Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

August 8, 2013

A special MVP

Volunteer honored for giving children the gift of play

(Continued)

“Elly took the toy apart and rewired it to have it turn on with the hit of a switch. Tim was so happy when his head touched the switch and the crazy red monster started to laugh,” Waddill wrote in her nomination.

Evans will rewire anything tossed his way. The humble man who’s not one for attention and recognition said seeing a disabled child play with something he’s worked on is why he’s devoted countless hours to the task.

The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation recognition came as a complete surprise to Evans, who was one of 15, third-prize honorees receiving $5,000 for their organizations. In addition, 10 people won $10,000 awards and there was one $25,000 grand prize winner from Watertown. The toy doctor was the only one singled out from the Merrimack Valley.

The MVP awards celebrate the late Myra Kraft’s example of being a lifelong volunteer. Evans received the award at Gillette Stadium, where he was congratulated by New England Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, New England Patriots Charitable Foundation President Joshua Kraft, Pro Football and Patriots Hall of Famer and Patriots Executive Director of Community Affairs Andre Tippett, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and other players.

The staff members at The Developmental Day School say play time is important for every child’s development.

“Play is the foundation of childhood learning, enabling children to develop motor, thinking, language and social/emotional skills,” said Rachel Daniels, an occupational therapy/assistive technology practitioner.

“Our parents, teachers and therapists are delighted to be able to choose toys that are both highly motivating and beneficial to a child, and then have Elly adapt them. It is wonderful to hear a child say, `I did it!’”

Waddill said the fact that, thanks to Evans, a little boy who does not have full use of his arms can now maneuver a toy with his feet or a knee or a little girl with vision loss as well as limited mobility can listen to musical toy instruments play when she hits a switch with her hand is truly a gift.

“Elly’s willingness to share his time and talents supports our mission of helping children of all abilities achieve their full potential,” she said, adding, “He really puts thought into his work. He’s a wonderful man.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Townspeople
  • AT HOWARD KOH

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES/Courtesy photo Dr. Howard Koh will step down as U.S. assistant secretary for health after five years to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health this fall in a new position in its Department of Health Policy and Management.

    Koh to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health Posted 7 days ago 1 Photo
  • 48 locals to pedal in Pan-Mass Challenge Posted 7 days ago
  • AT HANNAH CURRIE

    Courtesy photo Hannah Currie is spending 10 days this summer becoming immersed in the music industry at GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles.

    Currie hits note at LA's GRAMMY Camp Posted 7 days ago 1 Photo
  • South Church names new senior pastor Posted 14 days ago
  • AT BOYS GIRLS CLUB GOLF1

    COURTESY PHOTO Andover residents Patrick James, left, Adam Geaslen, Ryan Byrd and Dan Bryant claimed first place at the 35th annual Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Golf Tournament at Indian Ridge Country Club in town.

    Local foursome aces Boys & Girls Club tourney Posted 14 days ago 2 Photos
  • AT LOCKS SISTERS2

    COURTESY PHOTO The Marble sisters --Anna, 8, left, and Isabel, 11 -- post-donatin to Locks of Love.

    Sisters pair up to donate pony tails to Locks of Love Posted 14 days ago 4 Photos
  • AT HOST1

    DESI SMITH/Staff photo Former Andover residents Dana Cohen and his wife, Ginny, back, left, have regularly hosted foreign exchange students since 1989. Farrah Moussa, back right, from Egypt, and Paula Valverde, front right, from Spain, are the latest students to spend a year with the Cohens, who now live in Gloucester.

    Former Andover couple welcomes exchange students for quarter-century Posted 14 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, July 3, 2014
  • LENO1

    FILE PHOTO Jay Leno, who honed his comedy skills growing up in Andover, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this fall during a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

    In good comedy company Posted 21 days ago 2 Photos
  • COMMUNITY TRUST2

    ACT 3.jpg Susan Stott, third from left, accepts the Opening Doors to Affordable Housing in Andover Award from Andover Community Trust directors, from left, Don Schroeder, treasurer; John Pearson, president; and Joan Johnson, clerk.

    Affordable housing advocates honored Posted 21 days ago 2 Photos
  • AT TABIT

    Salim Tabit

    Townspeople in the News Posted 21 days ago 1 Photo

Pictures of the Week
Stocks