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Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation to Present George Washington Honor Medals on November 5

Viking Pride Foundation, Cullen Dwyer of Pembroke, Brooksby Village Volunteers, and Peter Ingeneri of Wakefield to be Honored at Ceremonies in East Boston

The Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge will present prestigious George Washington Honor Medals to a community assistance foundation, a young man who overcame tragedy, and volunteers at a senior citizen complex to honor their dedication to community service and patriotism. The Chapter will also present a “Spirit of '76” Award for meritorious service to a long-time educator in the Boston Public School System.

The awards will be presented at the Bay State Chapter’s 31st Annual Awards Luncheon on Saturday, November 5, 2011, at 12 noon, in Spinelli’s Banquet Facility, Day Square, East Boston. Tickets are $40.

The Honor Medal will be presented to: The Viking Pride Foundation of Winthrop; Cullen Dwyer of Pembroke; and the volunteers at Brooksby Village of Peabody.

“The Viking Pride Foundation, young Cullen Dwyer, and the volunteers at Brooksby Village all represent the best ideals of America – caring for others less fortunate and selfless service to community,” said Joseph Ferrino Jr., President of Bay State Chapter, Freedoms Foundation. “We honor these organizations and individuals with the George Washington Honor Medal because they have made a difference in the lives of countless citizens across our state.”

Peter Ingeneri of Wakefield will be honored with the Bay State Chapter “Spirit of '76” Award for his dedication to the good works of Freedoms Foundation, and his many civic and charitable endeavors.

The Viking Pride Foundation of Winthrop was formed after major fiscal cutbacks threatened to devastate the school curriculum and school sports programs that were the life-blood of the community. The non-profit Viking Pride Foundation was formed by concerned citizens in 2004, and from the first meeting, more than $50,000 was raised to help the schools and the sports programs. Since then, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised to support the schools, including the purchase of four school buses that were donated to the school system. The funds have also supported art, music and theater programs, and provided mini-grants to Winthrop teachers.

Cullen Dwyer of Pembroke has turned a tragedy in his own life into a life-long passion to help others avoid a similar fate. As a 10-year-old, Dwyer was struck by a car while in-line skating. He was not wearing a helmet, and the accident put him in a coma for six weeks. When he awoke, it took him seven years to learn how to walk, speak, dress and feed himself. In the ensuing years, he has dedicated himself to bringing young people the message of safety – always wear a helmet when riding a bike, in-line skating or skate-boarding. He has brought that message to middle and high schools, college campuses, and to Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill, where he helped to change laws that will protect children.

In 2010, the volunteers at Brooksby Village in Peabody recorded more than 51,000 hours of volunteer service within this senior community and in the community at-large. Their efforts included fundraising and service projects that supported a student scholarship fund, local food pantries, the Special Olympics, Operation Troop Support, a battered women’s shelter and a homeless shelter, a children’s organization in El Salvador, Habitat for Humanity, and military veteran’s activities.

Peter Ingeneri of Wakefield – the Spirit of ’76 Award winner – is a 30-year, life member of the Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation, where he has served as president and as vice president for the Youth and Education Committee. He was a long-time educator in the Boston Public Schools, teaching math and science at Boston Latin School and rising through the ranks to become Deputy Superintendent. He is also active with the Pirandello Lyceum, the Boston Kiwanis Club and St. Florence Parish in Wakefield.

Tickets to the Bay State Chapter awards luncheon are $40 and are available from Chapter Founder and Executive Director Joseph V. Ferrino by calling 617-846-2122 or Past President Ed Coletta at 617-797-2683.

Freedoms Foundation awards Americans who go above and beyond in their efforts to educate their communities about the values of good citizenship, either through teaching or by example. The foundation has recognized several thousand dedicated individuals and organizations in its 61-year existence.

Freedoms Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching all citizens the principles upon which our nation was founded. The organization seeks to convey the close link between the rights and the responsibilities of citizens in society.

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