By Sonya Vartabedian
---- — Calling it a once in a lifetime opportunity, the members of the Andover Chamber of Commerce recognized five local organizations with community service awards at its 51st annual meeting last Thursday, June 6, at Indian Ridge Country Club in Andover.
“A community doesn’t function without community volunteers,” Atty. Robert Lavoie, chairman of the Andover Chamber of Commerce, told the gathering. “Service is really the common theme of everyone in this room.”
Receiving awards for their contributions to the “civic well-being of Andover and the surrounding communities” were the Exchange Club of Lawrence, The Kiwanis Club of Greater Lawrence, Quota International of Andover, The Rotary Club of Andover and The Service Club of Andover
Andover police Chief Brian Pattullo, who is stepping down from his position on July 31 after a 32-year career with the department including 15 years at its helm, was the guest speaker.
He told the group, “The best way to find yourself is in the service to others.”
The chamber presented Pattullo with a plaque for being a “beacon of steadiness” for the community.
Andover High School vocalist Emily Wivell sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” in honor of D-Day.
Joseph Bevilacqua, president and CEO of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, opened the program. The Andover Chamber is a division of the Merrimack Valley Chamber.
Selectmen Chairman Alex Vispoli gave the greetings from Andover Town Hall, stepping in for Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski, who was detained on town business.
In addition to Lavoie, of Johnson & Borenstein, LLC, this year’s Andover Chamber of Commerce board includes Maureen Pollard of Northmark Bank, vice chairwoman; Elaine Clements of the Andover Historical Society, secretary/clerk; Richard C. Dewhirst of Dewhirst Family Funeral Care; Chris Doherty of Prudential Howe and Doherty; Ronald Hill of Baystate Financial Services; Peter Johnston of The Savings Bank; Therese Leone of Enterprise Bank; Salvatore Lupoli of Lupoli Companies; Brian Major of the Andover Board of Selectmen; Atty. Michael W. Morris Jr. of Morris, Rossi & Hayes; Deedee O’Brien of Challenge Unlimited; and Stephen Stapinski of Merrimack Engineering.