Category Archives: Volunteers

New Life Serves 1000th Client!

From New Life Home Refurnishing –

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New Beginnings and Milestone Moments at New Life Home Refurnishing

 

New Life Home Refurnishing had great reason for celebration last month in welcoming its ONE THOUSANDTH client! For three and a half years, the New Life furniture bank, a Medfield nonprofit organization, with a warehouse in Walpole, has been connecting gently used furniture and household donations to help individuals and families emerging from homelessness. These donations have a tremendous impact on clients who have fallen on hard times, providing them not only with much needed furnishings, but also the hope of a fresh start. As volunteer Barbara Yates reflected, “Today’s 1000th client milestone was a very special one for me and for the other volunteers at New Life. It has truly been a privilege to play a small role in providing individuals and families with a comfortable chair, a pretty lamp and best of all, a bed for them and their children.”

 

The 1000th client was a single mother, referred to New Life by a Metro-West shelter, who has now transitioned her family to a subsidized apartment in the area. For a month, she and her son lived in their new home with only two beds and two beach chairs. “I’m so happy to have a job in the area and that my son has his own room”, she said. “He plays in his room a lot – he so enjoys having a space to call his own.” Her positive attitude and pride showed as she talked about being able to walk to work to her job at a local restaurant.  As she discussed her apartment, she described the joy of sitting in her chair, breathing the fresh air, appreciating the quiet of the neighborhood, listening to the birds and reading from her Bible. Her enthusiasm was even greater after she left the warehouse expressing her hope for the future – the goal of New Life for all of its clients. Her moving truck departed with a kitchen table and chairs, a couch, an armchair, bedroom furniture, linens and a wide array of kitchen items.  These items are more than home furnishings; they are symbols of the new beginnings at the core of the New Life model, which would not be possible without the generosity of supportive communities and donors.

 

If you are interested in getting involved with New Life, as a donor or volunteer, we welcome your service and ask you to visit our website newlifehr.org.

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Town loses stellar VSO, Ron Griffin

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Ron Griffin to Retire as Veterans Service Officer

Ron Griffin emailed town officials yesterday to confirm his long planned, and much deferred, retirement as the town’s Veterans Service Officer, leaving huge shoes to be filled.

First and foremost, I want to thank Ron for his exemplary and expansive service to the Town of Medfield, its veterans, and really, by his extension of the scope of the VSO work, to all of our residents.  It has been one of my great pleasures to see how he used that VSO position to make so many things happen to honor the veterans, but also to involve so many facets of the town in the process.  Thanks to Ron the Blake Middle School students now meet annually with veterans, Medfield Foundation volunteer of the year honorees receive flags flown over the Capital, the town this year is honoring Vietnam War vets, and the town now celebrates all veterans on Veterans Day with a breakfast in their honor served by the Medfield High School students from their Warriors for Warriors club.  Also, through his Legion connections, housing for veterans is now being explored at the Legion.  Ron is clearly a leader of both vision and action.

The defeat of Ron’s motion to amend the Veterans Service Officer budget at the annual town meeting (ATM) was the low point of that meeting.  That was when I first learned that the Warrant Committee was not supporting that funding request, and the issue had not been discussed by selectmen.  In hindsight, I wish I had added a plea for support on its behalf, since the expanded position could have coordinated with Medfield Youth Outreach and the Council on Aging to serve those most in need in Medfield (see Ron’s proposal below).

Below are Ron’s email, and then Ron’s previously presented plan for the expanded VSO position.  Maybe a future town meeting, as a tribute to Ron Griffin and his extraordinary service to all Medfield residents, will enact his recommendations:

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April 27, 2017

Dear Selectman Pete Petersen, Mike Marcucci, Gus Murby and Town Manager Mike Sullivan

In October of 2015 I submitted my intention to retire at the end of that fiscal year.  I gave advance notice so as to give the town time to prepare a solution to the states full time service officer requirement and to find a suitable replacement.  When neither was accomplished by the end of that fiscal year, I agreed to continue in my position until December 2016 with the understanding that the town would be able to find a replacement and achieve state compliance by that time frame.  Now the 2018 fiscal year is approaching and to the best of my knowledge there has been no advancement by the town to fill the position nor actions planned to secure compliance to the State’s General Law.

This places me in the intolerable position to abandon my post, which I will do at the end of this fiscal year.

As the position of Veteran Service Officer carry’s with it appointments to the Memorial Day Committee and Committee to Study Memorials, I am resigning from those committees as of July 1, 2017.

As the town moves forward to find solutions to serve it’s veteran population I fear it will encounter difficulties.  If the town tries to fill the position and not also meet compliance with State law, the appointment will be rejected by the State.  In addition the state might freeze certain Veteran reimbursements through the Cherry Sheet until the town is in compliance.  The State is under some pressures to take actions on the few communities that are not in compliance with State Law in providing Veteran Services.   I fear Medfield will become the example used to prod other communities into compliance.  I also fear that the veteran community statewide along with the media, will strongly vocalize and condemn the town for its non-actions to bring the town into compliance with the state law.  I also fear the Town of Medfield will be depicted as hostile community to veterans.  This will greatly sadden me, as I know the Town of Medfield is one of the most supportive veteran communities in the state.

It is also possible that none of my fears will materialize.  However it is these undesirable real fears along with a strong concern to insure that the valuable services provided by this office continue without interruption that has motivated me to continue my duties throughout this past fiscal year.

Please understand, I regret the actions I am taking now.  I trust you can agree that I have done all that I could to insure that an orderly transition of my position was achieved.

Until then, I remain at your service.

Ron Griffin
Medfield Veteran Service Officer

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March 22, 2017 Subject - VSO Job description expansion - Office of Veteran and Community Services I am very aware that the following is not within the context of my responsibilities and has not been solicited. However, it is being offered with the intent of advancing the town toward compliance with State Law requiring the Town of Medfield provide full time access to Veteran Service Officer services. I fully agree that the current Medfield veteran population is in rapid decline and not large enough to warrant full time services, however the law uses town population to determine the requirement. Last year I submitted a budget for a full time position and I have done so this year as well. So I would like to offer rational to expand the duties of the VSO, while preserving its primary function. I met with Warrant Committee member Tom Marie to discuss my 2018 budget proposal and essentially had this same conversation. The VSO Position administrative overview The veteran Service Officer must be the primary function of the VSO position, however others duties may be assigned. The VSO position must be occupied by a veteran. The VSO position requires subject knowledge and certification on general areas specific to veterans and their families. Providing knowledge and information the VSO identifies benefits and guides clients through various matrices toward acquiring them. The pathway mostly consists of benefit explanation, developing the correct documentation and delivering it to the correct resource. The VSO does not determine, deny or ratify benefits and is non judgmental in offering assistance to any individual. However, the VSO does administer Massachusetts Chapter 115 benefits. Expanding VSO duties Where much of a VSO’s expertise is in subject explanation, documentation development and resource identification it is probable that these skills can be used on other non veteran related programs needed by the town’s citizens. Generally NEEDS based programs do not require unique expertise and many community programs may only require the dissemination of information. Needs based programs already exist that are managed by various town departments, sometimes under-utilizing the expertise of the person managing them. All to often, citizens are denied assistance because they simply do not know it exists. Often our citizens most in need of services are the least able to acquire them on their own. Because discussions about these services are provided in a confidential private setting, there is little visibility that these assisting services ever took place. Generally the community population who are not exposed to these services are seldom aware of the their need nor of their importance. Each of you probably have had an experience with one of our citizens who had an issue and had no idea where to turn for help. My experience is that generally what is missing is an understanding of the problem. Yes, occasionally our bureaucratic systems do error and when they do, it is usually very difficult for an individual to correct. In today's society, little can be accomplished without computer knowledge and internet access. Paper forms are now restricted and agency's often defer to web based solutions. More often computers are the decision makers and generating correspondence while the human analysis works to understand the computers choice rather than applying a solution. Often agency's do authorize electronic access to their systems that help identify individual issues. There is a BOLD line that separates assisting in a situation and owning that situation. I do not propose that this position administer any benefit (other than Chapter 115). That bold line is too easily crossed due to a natural compassion that develops with the client. While it is appropriate to provide guidance toward appealing undesirable results, it is not appropriate to participate in the appeal as that would require specific professional expertise. Development of VSO knowledge and skills can easily take more than a year. Knowledge development of non Veteran needs assistance will be substantially less. Identification of non veteran based services can be developed independently, but the following programs are offered as potential candidates. Non- Veteran Needs based services already provided by Medfield (The following is a collaboration list identified by Dawn Alcott, Chelsea Goldstein-Walsh, Cheryl Lavallee and Ron Griffin) Assistance with filling out applications: SNAP (formerly the food stamp program) Mass Health Other health insurance through health care connector SSI/SSDI when appropriate Department of Mental Health Department of Developmental Services SHINE (Medicare) Fuel Assistance Assistance with locating food resources: SNAP Medfield Food Cupboard A Place to Turn Natick (individual or family can go every 2 months for 2 weeks of food with a new social service referral each time…we have many families involved in this United Way program and we do their referrals every two months) Abundant Table Home Delivered Meals (if over age 60) (this is common when a senior is in the home of a family we serve) Assistance with financial help SMOC Housing Home Committee Angel Run Fund (we screen many referrals for ARF…usually 2-5 per week) Fuel Assistance (as SMOC representative for Medfield Community both MYO and COA do applications for residents) Assistance with obtaining basic necessities (clothing, furniture, etc.) New Life Home Refurnishing: (Furniture Resource)Must be referred by social service agency. That agency coordinates client visit on their behalf. This is a once in a life time referral…so it is a thorough and complete as possible process. Dress for Success Boston: (Clothing) Social service agency referral needed. A woman returning to the work force or changing careers can get one interview suit/outfit and an additional outfit following hire. Other agencies: ARC of Southern Norfolk County (for respite funds to hire caregivers and other programs) I hope you will consider the information provided as an opportunity to better utilize the VSO position to better serve all of our citizens. Ron Griffin Medfield VSO20170322-rg-veteran and community services position march 2017_Page_2

Donate to ANGP

From Tracey Rogers, ANGP Co-chair –

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Please support the CLASS of 2017 by making a donation to this year’s All Night Graduation Party (ANGP). Medfield’s ANGP is a time-honored tradition that has provided a safe and fun way for Seniors to celebrate on graduation night for 25 years. The party held at the Medfield High School could not take place without the support of our community. Graduation Day is Sunday, June 4th, for 218 Medfield Seniors. Use the blue form in the ANGP flyer that was recently sent to all Medfield residents or simply mail your contribution to MHS All Night Graduation Party, PO Box 38, Medfield, MA 02052. On-line donations can be made at medfieldhspto.org.  THANK YOU!

Town clean up tomorrow

From Jonathan Chechile –

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Looking forward to seeing everyone at God Loves Medfield! Come clean up the community, and then enjoy lunch from Cutlets.

Don’t forget your rake! We will be providing extra’s, but please bring a pair of gloves and a rake. We will be providing bags for trash collection.

April 22, 2017

Community Celebration: 12 – 3:00 pm

Service Projects: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

 

Instructions and notes:

Don’t forget your rake! We will be providing extra’s, but please bring a pair of gloves and a rake. We will be providing bags for trash collection.

If you are planning on serving at a downtown location, please meet at Gazebo Park next to the Medfield Public Library: 468 Main Street, Medfield, MA 02052 for a quick time of welcome and then Location Captains will be heading to Baxter park, Meetinghouse Pond, or the Dwight Derby house.

If you are planning on serving at the Charles River Cleanup, Kingsbury Pond, Medfield State Hospital, or Hinkley Park, please meet at the worksite. There will be a Location Captains there to greet you.

 

  • If you are planning on serving at the Charles River Cleanup, please do not bring kids under 10, as we will be working along West Street as it passes over the Charles, and along the banks.
  • Note for Scouts. Den Leaders will be communicating with the pack as the where you will be meeting, and what time to meet if other than 9.
  • Note on Community Service hours. For Scouts and any/all in need of community service hours, the Location Captain will have a form to give you confirming you served.

Community Celebration: 12 – 3:00 pm

Meet at Gazebo Park next to the Medfield Public Library: 468 Main Street, Medfield, MA 02052.

Food will be served a little after 12 thanks to Cutlets, and Ice cream and drinks will be provided thanks to Brothers Marketplace.

After everyone is served, representatives of the Medfield Green, the Lowell Mason House, and other community partners and friends will give updates on projects they are working on, and then there will be games and fun for the whole family!

 

Medfield Foundation volunteer awards

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Photo by Colleen Sullivan        Patch article and many photos

2017 Medfield Foundation Volunteer Awards

The 2017 volunteer awards were held at the Center on March 19, 2017.  The volunteers nominated by fellow residents this year, shown in the group photo above (except Lida Frawley, who was ill), were:

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

Jim Schwartz and Patti Schwartz for their combined 77 years of service to the BSA, 46 years of it in Medfield, for Medfield Boy Scout Troop 89.

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

Tracy Fedak and Tracey Rogers for chairing, running, and inspiring the hugely involved and successful All Night Graduation Party (ANGP) for the past 3 years.

Linda Frawley for 13 years of lead-by-example service organizing and leading the 400 girls, aged 5-17,  in the Medfield Girl Scouts.

Nancy Irwin and Mary Pat McSharry for creating and running the SWAP area at the Transfer Station for the past 8 and 4 years, respectively.

Jean Mineo for founding the Cultural Alliance of Medfield, the Holiday Stroll, implementing the Straw Hat Park, and working on the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee.

YOUTH VOLUNTEERS

Lily Doctoroff for organizing Bigger than Bullying, starting a Gender Equality Club, and working with the Medfield’s Vine Lake Preservation Trust, Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee, New Life Home Refurnishing, National Honor Society, and Medway Family Shelter.

Anne Phipps for helping build a school in Kenya, assisting at a camp for seriously ill children, volunteering for Project Teamwork, Student Council, Medfield Cares About Prevention, peer tutoring, Dean of Students Advisory Board, Putting for Patients, Medfield Food Cupboard, and Digital Learning Day.

Special Recognition:

Lily Doctoroff is the 2017 Youth Volunteer of the Year.

Jean Mineo is the 2017 Volunteer of the Year.

Jim Schwartz and Patti Schwartz receive the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jim & Patti Schwartz – Medfield Foundation 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award

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Jim & Patti Schwartz – 2017 Medfield Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim and Patti Schwartz were selected as to receive the 2017 Medfield Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award last month by the judges.  Jim and Patti were nominated by Gus Murby, with input from the other leaders of Boy Scout Troop 89, per Gus.

Jim and Patti, plus all the remarkable eight other Medfield volunteers who were nominated this year will be celebrated at the reception next Sunday, March 19 at 3PM at The Center. The public is invited to attend.

Brothers Marketplace generously sponsored the 2017 Medfield Foundation volunteer awards and support was also received from the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation.

Below is the nomination submitted by Gus Murby.

 


 

This recommendation is submitted as a combined recommendation for both Jim and Patti Schwartz, primarily for the involvement they have had over several decades as adult leaders in Medfield’s Troop 89 Boy Scout Troop. Jim and Patti have functioned as a seamless team throughout that time in working to meet the needs of the troop. The intention of this recommendation is not just to recognize them as two individuals worthy of consideration for this award, but to recognize their collaborative partnership over all this time and to acknowledge the extraordinary impact that partnership has had on the success of Troop 89 over an extended period.

 

Jim Schwartz has been a life-long volunteer leader with the Boy Scouts of America who has, over the past 23 years, held leadership positions with Medfield Troop 89. Extending from his own personal scouting career where he earned Eagle Scout rank, Jim started his career as a volunteer adult leader back in 1969 as an Assistant Scout Master in Troop 662 in Cheviot, Ohio. Jim subsequently filled a number of adult leadership positions over the ensuring years in both Ohio and Herndon, VA, where Jim was the founding Scoutmaster for a new Boy Scout troop. Over the course of his four years as Scoutmaster of the newly formed Herndon Boy Scout troop, 5 scouts earned the rank of Eagle Scout – a remarkable achievement for a troop that had just formed. Jim first started serving as a volunteer adult Boy Scout leader in Medfield Troop 89 in 1994, serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster from 1994 – 2003. In 2003, Jim took on the job of serving as Troop 89’s Troop Committee Chairman, a position he held from 2003 through 2016.

 

The job of Troop Committee Chairman is a critical one for ensuring the ongoing success of a Boy Scout Troop. The Boy Scout Troop Committee effectively functions as a Board of Directors for a Boy Scout Troop, but the role of the committee involves more than just formal oversight. The Troop Committee, and the Troop Committee Chairman, in particular, works closely with the Troop Scoutmaster to ensure the troop has the funding, equipment, leadership, and standards that are needed to ensure the troop operates in a manner that offers meaningful development opportunities for scouts while maintaining high standards of safety and decorum. In this role, because of his extensive experience in scouting, Jim has been a unique source of insight, judgment, and practical advice on what is needed to run a highly effective scouting program. The effectiveness of Jim’s insight and experience can readily be seen in the high enrollment the troop has maintained over the years; the numerous high adventure trips that the troop has offered to its more experienced scouts; and in the number of scouts who have achieved the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. Over the course of Jim’s tenure with Troop 89, a total of 73 scouts have earned the rank of Eagle Scout – a number that far exceeds the average number of scouts a Boy Scout troop would expect to produce.

 

The value of Jim’s experience can also be seen in the successes of a long line of scoutmasters in the troop who were able to “come up to speed” very quickly by tapping Jim’s corporate memory around troop operations and Boy Scout administrative procedures. During the time he has served as Troop Committee Chairman, Jim has worked with 5 different scoutmasters to help them fully assume their responsibilities as Scoutmaster.

Beyond his formal, long-standing role as Troop Committee Chairman, Jim also served as a key leader on 5 different Boy Scout High Adventure trips (2003 Northern Tier canoe trip, 2004 Philmont backpacking trip, 2005 Allagash canoe trip, 2006 Seabase Sailing trip, and 2008 Philmont backpacking trip). High Adventure trips are ambitious outdoor adventure trips designed to challenge older, more experienced scouts by introducing them to more physically and mentally demanding activities, usually in geographically remote locations. Because of this, the responsibilities of the adult leaders on these trips are significant. They include the need to meet the high physical demands of the trip; the need to make sound judgments in situations where access to outside help is limited; and the need to be prepared to handle medical emergencies that could arise during the trips. Being an adult leader on these trips requires a degree of personal commitment and confidence that goes well beyond what is required on a more routine “weekend campout”.

 

Finally, Jim has provided a consistently strong role model for the scouts in the troop. His organizational skills are legendary, even among those scouts who don’t at first understand why paying attention to detail is important, or who don’t really know how to effectively communicate to adults and others. The skills they learn from Jim’s example have a direct impact on their future ability to be successful in their jobs. While Jim sets a high standard for scouts in these areas, he also provides a model to scouts as a person who remains calm in the face of difficulty; respectful even in circumstances where there may be disagreement; and good-natured, even in the face of offensive or insensitive behavior. Through Jim, scouts can see how the tenets of the Boy Scout Law play out in real life in how a person should conduct himself.

 

Patti Schwartz began her career as a volunteer adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America 32 years ago when she became a Cub Scout Den Leader in Downington, PA. Over the next several years, Patti continued her service as a Cub Scout Den Leader, and subsequently as a Cub Scout Committee Chairwoman in Herndon, VA. Since 1996, Patti has been a member of Troop 89’s Troop Committee where she has taken on major responsibilities as the troop’s Good Turn Coordinator (the person who coordinates and organizes virtually all of the troop’s organized service activities), Advancement Chairperson (the person most directly responsible for monitoring, encouraging, and processing scout rank advancements at all levels), and Eagle Court of Honor Coordinator (the person directly responsible for organizing and coordinating Eagle Courts of Honor). From 1996 to the present, Patti has also served as a Merit Badge Councilor for Troop 89, and she has served as a volunteer adult Girl Scout Leader in Medfield.

 

During the time that Patti has been working as a volunteer leader in Troop 89, she has also volunteered her time supporting several other organizations and activities in Medfield. Of particular note, Patti has been active for many years in St. Edward’s Prayer Shawl Ministry as part of the “One Family Knitters” group. As a member of “One Family Knitters, Patti has also participated in St. Edward’s support of several charitable organizations knitting hats, scarves, baby sweaters and “premi” baby hats. She has also volunteered for numerous Special Olympics competitions in the area and has supported the Angel Run in Medfield for several years. Because of the breadth of activities Patti has been involved with here in Medfield; she has been able to create synergistic opportunities that tap the capabilities of one organization to serve the needs of other organizations. A good example of this is her volunteer work with the Medfield Food Cupboard where, in addition to providing direct personal support to the Food Cupboard, she has also used her position as the Good Turn Coordinator for Troop 89 to obtain help from scouts to stock the food cupboard, as well as to provide scouts who are working on the Cooking merit badge with the opportunity to bake pies at Thanksgiving in support of the Food Cupboard’s holiday support activities. In doing this, both organizations wound up achieving important goals of their programs.

 

It is well recognized in Medfield that the town’s Boy Scout program has been an important pillar supporting the development of Medfield’s youth into responsible adults and civic-minded citizens. Jim and Patti Schwartz have devoted an extraordinary amount of time to support Boy Scouts over decades, the last 23 years of which have been focused on supporting Boy Scouts in Medfield. Over all of that time, each of them has provided a stellar example of what it means to be a responsible, caring citizen.  Jim has demonstrated deep strength in both the “administrative” context of a troop committee working month in and month out to ensure that Troop 89 has a vibrant  scouting program, and as an  on-the-ground adult leader in multiple challenging high adventure settings where decisions, often made under pressure, can be anything but routine. Patti brings a caring, supportive disposition to Troop 89 that has made a huge difference in what numerous scouts have gotten out of scouting, as well as what they have achieved by way of rank advancement. While Troop 89’s success at developing scouts into Eagle Scouts is impressive as a troop accomplishment, it is safe to say that Patti has had a big hand in getting a significant number of scouts “across the finish line”; just by helping them see the possibility and get organized to realize it.

Perhaps the best summary expression of the contribution that Jim and Patti Schwartz have made to Medfield over the years is captured in the tribute that was paid to them at a Troop 89 troop meeting this past fall —

In Boy Scout troops we are fortunately often blessed with adult leaders who are willing to step up and accept the challenge of leading and inspiring groups of Boy Scouts over the course of their scouting careers. The task these adult leaders accept goes beyond merely administering the scouting program and guiding scouts through various rank and merit badge requirements. These adult leaders take on the challenge of modeling for scouts what they hope these scouts will become as they move through their scouting careers and mature into responsible, caring, honest, and competent adults.

Most of the time, these adult leaders are active in Boy Scouts while their own sons are Boy Scouts. Quite understandably, at the point that their sons have completed their time as Boy Scouts, these adult leaders move on to other chapters in their lives and other endeavors. On some rare occasions, however, an adult leader is motivated to remain committed to playing a leadership role beyond the time that his or her own son is a scout. On even rarer occasions, two adult leaders from the same family maintain this commitment and devote themselves to helping a large number of scouts mature into responsible adults. The experience level, insight, and the sterling quality of the role model they provide to scouts makes this rare occurrence invaluable to any troop that benefits from their involvement. Jim and Patti Schwartz have been that rare resource for Troop 89. Their patience with scouts during troop activities and rank advancement, along with their unfailing upbeat tone provide visible evidence that it is possible to be friendly, courteous, kind – and disciplined and thorough in getting things done. This lesson may have come more easily to some scouts than others, but it is a lesson that will serve all scouts well throughout their lives.

Jim and Patti, we salute both of you and will be ever grateful for the contribution you each have made to all of our scouts in Troop 89. Thank you so much for your steadfast commitment over these years and the lasting impact you have had on this troop!

 

For all the reasons cited above, I and the other leaders of Boy Scout Troop 89 strongly recommend Jim and Patti Schwartz as solid candidates for the Medfield Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement award.

Jean Mineo, Medfield Foundation 2017 volunteer of the year

Jean Mineo

Jean Mineo – 2017 Medfield Foundation Volunteer of the Year

Jean Mineo was selected as the 2017 Medfield Foundation volunteer of the year just last month by the judges.  Jean was nominated by both Chris McCue Potts and Minta Hissong, a first having the same person nominated more than once in one year.  Jean and all the remarkable eight other Medfield volunteers who were nominated this year will be celebrated at the reception next Sunday, March 19 at 3PM at The Center. The public is invited to attend.

Brothers Marketplace generously sponsored the 2017 Medfield Foundation volunteer awards and support was also received from the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation.

Below in the order they were received are the nominations first by Chris McCue Potts, and then the one by Minta Hissong.


 

It is no secret that Jean Mineo is the “chief cultural Officer” for the town of Medfield — past, present and future! Her past work includes making possible innovative and visually interesting community art, including a sculpture trail at MSH site, power boxes painted with historical or other images relative to Medfield, and outdoor pianos for all to enjoy. Additionally, Jean founded the Cultural Alliance of Medfield so that the town would have an active cultural projects/events/advocacy organization to supplement the grant-making role of the Medfield Cultural Council. Her current work involves a number of initiatives, from making the vision of the Straw Hat Park and Holiday Stroll both a reality — and highly successful ones indeed evidenced by Town Meeting support for park funding, and the enormous turnout and positive feedback on the 2nd annual Stroll!  For both endeavors, Jean had to oversee all aspects — from fundraising, volunteer and partner recruitment, political navigation, logistical details, publicity and so much more.  Through it all, Jean always does it thoughtfully, with a calm and focused demeanor, and in a way that inspires others to get involved. Rarely does Jean get frustrated when confronted with a hurdle or challenge (which is sure to happen) — she just focuses on what needs to get done to keep things moving forward.

A hugely beneficial initiative that Jean led was the town matching initiative for Medfield Cultural Council funding for local nonprofits. For very little money (but big impact), Jean successfully made the case for the match, rallied residents to turn out for the Town Meeting vote (and speak up), and then played a role in making sure residents knew what kind of impact the doubling of available funding could have on local cultural groups and projects, including Zullo Gallery, Gazebo Players, Medfield Music Association, Medfield Public Library, and others.

Jean’s current efforts serving on the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee, have the potential to provide future payoff with expansion of the town’s cultural offerings. She has spent countless hours pulling together local cultural groups and representatives who have a shared vision for the huge impact cultural initiatives/a cultural focus could have at the MSH site. Her work has required endless meetings, bringing in unpaid expertise for a visioning session, rallying the community to support the hiring of a paid consultant to conduct and report back on a feasibility study, and building relationships and navigating all levels of town politics, and the work is ongoing. Jean even launched an artistic competition for the creative reuse of the old waterworks gears from the MSH site!

Jean’s commitment to Medfield’s cultural vitality and overall town character, and the impact her time and energy has made on our community, is nothing short of amazing.

In terms of impact and results, consider this:

1) The thousands of people who have visited and enjoyed the Straw Hat Park so far…including all of the attractions that were in place prior to the official ribbon-cutting in the fall of 2016. This includes piano players, sidewalk chalk art viewers, and so many others wanting to envision the possibilities!

2) The thousands of people who have taken part in the Holiday Stroll for the past two years – whether volunteers, residents, out of town visitors, or artisans selling their works or providing services. The Stroll helped deepen the sense of community that is so strong in Medfield, and helped to lift so many spirits. The community-wide event also helps to support the livelihood of many artists, and also showcase Medfield’s own
artistic talents, including visual and musical.

3) The thousands of people who drive or walk by and appreciate all of the various community art Jean has made possible through the Art in Public Places initiative (via Medfield Foundation).

4) The tens of thousands of people who will benefit if MSH redevelopment includes one or more cultural components – this would include residents, visitors and contributing artists.

As a testament to Jean’s work as former head of the Medfield Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council awarded her with a Leadership Circle Award in 2015, and the town recognized her contributions with a special event at the Zullo Gallery. https://www.mass-culture.org/lca_honorees.aspx

In addition to all of Jean’s cultural work, she served on the MAP board (including president) and has also been actively volunteering with community projects sponsored by United Church of Christ in Medfield (prior to and separate from working there).

Jean Mineo is long overdue for the Volunteer of the Year Award. Let’s make 2017 her year!

 


 

I am nominating Jean Mineo for the volunteer of the year award. Jean serves on many boards, organizations, and donates hours of her time to our town. I will focus on one of her big accomplishments of 2016, the Straw Hat Park. This park would not have been created but for Jean’s vision, drive, patience, knowledge and fortitude. I was lucky enough to be on the Straw Hat Park committee with Jean from the beginning when we first started meeting in December of 2013! Jean worked tirelessly from the beginning when in the summer of 2013 she started gathering ideas for the park with public art in the space. From there the selectman gave her permission to gather a team and see what could be done with the pocket park. Jean spent hours and hours on administration, attending meetings, meeting with key players in town, surveys, PR, social media guru, fundraising, speaking at town meetings, and finally working with the tradesman to get the work done. It was her project and she kept plugging away when politics and obstacles got in the way. I watched her work from behind the scenes and her dedication to our town is second to none. She always had a way to make it work. The Straw Hat Park is a beautiful new space in our town that is already getting a lot of use. This creation of this space from dirt/grass to our new park is because of Jean’s work and she deserves to be formally recognized. Thank you for the consideration.
-Minta Hissong