Mayor Walsh, Boston Residents Honored as Boston Harbor Heroes at save the Harbor’s Gala

On Thursday, March 28, 500 corporate and civic leaders, elected officials, community partners, and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay supporters gathered at the Seaport Hotel for Destination Boston Harbor, Save the Harbor’s annual fundraising gala.

This event celebrated a year of on-the-water programming that connects millions of the region’s residents and visitors to Boston Harbor, the Harbor Islands, the region’s public beaches, and waterfront communities, and reflected on the investments and improvements in access to clean water for all.

Each year, Save the Harbor recognizes men and women as Boston Harbor Heroes for their commitment to Save the Harbor’s mission, the community, and the Harbor. Save the Harbor’s Board Chair and National Grid’s Vice President of Government Affairs for Massachusetts, Joseph Newman, along with Save the Harbor’s new President, Tani Marinovich, thanked the guests and introduced this year’s heroes which included Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh for his commitment to connecting Boston’s youth and families to our harbor, our islands and our beaches.

In addition, Boston residents Allen Huang and Veera Mahadomrongkul of the Ohana New England Dragon Boat Team, were honored for their outstanding on the water programs that truly activate the Fort Point Channel, and engage our kids and our communities. The event also honored Hyde Park resident John Sullivan, Chief Engineer of the Boston Water & Sewer Commission, for his sustained efforts to improve water quality on beaches in South Boston, East Boston and Dorchester at the Boston Water and Sewer Commission and for his service on the MWRA Advisory Board, and South Boston Resident Kathy Lafferty, Executive Director, South Boston Neighborhood House, for her commitment to sharing Boston Harbor with kids and families and her lifetime of service to the South Boston community.

Finally the event recognized three of Save the Harbor’s Youth Environmental Education Program staff, Charlestown residents Sam Bowman and Maeve Fittz and South End resident Kharliyah Ortiz, for the important role they play in making Save the Harbor/Save the Bay the Boston Harbor Connection for the region’s youth and families.

The additional 2019 Harbor Heroes are:

•       Tom Crohan, John Hancock Financial Services

•       Shelagh Mahoney, Eastern Salt Company, Inc.

•       David Spillane, AICP, RIBA, President Principal, Goody Clancy

This year’s event was particularly special as it included several tributes to the contributions and hard work of Patty Foley, who has retired after 20 years as President of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. Mayor Walsh began by reflecting on his work with Foley during his time serving in Massachusetts Legislature as the Representative from Dorchester. He credited her with educating him about the challenges faced by the neighborhood beaches and being a tireless advocate for the investing resources for their improvement. Mayor Walsh also reflected on the threat posed by climate change and the need to work collaboratively with organizations such as Save the Harbor to ensure resiliency for future generations.

A video tribute included remarks from Paul Grogan of the Boston Foundation, Charlayne Murrell-Smith of the Boston Children’s Foundation, Bill Delahunt of The Delahunt Group, Ronda McCloud of JetBlue, Harold Sparrow of the Greater Hartford YMCA, Robert Travaglini of Travaglini, Eisenberg, and Kiley, Joe Newman, Tani Marinovich, and Bruce Berman of Save the Harbor and Foley’s husband.

Finally, former Massachusetts Senate President Robert Travaglini and former State Senator Jack Hart reflected on their work with Foley through the Metropolitan Beaches Commission which was first created in 2006 to report on the challenges and needs of the region’s state-owned beaches. Travaglini, Hart, and Susan Tracy of The Strategy Group and Save the Harbor’s Board of Directors then asked attendees to consider a gift to the Patty Foley Legacy Fund.

Marinovich thanked everyone for their support, for making 2019 the most successful Destination Boston Harbor ever with more than $750,000 raised for continued advocacy for, and programming on, Boston Harbor, the harbor islands and the regions beaches.

Save the Harbor would like to thank all of our sponsors, silent auction donors, and supporters including presenting sponsor Wells Fargo for the support of the important work we to restore and preserve Boston Harbor for future generations.

You can find a complete list of the 2019 Destination Boston Harbor Donors and Sponsors here:

For more information about Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the work they do, please visit their website at, their blog “Sea, Sand & Sky” at, or follow savetheharbor on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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