Eric Gaynor said what he finds most fascinating about the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce Kick-off Dinner and Awards Night each year is the telling of the stories.
The informative speeches from the award presenters and the acceptance remarks from the award recipients are often emotional and heartwarming.
“Every year it’s amazing just to hear these wonderful stories about the people in town,” said Gaynor. “You’re just really impressed with how many people do so much in this town. It continues to blow you away.”
Gaynor, who is beginning his eleventh year as executive director of the Chamber, said more than 200 people will attend the 22nd annual event Friday night at the Hyatt Harborside Hotel at Logan Airport.
“It’s a great turnout – we’re really excited,” said Gaynor.
Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo and Town Council President Peter Gill will present remarks at the event. State Sen. Anthony Petruccelli has sent his regrets, informing the committee that he will be attending his daughter’s dance recital.
The Rev. Richard Uftring of Our Lady of the Airways at the airport will deliver the invocation. Superintendent of Schools John Macero will serve as master of ceremonies.
Twelve separate awards recognize achievements in all aspects of the community: business, social, educational, sports, and cultural. The Chamber directors select all the award recipients except the Educational Excellence Award that is chosen by Winthrop schoolteachers.
Among the honorees is Diane Davis, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Davis has been teaching dance in town at the Diane Davis Dance Studio for 55 years. Stephen Quigley, president of the Winthrop Sun-Transcript, will present the Community Service to the Winthrop Rotary Club, who is celebrating its 75th anniversary. “It’s nice that our event brings together people from all the different sectors of the town,” said Gaynor. “You have the school people, the business people, the people from town government, the people from the arts community and sports – it’s really great to get everyone together for this one night.”
Gaynor said the event highlights the good things that are happening in the town on a daily basis.
“It’s my favorite event of the year because it’s all positive,” said Gaynor. “It just shows the best that Winthrop has.”