Pawtucket Foundation honors five for community contributions
The Pawtucket Foundation held its 2014 Awards Celebration on Wednesday, honoring five individuals for outstanding contributions to the community. From left to right: Dana Newbrook, founder of ai designs Ltd.; Lou Schwechheimer, PawSox general manager; Bernadet and Ricardo Pitts-Wiley, founders of Mixed Magic Theatre; Mike Tamburro, PawSox president.
PAWTUCKET – The executives of the Pawtucket Red Sox, a local architect and the founders of Mixed Magic Theatre were honored Wednesday night at the Pawtucket Foundation’s 11th Annual Awards Celebration recognizing outstanding contributions to the quality of economic and community life in the city.
Daniel J. Sullivan Jr., co-chair of the Pawtucket Foundation and CEO of Collette, presented PawSox President Mike Tamburro and General Manager Lou Schwechheimer with the Persons of the Year Award. Together, Schechheimer and Tamburro have lifted the team out of bankruptcy and brought more than 16 million fans to McCoy Stadium, Sullivan said, highlighting the organization’s success and philanthropic efforts.
Dana Newbrook, founder of Pawtucket architectural firm ai designs Ltd., received the Heritage Award for his work on the Hope Artiste Village, the YMCA of Pawtucket and the Pawtucket Library.
“This year we honor an architect that has had a hand in rehabbing many of the historic structures that make up the character of Pawtucket,” said Aaron Hertzberg, executive director of the Pawtucket Foundation, in presenting Newbrook’s award.
The Pawtucket Foundation awarded its Special Distinction Award to Ricardo and Bernadet Pitts-Wiley, who founded Mixed Magic Theatre & Cultural Events in 2000. From the 125-seat theater located at Hope Artiste Village, the nonprofit arts organization brings diverse cultural and ethnic images and ideas to life on the stage, the Pawtucket Foundation said.
Each of the five honorees received an award crafted by local artist Gail Ahlers of Ahlers Designs as well as official citations and resolutions from U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien and Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa.
More than 350 people attended the event, which centered on the theme “Pawtucket is Happening” and included a raffle and silent auction, as well as a video promoting the foundation’s “Experience Pawtucket” initiative. Bristol County Savings Bank, Delin Design and Hasbro Inc. were lead sponsors of the 2014 Awards Celebration.
Last year, William Hunt of Shove Insurance received the Person of the Year Award, while the Heritage Award was presented to Stewart H. Steffey Jr. of the Narragansett Bay Insurance Co., and the Special Distinction Award went to visual artist Gretchen Dow Simpson.