Boston Area Church League + Boston Red Sox a Winning Combination

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(Photo courtesy of David O’Donnell)

Inspiration was in the air and the Boston Red Sox world championship trophies were on display today at the 14th annual Community Fellowship Luncheon at the Boston Back Bay Hilton.

The gathering honored individuals who make a difference in Massachusetts throughout the year, and was sponsored by Boston Red Sox and the Boston Area Church League, a non-profit group that gives children in need the opportunity to play baseball on city fields with instruction and guidance from local pastors and law enforcement officials.

Church League Board Director and GBCVB CEO Pat Moscaritolo and Sam Kennedy, President of the Boston Red Sox, spoke about the success of the initiative in connecting inner city children with local clergy, law enforcement officials and sports leaders.

Principal owner of the Boston Red Sox John Henry and his wife, Linda Pizzuti Henry, Managing Director at The Boston Globe, also attended.

Among this year’s recipients were Professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard University, who received the League’s Legacy Award for Civil and Human Rights. Kennedy called Professor Ogletree “a strong voice and leader for civil rights as the dialogue on this important issue continues today. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor and tribute.”

Jay Ash, Secretary of the Massachusetts Office of Housing & Economic Development, was given the Ted Williams Homerun for Humanity Award for his work in government, leading statewide initiatives on health insurance, youth violence and transportation infrastructure upgrades.

Secretary Ash praised his early baseball and basketball coaches for guiding him as a youth and showing him the possibilities of individual achievement, commitment and teamwork. He said the Boston Area Church League was an inspiration to him and to other citizens of Massachusetts.

Other award winners included:

  • Andrea Baez Dorchester, YMCA Executive Director;
  • Cynthia Brewington, Boston Police Officer.
  • Paul McCaffrey, Director of Permits at Boston Parks and Recreation;
  • Jarrod O’Neal, Vice President of Island Lighting and Power Systems, Inc.;
  • Carole Copeland Thomas, Chair of the Multicultural Committee for the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau; and
  • Mary Truong, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office for Refugees & Immigrants.

The Boston Area Church League was established on August 8, 2002, thanks in large part to the leadership of Frank Jordan, an advisor to the Red Sox and a former President of the California Chapter of the NAACP.

Professor Ogletree and the other awardees are being recognized at this evening’s Boston Red Sox game against the Kansas City Royals.