By Ellen Walker
Special to the Gazette
This issue is dedicated to the businesses and people in Mission Hill that make our neighborhood one of the most vibrant, diverse and welcoming places in Boston. Every year, Mission Hill Main Streets recognizes and honors local businesses and residents for their efforts in the community. Our annual community appreciation event theme is “Community: Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.” and each year, you can see our newest recipients on the banners in Brigham Circle as well as here in this story.
We are honored, after a most challenging year, to give thanks to the staff at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and present to them the 2021 Exceptional Community Supporter Award. People from every department worked tirelessly to support and help our community residents, students and business owners as they saved lives, took care of and helped countless other this past year during the pandemic. Several MHMS Board members and I personally thanked Dr. Sunil Eappen, President of BWH and presented him with an award for the staff at BWH. (PHOTO)
A familiar face in the community, Ms. Courtney Wright, was selected as the recipient of this year’s The Honorable Kevin W. Fitzgerald Friend of Mission Hill Award. To best describe Courtney, Michael Fitzgerald, City and Community Engagement/Northeastern University, says it best. “All of the work you do in the community has made a difference for everyone living in it, whether they know it or not. My family and I certainly know it, and so does Main Streets. You set an example for everyone with your volunteer efforts, whether it’s bringing in students to help (or if it’s just you!) or organizing a community event. Dad (Kevin W. Fitzgerald) would always say, “We’re all in this together,” and that is a message you deliver in your work and personality.” Congratulations Courtney! (PHOTO)
The MHMS 2021 Business of the Year has been making waves all year long first the Boston Building Resources created the first Net Carbon Zero building in Boston. The “green” net-zero carbon building, the first of its kind in Mission Hill, serves as a groundbreaking example of how a metal warehouse-style building can be retrofitted to the highest energy efficiency standards. Then, BBR consistently exemplified innovation, great service and stability in the community while empowering, educating and inspiring homeowners since 1987. Congratulations to all who made BBR the Business of the Year and raising the bar! (PHOTO)
Our next award was presented to two individuals that have made an impact in their community over the years: Ms. Alice and Ms. Cindy Diggs. They are an inspiration to all who know them – and to those who meet them for the first time. Alice was a volunteer for the MH Link bus and at New England Baptist Hospital, visiting patients, before Covid. She was a warm and welcoming presence to many. Cindy founded Peace Boston over 15 years ago for the community to celebrate peace and uplift the work of activists working to end gun violence in our communities. Their commitment to the community and activism speaks volumes. Both women are passionate about their volunteer efforts and the MH Link! Congratulation Alice and Cindy!
In addition, MHMS annually recognizes the cleanest, most inviting business with a Golden Broom Award. Congratulations to Nico Statharos at Mama’s Place for being this year’s winner! During the pandemic, it was our local convenience stores that provided a lifeline to many of the Mission Hill’s resident. We are pleased to announce this year’s Neighborhood Asset recipients as Nick Patel of both Hillside Market and Huntington Market as well as Abdulkadir Mohamed of the International Halal Market. Congratulations to you both!
September is looking to be an active time in Mission Hill. The community welcomes back students to our neighborhood. The students contribute greatly to our local economy and the business owners are welcoming them back with special student discounts through the end of October. By the time you read this article, all of us will have survived the upgrades and improvements to the Green Line E Branch Heath Street and the move in days of students!
More fun is planned for residents and visitors as we proudly ask you to join us for the MHMS 2nd Annual Restaurant Week. This celebration will run from Sunday, September 19th to Saturday, September 25th. Watch for great deals and taste the flavors of Mission Hill as this once-a-year event is not to be missed! Enjoy and let us know your favorites…
“Happily we bask in this warm September sun, which illuminates all creatures…”
— Henry David Thoreau