Tony Centore Selected as one of Two Co-Volunteers of the Year for 2018
Separately, both Pauline Medeiros and Chris Rumel suggested Tony Centore as the Medfield Foundation volunteer of the year. These are their nominations in the order received, first from Pauline, and then from Chris:
Primary organization or initiative where she/he volunteers: Senior Housing, Veterans, Lions Club
Other organizations where she/he volunteers: Center at Medfield, American Legion, Solid Waste Committee, Board of Health (1983,1984)
How many years has the nominee be donating her/his time? At least 15
I would like to nominate Tony Centore for Medfield Foundation’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Tony has dedicated his time and expertise to volunteering in Medfield over a period of many years. Tony, a veteran who served during the Vietnam Era, has been a member of Beckworth Post American Legion for nearly 15 years. Tony is currently the Adjutant for the Post and as such records the minutes of Legion meetings and files all forms. In addition, he is a member of the Executive Board which oversees all of the Post’s financial operations and is on the Board of Trustees which oversees the management of the Post’s property. It is noteworthy that Tony was an instrumental member of the Medfield Public Schools Veterans Plaque Committee. As a result of the committee and Tony’s efforts, plaques were erected at Dale Street School honoring Medfield’s World War II and Korean War Veterans. An additional plaque was installed at Blake Middle School honoring Medfield’s Vietnam Veterans in 2012. Ron Griffin states, “During my time as Medfield’s Veteran Service Officer and member of the American Legion, I’ve worked with Tony on several committees. Whatever the committee, whatever the task, Tony is a tireless contributor.” A second area in which Tony has volunteered is the Lions Club. Tony joined the Lions in 2003. For several years he was responsible for all of the Lion’s Club’s press releases. Over the years Tony has volunteered selling Christmas trees for the Club, working at the Club’s hamburger stand on Medfield Day and been active in all of the club’s projects. Tony was voted Lion of the Year by his fellow members in 2010. He has served on the Board of Directors and sponsored several new members into the club. Most notably, Tony should be recognized for creating the Lion’s Annual Chowder fest in 2009 and chairing the event for nine consecutive years. He has enlisted the help of friends and peers at the Lions Club and has worked with many local restaurants to donate chowder for the event as well as freshly baked rolls. All proceeds for the annual Chowder fest benefit FOSI (Friends of Seniors, Inc.) . Thousands of dollars have been raised from profits of the Chowder fest to support programs for Medfield’s seniors at the Center. In addition, the annual event provides seniors and other Medfield residents the opportunity to socialize together and have a good time. Tony has been an active, longtime volunteer at the Center at Medfield. In fact he was involved prior to its opening, since he was a member of the Adult Community Center Committee. Using his background as an engineer, Tony was involved during the construction of the Center, offering his expertise. Roberta Lynch stated that Tony was always there for whatever was needed. Since its opening Tony has volunteered at the Center, picking up bagels from the Blue Moon to be brought to the Center, cooking and serving for the Center’s monthly breakfasts, helping at the summer cookouts, and working at the Center’s annual yard sale. Tony was a member of the Board of Health for two years (1983 and 1984). Tony was a five year member of the Solid Waste Committee (2009-2014). During his tenure many changes were made at the transfer station, most notably the restriction of use by Medfield residents only by requiring stickers and single stream recycling. Residents can all agree that the latter has made recycling so much easier.
Tony should definitely be acknowledged and commended for bringing to the forefront, the issue of Senior Housing in Medfield. Tony realized that Medfield seniors, many of whom lived in the Town for thirty, forty years or more would be unable to afford to stay in Medfield should they decide to downsize. Tony brought this concern to the attention of Medfield’s Council of Aging Board; town administrator, Mike Sullivan; and town counsel, Marc Cerel. A Senior Housing Study Committee was approved at Town Meeting in April 2016. Subsequently Tony was named Chairman. Since the inception of the Committee, Tony has been instrumental in guiding the Committee. Roberta Lynch, Director of the Center at Medfield and fellow committee member says of Tony, “Tony is a champion for providing appropriate and moderate priced housing for Seniors in Medfield.” The committee spent numerous hours collecting data, meeting with Town officials, and most importantly listening and surveying more than 140 Medfield seniors. These seniors shared information about their age, income, house assessment, and preference for senior housing. Tony shared the results with seniors at a meeting at the Center in October 2017. He gave a complete, clear power point presentation that was easily understood by those attending the meeting. He also entertained questions from those present and listened to their comments. At this meeting, Tony shared some typical comments by seniors who took part in the survey .Those comments were the following: (1”) I am the third generation of my family to live here (Medfield) and, like my parents I am not going to be able to afford to continue to live here. We are part of what made this town a wonderful place to live and, as a result, are being forced out.”(2)” New construction for seniors in Medfield would be most welcome. Thank you for working on this and making reasonably priced quality units available as soon as possible.” (3)” Have waited many years for the Town to take an interest in senior housing.” (4)” After years of paying high property taxes for our schools, with no one in the family attending, it is fantastic our town is also looking at the older generation. Thank you!” Tony and his committee have completed their study of Senior Housing in Medfield. On January 30, 2018 Tony presented the committee’s final report to the selectmen. The first paragraph of this report summarizes their work. “The committee has quantified the growing senior 55 plus population in Town, collected senior home assessments and income, conducted a Medfield Senior Housing Survey, evaluated the financial aspects of selling and buying senior friendly housing, and made recommendations to address what we see as a major housing issue among Medfield Seniors.” Tony has done everything possible to keep Medfield seniors well informed and educated with regard to the Committee‘s work and Senior Housing in general. He has held informative meetings, organized a meeting for Seniors to express their concerns with the Selectmen, and keeps Seniors informed through numerous emails. He often provides references to other web sites as well. As a fellow senior, I believe that I am representative of the many Medfield seniors who want to thank Tony for all of his efforts on our behalf and believe that he should be recognized. In addition, the entire Medfield Community should thank Tony for his many, longtime, and varied contributions helping to make Medfield such a great place to live. “Thank you, Tony Centore, for sharing your time, energy, and expertise with us!
Primary organization or initiative where she/he volunteers: Medfield Seniors Housing Study
Other organizations where she/he volunteers: Medfield Legion, Medfield Council On Aging
How many years has the nominee be donating her/his time? Unknown, 10+, likely much longer
I had the pleasure of working with Tony on the Medfield Seniors Housing Study committee in town. Tony was the Chair of the committee, and his leadership and passion for helping Medfield Seniors was inspiring to all of us on the committee. Tony took charge from Day 1, and took lead on the vast majority of our collective efforts. Simply put, the committee would not have accomplished half of its goals without Tony’s involvement. He prepared the initial online survey and ensured it was available both online or on paper. He also took lead in researching the latest information on senior housing needs in the country, while touring other projects in nearby communities. He was the primary person drafting and revising the final report which was delivered to the Board of Selectmen on time, and also led the committee presentation of our findings. His tireless advocacy on behalf of Medfield will serve to benefit the towns senior population for years to come, and will directly influence affordable options to allow seniors to remain in our great town.Tony is very active in Medfield with various other organizations, and he works tirelessly for the residents in town and to make Medfield a better community. He works on all of these initiatives for the right reasons, and selflessly volunteers his time toward the causes. I think Tony would be a fantastic and deserving recipient of this award.Thank you for your consideration.
The public is invited to the reception to honor all the nominated volunteers at 3PM on Sunday April 8 at The Center. The Medfield Foundation volunteer awards are made possible through the sponsorship of Roche Bros. and Brothers Marketplace, as well as a contribution for Rockland Trust.