The Cape Ann YMCA will salute five people as winners of its second annual community awards with a breakfast celebration Thursday at Cruiseport Gloucester.
The winners will be honored at the Thursday celebration, which begins at 7:30 a.m. and is free to the public.
Being honored for community service are:
David Brooks of Cape Ann Art Haven and The Hive, for his work in youth development. As a 19-year-old, he launched Art Haven to provide a wide range of arts classes for students, and expanded it in 2012 to The Hive Community Center, which offers programs for youth and adults alike.
Lara Lepionka of Gloucester, for her commitment to healthy living through her work with Backyard Growers. After starting her family's small urban farm in Gloucester in 2008, she founded Backyard Growers in 2010 on a $6,000 budget, helping a handful of residents in her neighborhood start their own vegetable gardens, then grew the organization itself into a program with a $250,000 annual budget that coordinates growing programs at local schools, housing communities and for other nonprofits.
Sal Zerilli and the trustees of the Awesome Gloucester and Awesome Rockport foundations. They captured the award for social responsibility through their own monthly awards programs that provide grants to individuals or groups with innovative ideas to promote or support Cape Ann. The Awesome organizations, part of the International Awesome Foundation, have raised and granted nearly $50,000 over the last four years to projects designed to "make our community even more awesome."
Receiving the new Mayor's Exemplary Youth Award are:
Charles and George King, seventh-graders at the O'Maley Innovation Middle School. The twins were recipients of an Awesome Gloucester award for their project that raised money to restore a Civil War-era coat that was worn by Civil War veteran and prisoner of war Albert W. Bacheler of Gloucester after his escape from the Libby Prison in Virginia. Bacheler served as Gloucester High School principal from 1884 through 1914, and the coat had been on display at the school for decades before being removed for restoration in late 2015.
The King twins, sons of city Committee for the Arts member Catherine Ryan, are now working on plans for a suitable display case for the coat when it is returned to Gloucester High.
"This event is a great way for us to honor those people on Cape Ann who join us in our commitment to strengthening our community," said YMCA Executive Director Tim Flaherty. "Each recipient is a true testament to the power of the Cape Ann community, and the importance of giving back."
The winners were chosen by a YMCA selection committee based on nominations from the public.