The South Boston Collaborative Center has always held its Annual Spring Fundraiser indoors. The 2016 event, which includes both the Joe Walsh “Community Service” and the Jack Leary “Compassionate Warrior” Awards, saw a change in venue. Last Thursday evening, June 9, the Collaborative held their Awards night out of doors by the bandstand in Marine/Farragut Park. From 6 till 9 p.m., Mother Nature smiled and withheld her imminent threat of rain.
The Collaborative’s Awards night is always a joyous occasion. It is devoted to those two outstanding individuals who have made a real contribution on our fight against drug abuse and all kinds of addiction over the previous 12 months. With the heroin plague that is doing so much damage, you don’t have to be told about the need for dedicated volunteers in this fight.
A crowd of more than a hundred Collaborative supporters enjoyed a sumptuous outdoor picnic. It was a night to enjoy good company and freedom from substances. Fr. Joe White asked for a blessing on the people in attendance. There was a pleasant, constant buzz among the crowd. And (of course) the high point of the evening was the conferring of the two awards.
Joanie Lynch is well-known for her efforts in helping people to combat their addictions by getting them into recovery. She is successfully in recovery herself; she knows the ropes. She richly deserves her Award – the 2016 Joe Walsh “Community Service” Award. Joanie is also fighting seriously advanced cancer, but that isn’t holding her back. In her acceptance remarks, she said, “I know my cancer is slowing me down, but please don’t hesitate to call me anytime you need some help”. That’s dedication, indeed.
Cathe Walsh is well known in South Boston for her Cranberry Café at 702 East Broadway. It’s a destination establishment now celebrating its 20th year of operation. What’s not so well known about Cathe is her 17 years of service as a Collaborative Center Board member. She has been the Board’s Treasurer for the past seven years, and has provided the refreshments at all of the past Award nights as well. She humbly thanked everyone for her much deserved Jack Leary “Compassionate Warrior” Award.
Andy Ward, the Director of the South Boston Collaborative Center, closed out the 2016 Awards evening by conducting the raffles and prize drawings. All in all, it was a memorable occasion and a very joyful “Southie time”. Congratulations to the two Awardees, Joanie Lynch and Cathe Walsh.