“Educating for Success” is the theme of South Boston’s Notre Dame Education Center spring fundraiser. The guest of honor is Jim Fowkes. The event is Thursday evening, May 5, at The Venezia in the Port Norfolk neighborhood, with its superb dining and stunning views where the Neponset river estuary meets the sea.
This article contains an implied challenge: It must deliver a welcoming message to South Boston’s many newcomers, as well as reminding longtime residents that a much-anticipated event is at hand. The event is the Notre Dame Education Center’s Annual Spring Fundraiser; it takes place Thursday, May 5, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Visit ndecboston.org or call 617-268-1912 for tickets. The party’s site will be The Venezia Waterfront Restaurant, where that much-overused word “iconic” still applies.
As a tip to you if you are new to South Boston, The Venezia is located on the scenic Neponset River estuary in the Port Norfolk neighborhood of Dorchester. Simply stated, the food there is truly outstanding. Come to the NDEC fundraiser and you’ll want to return to The Venezia on your own.
Another tip to the newcomer: As you read this, the NDEC is making arrangements with The Venezia for an elegant but casual buffet dinner, featuring food stations and constantly circulating hors d’oeuvres – food service will be essentially continuous during the evening. There is no better way than this kind of dining to get a good, accurate feel for what The Venezia offers. And it’ll allow you to enjoy dinner at your own pace, take a waterfront stroll before sunset, and then return for coffee and dessert. Or to stop in and join the festivities for a drink and hors d’oeuvres on your way home from work – it’s up to you.
During the brief program that evening, the Mary Shaughnessy Inspiration Award will be conferred upon Jim Fowkes. The NDEC is recognizing him for his many achievements and contributions at and to the center’s mission: “The Notre Dame Education Center is committed to providing quality education and support services in a diverse, caring community that empowers adult learners to realize their full potential.”
Jim started as a volunteer tutor 24 years ago. He then taught the Center’s Medical Terminology Course and developed its second, more advanced level last year. He has served on the board of directors since 2013, and is a deeply religious man with many pertinent pursuits.
At the May 5 fundraiser, be sure to introduce yourself to Mary Rose Durante, Esq., the CEO/executive director of NDEC. She replaced Sr. Joyce Khoury, SND, last June. Durante is a lawyer – Phi Beta Kappa at Boston College (English) and B.C. Law, and worked at EMC directing their ambassadorial process. She then served as general counsel and special assistant to Richard Egan, former U.S. ambassador to Ireland. Born and brought up in the Boston area, she is visibly caring and enthusiastic about her oversight of the Notre Dame Education Center’s ongoing mission and accomplishments.
Two final notes: At the May 5 NDEC celebration, take a few minutes to get to know the NDEC students who’ll be there. There are more than 500 total students enrolled in NDEC from more than 40 countries and ethnic backgrounds. You could find someone already well-trained to assume a position with your enterprise (in medical billing, for example), who’s also bilingual. Work force readiness and economic self-sufficiency are integral parts of the support services in the NDEC mission.
The second note: There’ll be fun, raffles, a wheel-of-fortune and warm fellowship all during that evening. But be sure to save 15 minutes to enjoy the view from The Venezia. And they have plenty of free parking.
This article was updated on April 21, 2016, to correct the date of the fundraiser. The event is on Thursday, May 5.