What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Ellen Walker

Special to the Gazette

Everyone was celebrating Veterans Day this year! MHMS’ well attended annual event to honor all veterans in Brigham Circle on Thursday, November 11th. The Mission Hill American Legion Post 327’s Captain Thomas Maroni led the veterans in the Pledge of Allegiance while City Councilor Kenzie Bok and State Representative Nika Elugardo placed the patriotically-colorful wreath against the memorial plaque honoring both living and fallen heroes. 

At the same hour, Governor Charlie Baker was honoring veterans from across Massachusetts including Mission Hill resident Enoch “Woody” Woodhouse. According to Randace Rauscher of the Department of Veterans Services (DVS), the Baker-Polito Administration marked the day with an in-person observance at historic Faneuil Hall. Joining them were veterans, active military, clergy, and musical performers from across the Commonwealth all gathering to pay tribute to those who have served and continue to serve our nation. At the ceremony, Governor Baker presented Lt. Colonel (Retired) Enoch Woodhouse with the DVS Community Engagement Award. Woodhouse is one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first all-Black combat flying unit during World War II and was among the Airmen who played a pivotal role in the early integration of the US Armed Forces. Woody, who is also a MHMS Advisory Board member said “I am humbled and honored by the award. It was my duty to serve my country.”

Johanna Sena is the newest member of the MHMS Board of Directors and you may know her from her early work with former City Councilor Mike Ross. Johanna brought to Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) a rich, strong background in community service, and aligns that experience with the programs the university invests in for the residents and the neighborhood. As Director of Community and Government Relations, she is delighted that WIT has graduated thousands of students into STEM careers helping to make Boston a resource for key players in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

One of the community benefit programs offered by WIT that Johanna is especially proud of is the Jimmie Beverly Scholarship. This scholarship is open to both Mission Hill and Fenway residents and allows qualified residents to attend WIT tuition-free. What an amazing opportunity for young people! The scholarship was first created in 2001 and over 200 students have benefitted from this impressive program. For more information, contact Johanna Sena at [email protected] or 617-989-4526.

The day was merry and bright, and the turnout was huge as Mission Hill welcomed Mayor Michelle Wu. On Saturday, December 4th, in celebration of the tree lighting and the arrival of the Winter holidays, Mayor Wu along with the Enchanted Trolley’s Mr. and Ms. Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Reindeer delighted all who gathered in Brigham Circle to enjoy the event. MHMS is proud to help coordinate this annual celebration started by former Mayor Thomas Menino, continued by former Mayor Marty Walsh and now continues with history-making Mayor Wu. Also in attendance were City Councilors Mejia and Bok as well as Rep Elugardo who all spoke with passion about the work they are doing for the people of Boston and the neighborhoods as they too joined in the festivities. It was a fabulous time for all with children running everywhere as adults laughed and cheerfully enjoyed the day!

Mission Hill is looking very cheerful with the lighted tree in Brigham Circle and the beautiful red, green and white snowflakes that are along Tremont Street! Thank you Maverick Construction for adding more seasonal joy to our neighborhood. A big “thank you” to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, BCYF Tobin Community Center, Milkweed Café, Mike’s Donuts, The Mission Bar & Grill and Penguin Pizza who all came together to provide refreshments and treats for everyone who joined us!

Great news for those of you who use the Mission Hill Link bus. You will be happy to know a new schedule is in the works! Starting on Monday, December 6th,  there will be two (2) distinct loops for the Link that start and end at the Brigham Circle Stop & Shop and connect to the Ruggles and Roxbury Crossing Orange Line MBTA Stations. The goal is to provide more direct service to customers. Kudos to the Boston Transportation Department who helped in the development of the schedule and service routes. They hope to use this as a model for local transit in other neighborhoods. Additional support came from Representative Elugardo and Councilor Bok who both supported this process, MHHM as well as long-time supporter, the New England Baptist Hospital. MHMS posted more details on our Facebook page so please follow us at https://www.facebook.com/mainstreetsellenwalker  

Traditionally December is a month of looking at achievements during  past twelve months. MHMS certainly had a busy year working with local businesses, city agencies and institutions while building stronger alliances for the future. New programs were launched, such as the MH Arts Festival, Boston Building Resources opened their Zero Carbon building, one business, TBaar’s, true to entrepreneurial spirit opened mid-pandemic and finally we saw the return, virtually, of the popular MH Road Race.  I  look forward to an even more prolific and productive year for 2022! 

MHMS thanks our committed board members, leaders of the Mission Hill community organizations, our extraordinary businesses and lastly our residents. When talking about Mission Hill, the words that come to mind whether it is residents, community organizations or businesses are tenacity, strength, perseverance, foresight, camaraderie and celebratory enthusiasm.

To one and all, a healthy, happy holiday season and a wondrous new year!

“What good is the warmth of Summer, without the cold of Winter to give it sweetness.” 

John Steinbeck, American author and 1962 Nobel prize winner for Literature.

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