WCAC 7th Annual Action Hero Awards

WCAC’s 7th Annual Action Heroes Awards

(L to R): Senator Harriette Chandler; Action Hero Award Recipient and former WCAC board member Jack Foley, Clark University; Barbara Haller, former City Councilor/WCAC Board Clerk; Steven Joseph, Unum/WCAC Board Vice Chair; Noreen Johnson-Smith, Family Health Center of Worcester/WCAC Board; William Van Dam, NSTAR/WCAC Board Chair; Deborah Penta, PENTA Communications/WCAC Board; Steven Desmarais, Polar Beverages/WCAC Board; Tony Simas, NSTAR/former WCAC Board Chair; Dale Allen, Quinsigamond Community College/WCAC Board; and Michael Keegan, Gosling’s Rum/WCAC Board Treasurer.

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WCAC's 6th Annual Action Heroes Awards

WCAC’s 6th Annual Action Heroes Awards

WCAC’s 2012 Action Hero Awards receipients: Mauro DePasquale, WCCA TV 13; Stephen F. O’Neil, WTRA; Jordan Levy, WTAG; Bruce Gaultney, Worcester Telegram & Gazette; and Peter Gardner, Curry Printing.

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2011 Action Hero Awards

2011 Action Hero Awards

2011 Action Hero Award Recipients, (L to R) Christopher Sawyer, Creative Designer; Thomas E. Ellis, Jr., Heery International, Inc.; Dr. Laurie Ross, Clark University; Dr. Gail Carberry, Quinsigamond Community College; J. Christopher Collins, Unum (honoree Kellie Moats, Together By Heart Photography, not pictured).

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45th Action Hero Awards Recipients

Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. 45th Anniversary Celebration April 28, 2010, Mechanics Hall, Worcester, MA Action Hero Award Recipients

(Back Row- left to right): 45th Action Hero Honorees: J. Christopher Collins, Unum; James Howard, Center of Hope; Richard Leahy, Webster Five Cents Savings Bank; Bill Van Dam, NSTAR; Mrs. Victoria Reggie Kennedy; Andy Lacombe, Charter TV3; Lee Gaudette, Blackstone Valley Education Foundation; William Breault, Main South Community Development Corporation (Front Row- left to right):Tony Simas, NSTAR; Kathleen Reville, Seven Hills Foundation; Jeannie Hebert, Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce; Ann Lisi, Greater Worcester Community Foundation; Jean Giguere, Smith & Jones; and Tony Shirley, Energy All Stars.

Third Annual Action Hero Awards 2009

Third Annual Action Hero Awards – 2009

On May 6, 2009, the WCAC held its Third Annual Action Hero Award event at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Worcester. Six individuals and/or organizations were honored for their monetary contribution, in-kind goods and services, and advocacy to WCAC:

  • John Laracy, Bagel Inn
  • Joseph Clouatre, Innovative Business Partners
  • Debbie C. Guiney and Michael Carroll, AllCom Credit Union
  • Nancy Concemi and National Grid Call Center staff
  • WCAC’s Worcester Community Connections Coalition Parent volunteers
  • Rod Lee, Telegram & Gazette

Dr. Melinda Boone, keynote speaker, was introduced by J. Christopher Collins, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, UNUM.

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In the wake of the murder of Mr. George Floyd, we are still searching for words adequate to express our disgust and horror over the actions of those responsible for his death; our deep sadness for Mr. Floyd’s family, friends and community; and our anger over the repeated dehumanizing and fatal oppressive actions that threaten our nation. On behalf of the Worcester Community Action Council, we unequivocally condemn the police brutality that led to Mr. Floyd’s death. We join the call for justice, unity, peace and reform.

Worcester Community Action Council is directly and indirectly affected by the tragic events in our country that have reopened wounds that were never healed.  Our board of directors, staff and clients feel the impact of these events in deeply personal ways, and struggle with the feelings of fear, mistrust, separation, and anger.  We stand together in solidarity with the thousands of peaceful demonstrators across the country who are demanding justice for Mr. Floyd and an end to the systemic and intentional acts of oppression imposed upon communities of color.  George Floyd is now among countless, precious Black lives lost due to the imbalance of power in this country that has been perpetuated by racism.  Systemic racism must end.  We must hold ourselves accountable as allies to act as a relentless force for positive change.

Community Action was created in 1964 from the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement as part of the federal Economic Opportunity Act in the “War on Poverty”. In our role in the community, WCAC must renew and strengthen our calls for an end to the poverty and inequity that threaten our society.

We will be a strong voice against injustice, oppression and hate by advocating for policies that create equitable access to education, health, social and economic systems.

We will continue to work to stabilize individuals and households through our programs while deepening our resolve to create economic self-sufficiency through financial building blocks.

We will continue our leadership role in the City of Worcester’s Safe and Successful Youth Initiative in partnership with the Worcester Police Department and Worcester Public Schools, recognizing youth employment and education are pathways for success.

We will continue to invest resources in our youngest children across Southern Worcester County from ages zero to five as we help prepare them for long-term success in school and life.

We will use our agency’s purchasing power to support African American, Latinx and Immigrant- owned businesses by purchasing goods and services.

We will support a diverse staff at all levels to work within our own agency staff to examine, change and navigate ourselves and our community into a just and equitable era.

We will listen to the needs of our community and routinely shift our work to address these needs directly.

We will partner with you, and like-minded organizations, to support initiatives that help our community heal, unify, and become stronger.

Together, we can make meaningful reforms, and change the course of the future for our children.


Marybeth Campbell, Executive Director                    Noreen Johnson Smith, WCAC Board Chair

Statement endorsed by WCAC Board of Directors 6/2/2020