What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Ellen Walker, Special to the Gazette

As Summer is passing, it is natural to reflect on the recent months we have all lived and worked through.  Human nature continues to prove itself with the ability to overcome hurdles and move forward making us stronger and better.

It is September and we welcomed many students back to Mission Hill during and prior to the September 1st annual “Student Move In Day,” residents submitted their CENSUS 2020 forms, exercised their rights to vote early or by mail and now we are about to celebrate our first holiday of the month on September 7th – Labor Day!  Labor Day honors and recognizes the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of our great country.

Just recently I had the pleasure of spending some time with Aliece (Ali) Dutson the President of Mission Grammar School, Beth Looney who is the new Principal of Mission Grammar and Steve Braithwaithe, Facilities Manager who oversees the operations of the entire property.  Mission Grammar Early Childhood Program is open and keeping the team onsite!  Several well-known Mission Hill residents attended Mission Grammar including Kevin W. Fitzgerald, Maurice (Mossy) Martin and George Rollins.   

Education certainly has been crucial to the members of MHMS’ Advisory Board and we are delighted to have a strong, diverse Advisory Board consisting of members who broaden our ability to serve the Mission Hill Main Streets district.  This month we are featuring Ricardo (Rick) Quiroga.  Rick is the founder of Casa Esperanza, Inc., a bilingual, bicultural recovery treatment center for substance abusers.  Since its incorporation, Rick oversaw the growth and development of the agency.  Currently the agency operates four programs: Casa Esperanza Men’s Program, which houses 25 men; The Latinas y Niños Center, a treatment program for 20 women and 12 children; Supportive Housing that include 27 units of supportive housing for men and women with children; and, the Familias Unidas Outpatient Program that provides Relapse Prevention Services.   The Casa Esperanza programs are centered on a vision of helping individuals and families overcome addiction and reintegrate themselves into society.  This is a great example of a neighborhood person who has done well for himself and his community.  Rick was a long-time resident of Mission Hill when he and our Board President, Gar Chiang, went to the Woodstock Music Festival back in 1969!

When you walk around Mission Hill, look up and see MHMS newly installed banners for 2020.  They reflect recent and past Community Award recipients and honor our Legacy businesses like the Hillside Market that has existed for over 100 years!  There are 14 businesses that are 20 years old or more here in Mission Hill including Mike’s Donuts at 44 years and both Flann O’Brien’s Pub and Brigham Circle Chinese Food at 30 years.  Congratulations to you all!

A new business in the community is Needham Bank.  They chose Mission Hill to open their first bank in Boston and Joe Campanelli, Needham Bank’s President and CEO stated, “When the pandemic first started, bringing one of the most challenging economic crises I’ve ever witnessed, we never rethought our choice to open in Mission Hill.” He added, “We thought, who opens a bank branch at a time like this? We do.  Because we know how important a strong local financial partner will be to help community members and local businesses get back on their feet.”  Karen Marryat, Chief Marketing Officer stated, “As we have gotten to know the community better in the past few months, we are more and more impressed and excited by what’s to come in Mission Hill.”   MHMS welcomes Needham Bank to Mission Hill and thanks them for their support of this year’s annual Community Awards program in November.

For those of you who are reading this article, our featured restaurant this month is Crispy Dough Pizzeria at 1514 Tremont Street.  During the month of September, mention this article and with any purchase and you will receive a FREE can of soda! 

Mission Hill Main Streets’ logo states:  Eat. Play. Live.  This is the best neighborhood to enjoy it all, so eat locally, play in our parks, and live by “shopping small, shopping local!”  Visit us on our webpage – www.missionhillmainstreet.com, “like” us on Facebook and download our free mobile app at Distrx.com to find the latest on our Farmer’s Markets, restaurants and coffee shops in the neighborhood!

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.”  Michael Jordan

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