When Tom Tinlin joins you for breakfast, you can be sure that he’ll show up wreathed in smiles and ready to share a laugh (or laughs) with you. That’s just the way Tom is, and the description applies to Tom no matter how early it is in the day – this interview took place while we both were still feeling the effects of that hour lost to Daylight Savings Time.
Tom is to be deservedly honored with this year’s Joseph “Dodo” Nee “Champion” Award, which will be conferred upon him by the South Boston Neighborhood House (the SBNH) on Friday evening, March 27. The occasion is the SBNH’s Annual Benefit & Auction; the locale will be the elegant Harborview Ballroom at the Seaport World Trade Center. The evening begins at 6 p.m. Please make it a point to be there to congratulate Tom – tickets can be obtained online at Tickets online at www.sbnh.org.
Tom Tinlin is a lifelong resident of South Boston – a true “born-and-brought-upper”. He and his wife Heather have a home on Fifth Street and they have two children: young Thomas is about to turn 20 and is studying Communications at Westfield State; Grace is 18, and is thinking about studying mechanical engineering when she graduates from Boston Collegiate Charter School.
Along with his high regard for all that the SBNH accomplishes year in and year out, Tom has a (very) long term connection with them. His very first job was at the SBNH, keeping track of attendance among young SBNH members. Next was his work on the TEEN program that basically provided a place for adolescents to go that was social, enjoyable, and best of all, off the streets. Then, Tom worked on the SBNH summer bus program that got young people out to nearby beaches, like those in Scituate. For many of the young SBNH members, this was the first time they had gone beyond South Boston’s borders. He marvels at all of the countless good works he has seen at the SBNH, founded over a century ago by Olivia James (“Ollie”) and now led by Kathy Lafferty.
Tom mentioned that he was invited to join the SBNH Board by Joseph “Dodo” Nee and he’s now receiving the Nee Award. This led to some poignant reminiscing during our interview about Dodo – “a friend, a mentor, generous, who constantly told people that it was OK to do the right thing. Always!”
According to Tom, Dodo had the gift of “complete honesty”, and Tom feels humbled to receive an Award named after him.
Another of Tom’s activities includes the nationwide Brain Aneurism Foundation, where he recently assumed the position of Chairman of the Board. Tom suffered from a brain problem that is now completely under control and out of gratitude, he took on a number of efforts, now including Board Chair, to foster the Foundation’s future. And just to vividly illustrate his devotion to community work, Tom is a self-taught auctioneer, who runs auctions for free at fundraisers all over South Boston, and as far away as “Still Waters” in New York City.
We could describe only a few of Tom’s many, many community efforts. Please plan to watch him receive the 2020 Nee Award two weeks from now on March 27. See you there!