The South Boston Collaborative Center’s Annual Comedy Night is at hand.  It will take place on Friday evening, November 8, in Florian Hall at 55 Hallet Street, Dorchester.  And it will certainly be a Comedy Night.  The tentative arrangements for the comedians include Johnny P. and Artie “The Pharmacist” Januario, along with interludes of live music – please watch for postings in South Boston Online about the final roster of performers.  The November 8 Comedy Night promises to be an evening of enjoyment to remember.

One of the Comedy Night’s high points will be the presentation of the 2019 Darlene Sheehan “Beacon of Hope” Award.  Darlene was one of those rare self-sacrificing individuals, who always placed the wellbeing of others above her own.  In response to the epidemic of teen suicides back in the 90s (most of them connected with substance abuse), Darlene agreed to take on initial responsibilities as Director of the newly formed South Boston Collaborative Center.  She labored non-stop during the Collaborative’s startup, giving up her position only when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer that eventually led to her death.  Beyond doubt, Darlene was a South Boston hero; the yearly “Beacon of Hope” Awards are conferred in her name.

The 2019 recipient of this year’s well-deserved Darlene Sheehan “Beacon of Hope” Award is South Boston’s Robert Pacitti.  Rob was actually born in Savin Hill, but along with stalwarts such as Kevin Devlin and Michael Donovan, he migrated here.  And Rob had good reason to do so.  At age 15, he met Sharen Stokinger, a young lady from City Point.  They were married five years later, and lived on East Third Street in the I.A. neighborhood, then on East Sixth.  Sharen and Rob are family people, who have a daughter and a son – Jaclyn is now an inspector for the I.S.D. at 1010 Mass. Ave. after several years as a professional nanny; Robbie has just completed his training and apprenticeship as a barber.

About ten years ago, Rob Pacitti was asked by Joseph “Dodo” Nee (one of the Collaborative Center’s founders) to take a seat in its Board of Directors, which Rob did.  He realized how serious substance abuse had become in South Boston, and willingly donated his talents for fundraising and arranging events to the Collaborative’s cause of recovery.  As just one example, Rob is arranging his own award night (believe it or not).  He has contacts with various comedians through MaryAnne Clarke and Lenny Clarke.  Tentatively,   And be sure to check out the raffles available at the November 8 Comedy Night – Rob played a major part in assembling the raffle items as well.

Rob’s upcoming “Beacon of Hope” Award also recognizes his (many) roles in the entire South Boston community over the years.  He sits on the Board for the Harry McDonough Sailing Center.  And Rob confesses to a special soft spot in his heart for the South Boston Special Kids, where he’s also on the Board of Directors.  If that’s not enough, please also consider that Rob is active on the Event Committees of many other local non-profits, such as the Health Center, the Neighborhood House, and the golf tournament in support of Mayor Walsh’s Charitable Foundation.  Rob has played important parts in countless events that have raised millions of dollars.  And he works full-time as a City of Boston Clerk of the Works.  When asked where he finds the time and energy for everything, Rob simply replies, “I love doing what I’m doing.”  See you at Florian Hall on Friday night, November 8.