What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Ellen Walker, Special to the Gazette

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed… Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”  Henry David Thoreau

Do you ever wonder who the force is behind MHMS successful events? It is Chorlette O’Neill a member of the MHMS Board of Directors since 2017. A skilled event planner whose work is like that of an orchestra’s conductor, aware of the sound coming from each instrument. When she works on an event, magic takes place as she can turn an ordinary dining hall into an elegant celebration of people and circumstances. I had the pleasure of witnessing this firsthand at our past events. Chorlette joined MHMS in 2017 to help promote small business and plan special events. Her background includes owning a restaurant and catering company and property management for Circle Properties here in Mission Hill. Chorlette said “I love the sense of pride the MH Community has for the neighborhood and the strong commitment in supporting local business, especially at the Annual Awards Reception. It’s rewarding to participate in an event that acknowledges the hard work of small business owners and volunteers that keep the Mission Hill neighborhood thriving and watch the enjoyment of neighbors and friends catching up.”  

When asked what she is currently working on, Chorlette excitedly mentioned the upcoming Fall event and went on to say “coming up on September 10th, we will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of MHMS with a fun, outdoor event for adults and children. We’ll offer delicious foods from Mission Hill restaurants, provide guided tours, pony rides, games, and much more. Please join us for a not to be missed community celebration!”  

Speaking of forces! Kudos to the City of Boston’s Graffiti Busters team. What a great job they did the week of May 16th as they cleaned up several hard hit, eyesores in the neighborhood including both residential and commercial properties. Has your home been tagged with graffiti? Has a graffiti artist tagged your business? Contact 311 to fill out a request for FREE clean up by Boston’s Graffiti Busters. There is any easy form to fill out and it is worth the few minutes of your time to keep our neighborhood looking welcoming!

When the name Harvard Medical School comes up in conversation around Mission Hill, the reaction is mixed. It was with great pleasure that I recently met with HMS’ Kayla Lambright, Dr. David Duong and Katie Cavender. Kayla and her team comprise the newly formed Community Centered Medical Education (OCCME)at HMS. Students demanded change — a change that was overdue and much needed. Formed in 2021, OCCME’s mission is to ensure health access and equity, by dismantling structural racism and addressing the social determinants of health in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and Mission Hill.

 So what does OCCME’s work look like day-to-day? It’s students and faculty learning the needs of their neighbors; it’s showing up when support is needed; and it’s looking for solutions to issues that have been present for far too long in our community. Our hope is that OCCME not only serves those in our community who need support but provides medical students the training they need to promote health equity long after they’ve graduated.

 Mission Hill is a beautiful community with a rich history. We appreciate Mission Hill Streets allowing us the opportunity to be a good neighbor and earn your trust.

This month we are honored to announce the 2022 MHMS Annual Community Award Recipients. The Business of the Year recipient is Solid Ground Café. This award recognizes the innovation, great service and products of a small, local business as well as their  stability in the community. The delicious, fresh-made foods and baked goods along with their programs that support their community made them a sure winner for this acknowledgement. Make sure to congratulate Keith or Lucia the next time you see them!

Our next honor goes to the Volunteer of the Year, James Farrow. A mainstay in the community for many years, Jim is being acknowledged for his work with the Mission Hill Health Movement and the Boston Breakers. Way to go Jim!

The Golden Broom award recipient is Penguin Pizza for being the cleanest, most welcoming business in the community and we can’t forget the creative level Pamela Carthy brings to promoting the Penguin throughout the year. Congratulations Pamela!

In addition, MHMS recognizes Neighborhood Community Assets, that that are businesses or individuals, which have gone beyond in their efforts to give back to the community. Please join us in congratulating Luisa Harris, Mort Ahmadifar, Dennis Pultinas and the Northeastern Breakfast Club!

There is one more award that is presented at the MHMS annual event and it is The Kevin W. Fitzgerald Friend of Mission Hill Award. The Fitzgerald family selects the recipient, and we are proud to congratulate Eric Alden, long time resident of Mission Hill, member of MHMS Board of Directors, owner of Longwood Properties and a great example of a “local kid, made good.” Eric always gives positive and constructive feedback at community meetings and is an individual whose drive and efforts support the Mission Hill community, as did the late Honorable Kevin Fitzgerald. Please congratulate Eric when you see him!

Until next month, stay safe…

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