Theatre’s rebirth.
With his legacy of civic service, Thomas P. Costin Jr. is our choice for Nahant person of the year.
We picked Tom Gould to be Peabody’s person of the year for his ability to convert his love for Peabody into positive efforts, including his lead role in making the 2017 Centennial Celebration a success.
In Revere, Monse Torres-Hood saw inequalities and a need for a change and worked to empower the Latino community and help increase the city’s diversity.
Saugus’ Zack Cummings demonstrated optimism and courage in the face of cancer to become a teenage source of inspiration and action for his community. Swampscott’s Tom Demakes, the grandson of Greek immigrants, is committed to any effort helping children, including kids who may not have parents.
We salute all of our persons of the year and honor a host of community all-stars:
Arts After Hours, Chris Barry, Beyond Walls artists, Susan Bishop, Brian Boisson, Hugo Carvajal, Muriel Clement, Jeff Crosby, Sam Danh, Andrea DeAngelo, Matt Durgin, Brian Field, Father Brian Flynn, Ellen Fritz, Charles Gaeta, Fred Hogan, Corey Jackson, Mark Kennard, Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Brian LaPierre, Catherine C. Latham, Lynn Fire Department, Lynn Museum/LynnArts, Lynn Special Needs Camp, William Maciak Sr., Police Chief Mike Mageary, George Markos, Gini Mazman, Bryan McAskill, Nicole McClain, Jason McCuish, Janet Melanson, Peter Mikedis, James Nalesnik, Jorge Ochoa, Michael Quintana, RAW Art Works, Salvation Army, School of Rock, Tony Seaforth, Ralph Sevinor, Dave Solimine Sr., Rick Starbard, Carolina Trujillo and Lisa Wallace.
Christopher Barrett, Arthur Bourque, Joseph Maney Sr. and Cooper Marengi.
Jenna Coccimiglio, Paul Hammersley and Stephen Winslow.
Arthur Epstein, John Fogle, Peter Lynch, Steven Rosenthal, Sophia Smith and Father Michael Steele.
Royall House Association, Bianca “Bia” Landrau, Maya Maggiore and Paul Mattatall/Junior Olympics.
Enzo Barile, Heather Goodwin, Sharon Hawkes, Roz Puleo and Calantha Sears.
Michael Garabedian, Edward Goodwin, Deanne Healey and Martha Holden.
MACIR and Carol Tye.
Mark Andrews, Bob Conlon, Scott Crabtree, Bill Cross, Bob Davis, Tania Fabo, Elizabeth Marchese, Wendy Reed, Jason Scaduto, Christopher Tarantino and Marco Tirella.
Joel Abramson, Gov. Charlie Baker, Longwood Care, Gino Cresta, Ted Delano, Alyce Deveau, Mike Dudevoir, For the Love of Swampscott, John McLaughlin, Dick Murray, REACH ARTS and JoAnn Simons.
Residents in these communities have a lot to be proud of when it comes to celebrating people who make their cities and towns better places in which to live.