Ten local people have been named thus year's recipients of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church's 2012 Gloucester Citizenship Awards, and will be honored in a public ceremony set for 7 p.m. Sunday at the church.
The honorees, selected by the church's Social Justice Committee from a field of more than 40 nominees submitted by members of the church and the general public, were chosen for their contributions to their community and neighbors through volunteer efforts, carried out quietly and persistently, without thought of remuneration or recognition.
The Gloucester Citizenship Awards were launched in 2006 as part of the celebration of the bicentennial of Gloucester's iconic Universalist Meetinghouse, the oldest standing church in Gloucester and home of the first Universalist church in America. The congregation is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
This year's ceremony is being made possible in part through sponsorship by the Cape Ann Savings Bank, the First National Bank of Ipswich, and the Rockport National Bank.
This year's winners are:
Patti Amaral — A founder of the Clean City Initiative, coordination of citywide cleanup days, and longtime leader of the Gloucester Clean City Commission and instigator of that commission's Carry In, Carry Out policy at city beaches.
Marie Blanding — For her management in the 1980s of an urgent effort to preserve the tower of the Universalist Meeting House, and for many other community contributions.
Barbara Kaplan — A force for justice on Cape Ann through the Essex County Community Organization, an essential supporter in the founding of The Chill Zone program serving at-risk youth in Gloucester, and an unflagging advocate on behalf of affordable housing in our community.
Lucille LePage — Described by the committee as a friend to many in ways almost too numerous to express, including a willingness to do errands for those who cannot do so for themselves, and always, a supportive voice ready to offer a thoughtful observation that can improve their lives.
John John Nicastro - For the formation and management of the JJ Nicastro Foundation, which is named for his son and provides support to college-bound students, young athletes, and promising actresses and actors.
Micaela O'Connor - For service to fellow students at Gloucester High School through her active peer support for fellow students in the classroom, and for her leadership in Students Against Destructive Decisions, the GHS Gay Straight Alliance, and other organizations.
Margaret "Peg" O'Malley - As founder and leader of Partners for Addison Gilbert Hospital. For 16 years, as the health care landscape has undergone wrenching changes, she and the Partners group have "kept the heat on" to ensure that Gloucester's hospital would not forget its purpose and its roots.
John Prybot - For dedication to helping others through his work with various health programs, Pride Stride, and at Action, Inc.; and for ensuring that papers of the poet Charles Olson would be preserved.
Bob Quinn - With persistent dedication, Bob, for more than a decade, has been taping events in Gloucester for broadcast on Cape Ann TV.
Maud Warren - Through her leadership in the Cape Ann Interfaith Commission, Maud has worked to alleviate homelessness, hunger and isolation — including through the founding of Harvest Meals and a separate program that delivers sandwiches daily to others in need.