Some local faces and places took him awards at the Boston Main Streets 16th Annual Awards Ceremony held at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester on May 17. Awards were presented to the 2011 Boston Main Streets Volunteers of the Year and Businesses of the Year.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Department of Neighborhood Development Director Evelyn Friedman, WPLM Easy 99.1’s “Strictly Sinatra” host Ron Della Chiesa, and the Boston Latin School Wolftones presented awards.
Including Matthew Gruber being named West Roxbury Main Streets' Volunteer of the Year.
"Matthew Gruber has been an integral part of the West Roxbury Main Streets Board of Directors for many years. In addition to being the treasurer of our Board, Matt co-chairs our Economic Restructuring Committee which has planned several Industry Events for business owners in the past few months. WRMS would like to thank Matt for all that he does for our organization!" said Kara O'Connor, executive director of West Roxbury Main Streets in an email to West Roxbury Patch.
West on Centre was named West Roxbury Main Streets' Business of the Year.
Said West on Centre co-owner Joe Greene, "It's an honor to be recognized within the community and we look forward to another year of participating in all of the events that Main Streets and the other local offices put on."
"West on Centre has been a destination restaurant in the West Roxbury community for many years. They are currently piloting a sustainability program with A Better City, and are a leader in green restaurant practices. West on Centre also regularly donates their function space to WRMS as other local organizations. We thank Joe and Eleanor Greene for giving back to the community," wrote O'Connor.
“Boston Main Streets has had tremendous success helping revitalize our neighborhood commercial districts, and there are many people here tonight to thank for all their hard work in and dedication to their neighborhood commercial districts,” said Mayor Menino at the event. "This event is special because we get to honor the people in the neighborhoods who are making our local commercial districts vibrant and welcoming places to shop and do business. I’m proud to say that thanks to you in 2011, we opened 151 new businesses that created 716 new jobs in our Main Street Districts.”
The following explains the history of the Boston Main Streets program, from the City of Boston:
Developed out of a partnership between the City of Boston and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Boston Main Streets initiative was created by Menino in 1995 as the first urban, multi-district Main Streets program in the nation, with the goal of establishing thriving commercial districts throughout the city.
Today, Boston Main Streets provides funding and technical assistance to 20 neighborhood-based Main Streets districts throughout the City of Boston and has served as a national model to urban areas seeking to revitalize neighborhood commercial districts including Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Detroit, New Orleans, Seattle and Portland, Oregon.
In 2005, Boston created the Boston Main Streets Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to produce significant advances in business development, jobs creation, storefront improvements, and overall quality of life in Boston’s neighborhood commercial districts.
From among hundreds of volunteers who gave more than 28,000 hours of time in 2011, each district chose one volunteer to honor as “Volunteer of the Year.”
This year’s Outstanding Volunteers are:
Allston Village – Adam Femino
Bowdoin/Geneva – Jemma Cooper
Brighton – Jeanne Levesque
Chinatown – Michael Wong
Dudley Square – Ronette Taylor Lawrence
East Boston – Leigh Hall
Egleston Square –Hannah Thomas
Fields Corner – Lee Adelson
Four Corners – Micah Prescott
Greater Grove Hall-Wilber Brown
Hyde/Jackson Square – Jason LaGorga
Hyde Park – Debbie Leuth
JP Centre/South – Caleb Hannon
Mission Hill – Mary Todd
Roslindale Village – Jaime Pullen
St. Mark’s Area – Len Osborne
Upham’s Corner – Michelle Waldon
Washington Gateway –Scott Gasparello
West Roxbury – Matthew Gruber
Each Main Streets district has chosen one business to honor as Business of the Year.
The 2011 Outstanding Businesses are:
Allston Village – Orchard Skateshop
Bowdoin/Geneva – America’s Food Basket
Brighton – Abbotts Frozen Custard
Chinatown – Hot Pot Buffet
Dudley Square – Dudley Department Store
East Boston – D’Parma Restaurant
Egleston Square – Latino Beauty Salon
Fields Corner – The Blarney Stone
Four Corners – Da-Mat Laundry Services
Greater Grove Hall – Mattapan’s Finest
Hyde/Jackson Square – Crystal Fruit
Hyde Park – Blue Hill Bank
JP Centre/South –Canary Square
Mission Hill – Mike’s Donuts
Roslindale Village – El Chavo Mexican Products
St. Mark’s Area – Ashmont Cycles
Upham’s Corner – Borinquen Bakery
Washington Gateway –Stella
West Roxbury – West on Centre