Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

April 17, 2014

Rotary Club to honor Andover's unsung heroes

Citizens Who Care, Educator of Year dinner May 8

The Andover Townsman

---- — Ten individuals who give of themselves for the good of the community together with one distinguished teacher are being singled out as the Rotary Club of Andover’s 2014 Citizens Who Care and Educator of the Year.

Volunteering is a way of life in Andover, Rotary Club officers say. For the last 17 years, the club has been recognizing extraordinary volunteers who contribute beyond their normal job descriptions as its annual Citizens Who Care honorees. Six years ago, the club broadened its annual recognition to include an Educator of the Year.

“Our club believes in ‘service above self’ as a way of life, yet it can be under the radar for recognition, so this event is one way for the community at-large to say thank-you to deserving citizens,” Rotary Club president Bob Lavoie said in a release.

A recognition dinner to spotlight this year’s recipients will be held Thursday, May 8, starting at 6 p.m. at the Wyndham Andover Hotel.

Gallery portraits of all of the honorees will be unveiled at the dinner. Following the event, the portraits will be displayed throughout the year in Andover Town Hall and at several banks and businesses as a visible reminder of the spirit of volunteerism. The photos will eventually be archived at the Andover Historical Society.

The Rotary Club of Andover meets Fridays at 7:30 a.m. at the Lanam Club, 260 North Main St., Andover. The community is welcome to attend.

Tickets for the Citizens Who Care and Educator of the Year dinner are $50 and available online at



Bunting grew up backpacking in upstate New York near the Adirondacks. There, he became inspired by the work people have done to build and maintain trails, ladders, bridges and other accommodations that make trails more accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Soon after moving to the area and taking up residence at the edge of Harold Parker State Forest, Bunting connected with Al French, a 1999 Citizens Who Care recipient, who introduced him to Andover’s open spaces. Together they revived the Andover Trails Committee and led locals in building bridges, maintaining trails and offering hikes throughout town. Brown has also united the Andover Trails Committee with the Andover Historical Society to highlight the history found along many of Andover’s trails.


A trained nurse, Cookson has worked at New England Medical Center, Winchester Hospital, Family Medical Center in Wilmington, Nursing Services Home Care and Lawrence General Hospital. She has also worn many hats at Bread and Roses soup kitchen in Lawrence, starting by giving her time as a nurse in its former nursing clinic. Her work in the soup kitchen with meal planning led to a part-time position as food coordinator. She later created Jean’s Room, an area to take in and distribute clothing and toiletries to those in need. She also helped to start a library that she is still active with today. In addition to Bread and Roses, Cookson has volunteered at Memorial Hall Library in Andover, the Andover Historical Society, at local schools and with Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops.


The Dollards have been active in the greater Andover community for many years. She is the volunteer nurse at St. Augustine Parish, educating members about health and medical issues. She has also worked with Girl Scouts and the Service Club of Andover and supported emergency relief and shelter organizations in the Merrimack Valley. For over 30 years, he has been one of the lead cantors for St. Augustine’s choir. He is also a 20-year member of the Knights of Columbus, leading numerous fundraising efforts, including a pancake breakfast, Las Vegas Night and Winter Outing, as well as initiating new partnerships with the Kiwanis Club of Greater Lawrence and Service Club of Andover. He has also visited the Lazarus House in Lawrence every Monday for 20 years to serve that population.


Felter has served on the boards of Creative Living in Andover, Goodwill of the Merrimack Valley in Lowell, Lawrence-Methuen Enterprise Partnership, Essex National Heritage Commission, Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport and Kiwanis Club of Greater Lawrence. Returning to his roots, he became involved with the Yankee Clipper Boy Scout Council, serving as president of the executive board for three years, ending in 2012. As council president, he worked to reorganize the board and improve its infrastructure. Since his service to the Boy Scout council board, it has launched a program to reach out to inner-city youths, which he says has a different dynamic from his work with suburban communities and the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank.


Since retiring, Gump has served on the Andover Council on Aging for six years. She has also been a regular volunteer at the Andover Historical Society, teaching third-graders in its “Andover at Work in the 1820s” program, serving on its board of directors and volunteering every Thursday afternoon to greet visitors and researchers. Since 2002, she has been a trustee of the Friends of Memorial Hall Library and co-chairwoman of the group’s book sale for many years. Throughout it all has been a commitment to human services and her community that has defined her professional and volunteer work.


When the English as a Second Language program she was attending ended, Kim knew she had to keep it going. So in 2008, she started an ESL program at New England Bible Church. The approximately 30 students in the program come from Turkey, South Korea, China, Japan, Israel, Brazil, Spain and Hungary. The class is offered at no cost and nursery care, which Kim saw as critical, is also provided. Kim is also the owner of the Kumon Center in Andover and teaches piano, music theory, ear training, sight-reading and music history on weekends. She also plays piano for special services at the New England Bible Church and she and her son, Joseph, visit Wingate Assisted Living once a week to play the piano for residents.


At South Church in Andover, Lyons is known as “Charlock Holmes.” She and her family joined the church 24 years ago when they settled in Andover. In 1999 when it became known that the South Church cemetery burial ground needed serious attention, Lyons was among the volunteers who stepped forward. She soon developed a passion for helping those who were buried there. She has pieced together clues found in documents and on tombstones, sometimes working with lights and mirrors, to discover and share the stories of the deceased, including several veterans. Lyons gives talks and walking tours for the Andover Historical Society and the Center at Punchard as well as tours to local Girl Scout troops highlighting the women of Andover.


The McCormicks are dedicated to helping children with special needs achieve independence and live life with dignity. The positive impact of therapy on children led Tara to a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy and the opening of the Kioko Center in North Andover. When the couple’s youngest child turned 3 in 2009, they took their family as well as their occupational therapy staff and their families to Mexico to work in an orphanage. There, they saw the immediate and dramatic impact that occupational therapy had on children who had been abandoned at the orphanage, including many who suffered from developmental and cognitive delays. After that first trip, they founded Global Occupational Therapy for Orphans and have traveled to Rwanda, Bulgaria, China, Haiti and Mexico. At home in Andover, they are active members of St. Augustine Parish, serving as hospitality and Eucharistic ministers and, with their family, volunteer monthly at Lazarus House.



Pellerin, an English teacher at Andover High School, is credited with being a behind-the-scenes adviser and catalyst for the high school’s Community Service Program. He and his team of students rise to the occasion to fulfill requests from parents and students for community support, whatever the need may be. Among the programs and organizations they have assisted include Bread and Roses in Lawrence, Lifelong Friendships at Marland Place, after-school tutoring at Academy School of Hope and Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club and Lazarus House. He has also volunteered countless hours in the high school’s Special Education Department working with students who have major needs.