Rotary Clubs of Fitchburg Host Annual Awards Dinner and Recognize Community Members

Rotary Clubs of Fitchburg Host Annual Awards Dinner and Recognize Community Members

FITCHBURG — The annual Fitchburg Rotary and Fitchburg Rotary East club awards dinner held May 17 in the cafeteria of Fitchburg High School honored several members of the community, including dedicated educators, municipal employees and many others, for their invaluable contributions to the city.

Fitchburg Rotary President Alexander Vera and longtime awards dinner chair Mary Whitney greeted the 160 people who attended the party and Reverend Joseph Dolan of St. Bernard Parish and St. Camillus Church gave an invocation after the Pledge of Allegiance before the awards dinner. disabled.

State Senator John Cronin, Mayor Stephen DiNatale and State Representative Michael Kushmerek presented certificates of appreciation to the recipients, and the awards were presented by members of their organization who nominated them.

“The most important part is that we recognize people from all departments and schools,” Whitney said. “Some of these people, the regular person wouldn’t know they were working there, and they wouldn’t be recognized.”

Awards were presented to Fitchburg Fire Department clerks Melissa Ahola, Rachel King and Brenda Fitzgerald by Fire Chief Dante Suarez; DiNatale presented City Hall CIO Trevor Bonila with the City of Fitchburg Award; Chief of Police Ernest Martineau presented an award to police officer Daniel Bellofatto; and Lin Goodwin’s brother, Todd Goodwin, accepted his Department of Public Works award on his behalf from DPW Commissioner Nicholas Erickson.

City educators, city employees and more were recognized for their dedication to the community at the annual Fitchburg Rotary and Fitchburg Rotary East club awards dinner held May 17. (L to R) Fire Department Clerk Melissa Ahola, City Hall IT Manager Trevor Bonilla, Police Officer Daniel Bellofatto, Fire Department Clerk Rachel King, St. Bernard Elementary School Nurse Cassandra Caley, Fire Department Clerk Brenda Fitzgerald, Monty Tech Nurse Lauren Sanborn, Todd Goodwin, who accepted the Fitchburg DPW Award on behalf of her brother Lin Goodwin, Goodrich Academy teacher Tammy Marrama, nurses Deb Duteau and South Street Elementary School’s Molly Reid and administrative assistant Noemi Ferraro and teacher Rebecca Goodlett, and Fitchburg High School teacher Aurea Rivera. Missing and pictured is Jessica Gregorczyk, a teacher at St. Bernard’s High School. (Courtesy Karen Fusco)

St. Bernard Elementary School principal Deborah Wright presented an award to school nurse Cassandra Caley; St. Bernard High School Principal Linda Anderson recognized recipient teacher Jessica Gregorczyk, who was not present; Montachusett Regional Technical School nurse Lauren Sanborn received an award from Superintendent Sheila Harrity; and Alexis Curry, Principal of Goodrich Academy, presented teacher Tammy Marrama with her award.

Michelle Wright, a teacher at Longsjo Middle School, received her award from Principal Trish May; South Street Elementary School principal Suzanne Tingas presented four awards to staff, including school nurses Deb Duteau and Molly Reid, administrative assistant Noemi Ferraro and teacher Rebecca Goodlet; and Fitchburg High School teacher Aurora Rivera received an award from Principal Jeremy Roche.

Whitney said they rotate between elementary schools each year “because there are so many,” and a majority of presenters commented on how the recipients went above and beyond during the pandemic.

“A lot of people have said what a wonderful job they’ve been doing during COVID and have taken things under their wing and run with it,” she said.

Whitney said she has run the awards dinner for more than 20 years, which has grown from two or three recipients to more than 15 each year. They stopped doing it during the pandemic and were happy to see it back this year.

“It started with a few teachers and then spread to city departments,” Whitney said of the evolution of the awards dinner. “It’s something that we think is very important.”