By Sonya Vartabedian
---- — They are a lawyer, accountant, teacher, businessmen, leaders in their religious communities, parents and more.
But the one thing they have in common is they are dedicated to making Andover a better plan to live, work and play.
The Rotary Club of Andover will crown its newest batch of Citizens Who Care as well as its annual Educator of the Year at a gala and dinner next week.
Organizers of the yearly event say volunteering is a way of life in the Andovers.
For the past 16 years, the local Rotary Club has made it a mission to recognize extraordinary volunteers who contribute beyond their normal job description as Citizens Who Care. Five years ago, the club expanded the event to include the naming of an Education of the Year.
Craig Saline of the Rotary said Citizens Who Care honorees must live or work in Andover or have some connection to the community and its betterment. They are primarily nominated by community members, with a Rotary committee charged with selecting the winners.
“They are individuals who through their volunteer work are impactful to the community,” he said.
The Educator of the Year, meanwhile, is typically nominated by the schools, either the staff, parent groups or students, and then chosen by a professional panel of educators assembled by the Rotary Club. This year, eighth-grade Doherty Middle School teacher Ken Matteucci earned the honor.
In addition to receiving a certificate, Saline said all honorees sit for a complimentary 20-by-30-inch portrait. The portraits are then displayed throughout the community at Town Hall local banks, schools and businesses for the coming year before being archived at the Andover Historical Society.
The gala takes place Thursday, May 23, at 6 p.m. at the Wyndham Andover Hotel. Phillips Academy Head of School John Palfrey will be the guest speaker. Tickets are $50. Visit www.rotaryandover.org for reservations or information.
CITIZENS WHO CARE
A member of Andover’s Christ Church for more than 25 years, Bates has been a mentor, led the holiday fair and served on the boards of the Christian Education Committee and Andover Thrift Shop, which led the North Andover resident to become involved with the Andover Business Community Association. Since 2007, she has been a nonprofit presence in the association, serving as secretary, clerk and board member and heading up Andover Day and Holiday Happenings, two of the group’s largest events.
The father of two sons has been active with the Andover Soccer Association as a coach for several years and as a board member for four years, with a two-year term as president. During his tenure, the ASA board partnered with other town programs to champion the development of additional fields, including the new Blanchard multi-use field in West Andover. The association, the largest in Essex County, is also dedicated to service projects such as ASA Cares, which collects items for a local food pantry, as well as the distribution of used cleats, uniforms and equipment to underprivileged youths.
For the past 20 years, he has coordinated the schedule of bell ringers at Christmas for the Salvation Army and has served on its advisory board. In 2003, he was honored with the Salvation Army’s highly regarded “Others” award. He is also active in the Andover Masons, helping to run its bi-monthly blood drives and working with the Children’s Learning Center, a program for children with dyslexia. He is involved with Habitat for Humanity and, although not a boater himself, has volunteered with the Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program, of which he was a charter member in 1979.
She is an active member of Friends of Memorial Hall Library, including serving as a past board president, and has worked on the library book sale. In 1977, she developed and launched The Conversational English program at the library, a program designed to help people who successfully completed the English as a Second Language course at Lawrence Adult Learning Center further improve their English conversational skills.
The owner of Flowers by Steve has helped build Merrimack Valley Hospice in Haverhill from the ground up, hosting a kickoff party and fundraiser at his home in 2007 that began the effort to purchase a patient home in Haverhill. He has continued to run fundraisers and solicit donations for the organization, which has now raised enough money for a new seven-room addition that opens this month and will be named for him. As his gift, he has also designed and dedicated a meditation garden at the center of the facility in memory of his parents.
DR. RICHARD LINDSAY
The local veterinarian helped start the “Shadow Fund” in the late 1990s to help pet owners unable to afford necessary medical treatment for their pets. He has been a board member of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association and president of the New England Veterinary Medical Association and has also served on the Board of Development and the Grandparent Fund of Phillips Academy, the Men’s Auxiliary at Holy Family Hospital, the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club, Friends of Merrimack College, Merrimack Valley United Way and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
She joined the League of Women Voters in the 1970s and worked on a water quality study, which allowed her to get to know the Andover Village Improvement Society and the town Conservation Commission. She went on to serve four years on the Conservation Commission in the late 1970s and was involved with the controversial mapping of wetlands in town. Marcus joined the Andover Historical Society in 1995, and has done volunteer curatorial work two days a week since the late 1990s. She has served on the historical society’s Strategic Planning and Re-Accreditation Committees as well as past clerk and president, contributing hundreds of hours to the group.
She served as League of Women Voters president from 1972 to 1974 during its 50th anniversary celebration and has on various research projects and reports for the group over the years. Since retiring, she has served on the Council on Aging for six years, and worked to get TAVAH, The Andover Villages At Home, off the ground. In 2006, she also worked on the Senior Center/Youth Center/Community Center issue. From 2006 to 2012, she was a citizen advocate for the Human Rights Committee for American Training, a local vendor agency for the Department of Developmental Service.
MARY BETH NASON
After being introduced by friends to Quota, an international service organization for women, she joined the Andover chapter in 1995 and has since held every office available. The local Quota raises funds to support disadvantaged women and children in the Merrimack Valley, and offers services for the deaf and hearing impaired, including an annual scholarship to Northern Essex Community College for its American Sign Language Program. A former boarding school student herself, she is also involved in A Better Chance, which offers outstanding students from under-performing urban schools the opportunity to prepare for college at Andover High School.
Her community involvement began with the Mother Connection, coordinating its first cookbook, followed by becoming a room parent at Sanborn School and co-chairwoman of its annual Harvest Festival. Through the League of Women Voters, her school and civic work merged. She helps out on election days and was co-chairwoman/liaison of the league’s annual Community Read-Along Program at West and Sanborn elementary schools. She also works on the Hadassah Literacy Program, which provides tutoring in the schools to challenged students in the area. She has been a member of the Andover Cultural Council since 2010.
She has been active with the Bancroft School PTO, holding numerous position as well as leading the rebuilding of the school playground. After helping to stop construction of a cell tower in a neighbor’s backyard six years ago, she has worked with community members and the Board of Selectmen to make zoning bylaw changes governing placement of cell towers. She is also involved with Temple Emanuel’s social action committee, helping organize fundraisers, including a walk-a-thon for heating oil, and is currently helping to organize a fundraiser for Family Service of Lawrence,
A longtime member of Andover Village Improvement Society, he joined the group’s board in 1999 and has served as co-chairman of its land management committee as well as president from 2004 to 2011. He has remained involved with land acquisition and management, shepherding properties such as the new Sakowich Reservation through and leading hikes and trips. He also co-edited the most recent issue of the AVIS Guidebook. He is also treasurer of the Andover Sister Towns association, teaches computer classes at the Andover Senior Center and maintains websites for AVIS and the Andover Committee of the Appalachian Mountain Club.
EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR
The eighth-grade Doherty Middle School teacher is always teaching — in school, at home, at the grocery store and anywhere else he’s found. He devoted nearly 15 years to the Doherty Middle Drama Club and more recently has directed his skills at Destination Imagination, an international competitive problem-solving and performance program for kids ages kindergarten through high school. He has participated in DI as a local team manager and trainer at the state level and recently led the organization of a formal DI nonprofit board. About 200 Andover kids were involved in DI this year.