by Rick Winterson

Brunch is a current fashion in South Boston these days, but few realize that for many, many decades, “Brunch in South Boston” has actually been a key local way to celebrate. Last Saturday’s Jimmy Flaherty Kick-Off Breakfast (the 138th, courtesy of the South Boston Citizen’s Association) was just one example of this long-standing neighborhood tradition. And it was a successful kick-off of the “Southie Season”, which leads up to the Parade on March 18.

A full house gathered in Tom Connolly’s Seapoint Banquet Room. They were entertained by the Irish tunes of Bob Fowkes’  Curragh’s Fancy. The shoulder-to-shoulder crowd had many lifetime Southie residents, as well as a goodly number of newcomers. Clerk of Court Michael Donovan performed admirably as the 2018 Event Chairman. Father Joe White asked for a blessing in the Event, and the festivities began.

The high point of each Kickoff Breakfast is the Unsung Hero Award ceremony (see photos). The five Unsung Heroes included Jimmy Cahill. Jim, despite being limited by a severe injury, volunteers for youth athletics, driving the infirm to medical care, and helping out at countless annual events – always with his warm, trademark smile. Jennifer Zablocki Evans is active in the Andrew Square Civic Association, and is a pillar of youth athletics – Youth Soccer, Girls Basketball and Softball, and Lacrosse. Jen recently led the Gatey Travel Team to their first CYO state championship. Unsung Hero Sean Connor is noted for his patience and his “touch” with numerous very young athletes – the “Little Guys” – who are trying out and practicing for positions in the Pop Warner program and in Little League. And you know, under Sean’s watchful eye, the kids have fun. Dianne Horne, whose good works are known all across South Boston, has volunteered for years at St. Vincent, Sts. Peter and Paul, and Our Lady of Good Voyage. For years, she taught Religious Education, continues to do so at St. Monica Church., and stays active in the newly formed Seaport Catholic Collaborative. Lorraine Linehan (“Lorrie”) received her 2018 Unsung Hero Award for her services to Special Kids; along with her efforts for Laboure, the Neighborhood House, the Avon Walk, and the Stephanie Uftring Foundation. She has long experience in organizing fundraisers for many worthy local causes.

To close out the 2018 Kickoff Breakfast, our elected officials took the podium and conferred a citation on Event Chair Michael Donovan for all his efforts at South Boston celebrations and observances. And now, it’s on to the Parade, and all the other events that precede it!


Curragh’s Fancy kicks off the Kickoff Breakfast with Irish tunes.


Kickoff regulars Bob Allison and Sr. Maryadele Robinson regale each other at the Breakfast.

Jennifer Zabrocki Evans receives her Unsung Hero Award from Rep. Nick Collins, as Mike Donovan and Tom Mcgrath look on.