United Way of Central Massachusetts

News Spotlight

UWCM’s Annual Community Celebration in the News

Fred Eppinger, president and chief executive of the Hanover Insurance Group Inc., speaks during today's United Way event

Mr. and Mrs. Eppinger received the 2012 Alexis de Tocqueville award. (T&G Staff/PAUL KAPTEYN)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

WORCESTER —  The United Way of Central Massachusetts held its annual celebration today in Mechanics Hall recognizing local companies and people for their commitment to the community.

President Timothy J. Garvin welcomed the crowd, focusing on the theme of a journey, which he said began for the local organization on Jan. 23, 1920.

“Like any journey, success and the end destination implies a length of time, something that takes a while to achieve,” Mr. Garvin said. “We have been doing that for 94 years. Every year we commit to moving one step closer to success — one step closer to every child graduating from high school and being college and career ready, one step closer to every family being stable in safe neighborhoods with good jobs and dignified housing, one step closer to a community in which all our members are healthy.”

Board member Glenn Knowlton reported that the annual campaign raised more than $5.7 million.

More than a half dozen people, businesses, and corporate teams were recognized for their work in assisting the United Way over the last year. The recipients were:

• U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, who was given the Labor Services Community Hero Award;

• Mike Roy and the Commerce Bank team, Employee Campaign Manager Award;

• Rotmans Furniture & Carpet, Corporate Citizen of the Year Award;

• John G. O’Brien, president and chief executive officer of UMass Memorial Health Care Inc., Orville Harrold Community Leadership Award;

• Maurice J. Boisvert, president and chief executive officer of YOU Inc., Aubrey Reid Award;

• Imperial Distributors Inc., Stoddard Award.

The 2012 Alexis de Tocqueville Award was given to Fred and Patty Eppinger for their leadership, volunteer spirit, inspiration to others and philanthropic values. Mr. Eppinger is president and chief executive of the Hanover Insurance Group Inc.

“The individual and combined commitment Fred and Patty have to this community is extraordinary by anyone’s measure,” Mr. Garvin said. “The value they bring to the community goes far beyond writing a check. The real value they bring is the deep, unwavering commitment they have to making Central Massachusetts a world class community.”

Also recognized were several individuals who received the Inspire by Example Awards. They were Susan and John Lawrence, Patricia and Charles Surette, Darcy Schwartz and Susan Davoli-Mitchell.

The program was kicked off with a performance by the North High School A Cappella Choir.

The celebration was preceded by a business meeting and the election of new board members. Incoming Chairman Bruce Gaultney, publisher of the Telegram & Gazette, welcomed new board members Nadia McGourty, the Rev. Clyde Talley, Michael Tsostis and Douglas Brown.

Forty-nine community trustees were also elected at the business meeting. Kevin O’Sullivan, president of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, will serve as the chairman of the upcoming campaign.

The United Way’s Annual Celebration
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Lifestyle Team

Marcy L. Reed of National Grid gave the celebration’s opening remarks.

The United Way of Central Massachusetts held its Annual Celebration last night in Mechanics Hall to recognize several community difference makers. The festivities began with CEO Timothy J. Garvin welcoming the vast crowd on the Main Hall floor, and continued with updates on The United Way’s efforts and fundraising in the region. The night concluded with awards handed out, and the likes of Congressman Jim McGovern were in attendance to pick up their awards. Click through to see images from the event.


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Patsy Lewis