by Rick Winterson

In several of our issues this year, South Boston Online has mentioned that 2018 is a Year of Anniversary Celebrations. The Gavin Foundation’s 2018 Anniversary Dinner was no exception. Here are a few they observed on Thursday evening, October 18:

The Gavin House – 56 years.  Hamilton House – 44  Cushing House – 19  Charlestown Recovery Home – 10

Gavin Foundation President John McGahan opened the Anniversary Dinner’s Program, remarking upon the efforts that the Gavin is making to combat the ongoing opioid abuse epidemic. He thanked Gov. Charlie Baker for his support, and the Governor then took the podium. Although it is an election year for the Governor, he interrupted his campaigning and took the time to speak at the Dinner. Baker congratulated the evening’s four Awardees and expressed his gratitude to the Gavin Foundation for all of their recovery efforts.

The program than proceeded to hold an actual AA Meeting. This was held on the IBEW Hall stage. It was chaired by Jack B.; speakers were Ryan W. and Ian N.; the meeting concluded with everyone reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Jim W. then played Recovery Music . Also featured was a 20-foot mosaic work of art, made of individual tiles and created by Cushing House residents at Medicine Wheel Productions.

Congressman Steve Lynch began the Awards Program. He conferred the 2018 James F. Gavin Award upon Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch. Steve emphasized Koch’s political courage in supporting the Phoenix House, a recovery facility in Quincy. Joey O’Reilly awarded the Gavin’s New Beginnings Scholarship to Jermaine Campos. Cara Perkins, who was at her Rehearsal Dinner Thursday night, received the Caring Hearts Scholarship (in memory of Eddie Shaughnessy) in absentia. John McGahan thanked the Shaughnessy Family for their continuing support, and then presented the 2018 Residents’ Award to Shawn Feeley – his Award was an eye-catching, full-sized glass bat. McGahan praised Feeley, saying, “Shawn has done everything for us”.

The Dinner closed on a high note. The IBEW Hall and its hardworking staff deserve an enormous compliment for preparing, and serving 500 guests, an excellent steak and chicken dinner with green beans and mashed potatoes “just like mother used to make”, followed by a dessert of selected, sinfully sweet, petits gateaux. Thank you very much, IBEW folks.