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The Reverend Joseph Shea Memorial Award
The Reverend Joseph Shea Memorial Award shall be awarded annually providing there is a clear consensus that there is an appropriate recipient. The award shall be presented to a member who has exhibited exemplary service to the New England 65 Plus Runners Club - or to the sport of running in its various manifestations, or to the running community at large. It will be made with no special regard to a nominee’s running prowess or accomplishments and will have no bearing on the considerations for any other awards the Club may bestow.
Procedures for determining the recipients of the award
appear at the bottom of this page.
Ken Johnson is known for Service with a capital S. He has served this club in various capacitie. most notably as a Director for twelve years and assisting the the president in the managing the reservations for the annual luncheon for eight years. In that considerable task he worked to get out the luncheon annoucements (to more than 600 members in recent years), collected the responses and the money and made sure that everyone got what they wanted to eat. This kind of service came naturally to a gentleman who had served the Cranston Road Runners as secretary for 22 years. For the last 12 years the members of that club have run from his house at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Ken has also served on the Committee of the Annual Marine Corps Luncheon as well as his church. For the last several years, he has volunteered to work for security at the finish line at the Boston Marathon. Both he and his wife Joan, also a member of our Club, have received accolades for befriending runners at this prestigious event. A year ago, one of Ken’s granddaughters asked him to help her run so that she could try out for the high school track team. To Ken’s delight, she made the team. She is now running cross – country, indoor and out - door track. Then her mother (Ken’s and Joan’s daughter) decided she would give running a try. She did and is now the one picking out races to run. Ken has had the thrill of running several races with his wife, daughter and granddaughter. Ken is shown here with Florence Dagata, an earlier recipient of the award, as she presented his award to him at the annual luncheon in September 2010.
Dr. Ray Cormier, shown here with Vice President Phil Pierce, was the recipient of the award this year. Perhaps no one has done more for the Club for so long as Dr. Ray. One of the founders, he has been significantly involved in nearly every aspect of the Club's activities, most notably as its Treasurer and Board Member since the beginning in 1991. Only at the end of this year did he relinquish that position. Ray served as the prime mover in establishing our Hall of Fame, and for some years it seemed that he and the Rev. John Noftle were the HOF Committee. Ray saw to it that there was a public display of the Hall's members at what is now the Days Inn in Methuen, MA, just off Route 93. Ray has also been instrumental in organizing the Annual Meeting and Luncheon, everything from the location to the menu, the program and the seating. One could always be certain that all of the details were taken care of when he was on the job. Jerry Panarese, head honcho for the Run For All Ages, will tell you too that Ray is always a great help in making the race the success it is. And could you meet a nicer guy? No way Jose!
Nancy Wilson, shown here with Jerry Panarese, Director of the Run For All Ages, at the Annual Luncheon in 2008, when Nancy was presented with the Reverend Joe Shea Memorial Award. It was most fitting that Jerry presented the award to Nancy; she was his Girl Friday when it came to putting on the race. Nancy was in charge of pre- and race-day registration, the latter always a stressful and hectic time. Through it all she remained, outwardly at least, calm, cool and collected, and the mistakes, mostly runners errors, always get corrected, one way or another. Nancy has served on the RFAA Committee since the inception of the race in 2001, a reliable member at all Committee meetings with sage advice about how to make a good thing better. Nancy has also served to retrieve race results for our members from the Cool Runnng website, a tedious and time consuming job, especiallywhen done completely manually as it was at the time she served. As former president Jim McLaughlin has noted, "Is there anythiing I can help with?" are words that personify Nancy.
Phyllis Mays is shown here on the left with President Fred Zuleger and Florence Dagata at the presentation of her award at the annual luncheon in 2007. Phyllis has earned the respect and admiration of all the members who have had any administrative responsibilities in the Club. As Membership Chair for many years she has been the first response to new members, making sure they are added to the list of members, distributing information about them to Club officers, sending each a copy of the list, a copy of the Bylaws and a Club singlet. She has faithfully chased down changes in addresses and other changes in status and, in short, manages to keep us all in touch with each other. Before taking over membership duties she also helped in the tedious task of finding on the Cool Running website the race results of our members in many races throughout the year. Phyllis continues to run and race, and to keep busy as she approaches the age of 80 she teaches computer skills several days a week.
John Gray, the running journalist, was a leading writer about long distance running in the days when no one was paying attention to the sport. " I Love to Run and Run and Run" was a featured articla in the Saturday Evening Post, and he contributed to the Yankee Journal and Sports Illustrated among other publications.His writing talents served our Club well in his role as secretary and contributor of many articles to the Newsletter. John began his teaching career as an English teacher at Newton High School. He ended it many years later as a teacher and track-and-field coach in Easton, MA. In 66 years of running and race walking John accrued the credentials for writing and coaching by competing for the Boston Athletic Association, and in later years as a race walker who won regional and national championships at 10, 20 abd 30 Kilometers.
Lou Peters, the guy on the left with hair (the other one is Bob Randall) is where he likes to be in this photograph, at the end of a race. Road racing is where his life is and has been for nearly 60 years. One of the 6 original founders of the Club, Lou has been a working presence at all of our races and other events, before, during and after, always ready to lend a hand. He is widely known throughout the runnng community and has served other clubs in other capacities in his long career.
Florence Dagata,fourth president of the Club, also shown above with the 2007 recipient, continued the third presidents success in increasing significantly the membership while exhibiting her strength in getting members involved in the activities and responsibilities associated with running an organzation that had grown to more than 400 members. Her previous personal business experience was apparent in key personnel moves made on her watch, such as creating the positions of membership chairperson, assistant treasurer, fund-drive assistant and a nominating committee on the Board to find people willing to serve the Club in one capacity or another. The Club's Hall of Fame was established during her presidency, and she initiated state meetings of local members in Connecticut and Vermont to join the Rhode Island roster of such events. With the help of John Gray the Bylaws were revised and achieved a more business-like character. Florence, a race walker, set an example for older athletes who were never runners or were no longer able to run but still enjoyed the competition. She regularly medals in nearly every race/walk event she enters, and she can still talk a reticent member in to serving the Club in almost any postion from gopher to president.
Jerry Panarese, third president of the Club and director of the Run For All Ages since its inception, was and still is a work horse for the New England 65 Plus Runners. Membership grew from 250 to 385 durng his tenure. He established the first Flag Race with the Great Island 5K in New Castle, NH. Jerry developed a close friendship with Dave McGillivray, director of the Boston Marathon, a friendship that has proven to be extremely benificial to the Club. Dave regularly provides qualification waivers to the Marathon for 10 or more of our members unable to satisfy the qualification requirements but still burning with the competitive spirit. Jerry supervises a lottery in which the members participate to gain entrance. He also undertook the laborious task of finding out how all of our members fared in the race, searching the official race site with no search tools general enough to find all of our Runners. It was difficult enough when he began, but is even more formidable as the Club grew to more than 600 members in 2010. Still very much in charge of the RFAA he micromanges it in its every detail and never ceases to amaze his helpers by his ability to obtain virtually everything the race requires spending little or no money. That has allowed the Club to donate $1000 every year to the DMSE Foundation to support healthful exercise and diet in children.Voting for the Recipient of the Award:
1. Nomination of candidates for the award should be made in a letter to the chairperson of the Rev. Joseph Shea Memorial Award Committee. The letter should explain why the nominee is deserving of the award. Any supportive materials are welcome. The chairperson should receive the letter by February 1 in the year in which the award is to be made.
2. The nominations should remain confidential, and this confidentiality should extend beyond the election.
3. The nominations will not be made known to the candidates, and therefore, the candidates can not be asked to submit information in support of their own candidacy.
4. Members will vote for a single candidate, and the candidate receiving the most votes will receive the award
5. The winner of the award will be notified of his award shortly after the election and be invited to the annual luncheon where presentation of the award will take place. The winner and a guest will be guests of the Club at the luncheon.The Reverend Joseph Shea Memorial Award Committee:
The Committee will be known as the Rev. Joe Shea Award Committee (a somewhat easier title to handle). It will consist of the past recipients of the award, past presidents of the Club and the current president who will serve as chairman. The current makeup of the Committee is as follows: