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).

View photos from the event below:


Cuts to WCAC unacceptable

Full and original article posted on Telegram & Gazette

President Barack Obama, during his State of the Union address, stated that federal cuts to the Community Services Block Grant funding are part of a unique opportunity to “right our fiscal ship and begin to reduce our massive deficits and debt.” Cutting this program support for community action agencies is an attack on over 20.7 million income-limited children, seniors, veterans and families across the country. This is unreasonable and unacceptable.

CSBG funds the Community Action network — 1,100 nonprofit service providers nationwide, 24 of which are in Massachusetts. It’s one of the most significant and comprehensive approaches by the federal government to provide a safety net and build economic security for struggling Americans. Worcester Community Action Council receives this funding and currently services over 72,000 people in 49 Central Massachusetts communities.

Click here to read full article.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day January 28, 2011

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day January 28, 2011

L to R: Joe Diamond, Executive Director, Massachusetts Community Action Programs, Kathleen Polanowicz representing Congressman James McGovern; Anita Hill, IRS, Director of Field Assistance Area 1; Jill C. Dagilis, WCAC Executive Director; Elice Chiapulis, WCAC Fuel Assistance Staff; Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray; Timothy Garvin, President, United Way of Central Massachusetts; Mark Bilotta, CEO, Colleges of Worcester Consortium.

Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. welcomed Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray on Friday, January 28, 2011, as one of many statewide agencies to kick-off Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day. The Lt. Governor met with customers who filed in the past, volunteer tax preparers, as well as members of the Worcester Alliance for Economic Inclusion.


In Worcester, An Anti-Poverty Agency Helps its Neediest

Full and original article posted on Mass.gov

I have been to a number of anti-poverty agencies across the state and my awe at the dedication and effort of the people who work at these agencies has yet to subside.

I know that I have written before about how Governor Patrick wants to make sure that we know in detail how the stimulus funds are working, so for this trip I paid a visit to the Worcester Community Action Council to see firsthand the impact of its stimulus funds. Once again, I was amazed at what this agency does to help some of the poorest in its city. Jill Daglis, the energetic executive director of the agency told me that the agency works with 72,000 families annually with that number rising consistently by 1,000 every year for the last few years. “Everyone here jumps in and does what it takes,” she said.

Click here to read full article.

Kennedy keynotes WCAC meeting Senator's widow shares enthusiasm

Kennedy keynotes WCAC meeting Senator’s widow shares enthusiasm

By Steven H. Foskett Jr. THE TELEGRAM & GAZETTE

WORCESTER — Victoria Reggie Kennedy told the audience gathered last night for the Worcester Community Action Council’s 45th anniversary celebration that the antipoverty organization is as vital today as it was when it was created as an outgrowth of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.

Ms. Kennedy, widow of the late Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, said her husband respected the work the Worcester organization does, and commended it for recommitting its efforts even as similar organizations are suffering in the tough economic times.

“Some people said caring for the poor was a luxury we couldn’t afford, that it was out of style, that it was a losing political issue,” Ms. Kennedy told the audience of around 500 people at Mechanics Hall. “But you knew we were talking about human beings, not politics, and you never stopped doing everything you’re about, to make lives better.”

The 45th anniversary celebration also included the organization’s Action Hero Awards, given to individuals, groups, and businesses who have had an impact on the council’s efforts.

The organization also announced the creation of the Edward M. Kennedy Scholarship Program, which will provide assistance for tuition, books, and supplies to college-bound youths. The scholarship will be funded by National Grid and the Quinsigamond Community College fund.

Deborah Penta, chairman of the board of directors at the council, called the late senator the organization’s “superhero,” and said his support of anti-poverty initiatives over the years, including the Economic Opportunity Act, which helped create organizations like the council, made him a worthy namesake for the scholarship.

Ms. Kennedy said organizations such as the Worcester one create hope for many individuals and families, and show them there are people who are there for them.

She said the organization reflects an ideal that the community and government can work together to make a difference in the lives of the poor.

She said the organization, which oversees groups that provide fuel assistance, summer jobs programs and green energy initiatives, has goals that dovetail nicely with anti-poverty initiatives included in President Barack Obama’s efforts to provide economic stimulus.

She also said that Mr. Kennedy’s passion for health care reform, which was recently signed into law, fits into the Worcester council’s mission to help the poor.

“Health care reform is the most important social program since the War on Poverty started 45 years ago,” Ms. Kennedy said.

“We know that despite its great history, the Worcester Community Action Council’s greatest days are still ahead,” she said.

The 45th Hero Award recipients were: Unum; Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce; Blackstone Valley Education Foundation; Center of Hope; Seven Hills Foundation; Energy All-Stars; NSTAR; Main South Community Development Corp.; Webster Five Cents Savings Bank; Smith & Jones; Greater Worcester Community Foundation; and Charter TV3.

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.

WCAC's 45th Anniversary - April 28, 2010

WCAC’s 45th Anniversary – April 28, 2010

Worcester Community Action Council, Inc, (WCAC) held its 45th Anniversary Celebration Event on April 28, 2010 at Mechanics Hall, Worcester, MA. WCAC’s 45th Event celebrated the many organizations that have helped to contribute to WCAC’s achievements over the years, along with key action heroes. This year’s Action Heroes recognized included: Unum, Seven Hills Foundation, Main South Community Development Corporation, Center of Hope, Energy All Stars, Smith & Jones, NSTAR Electric & Gas Corporation, Webster Five Cents Savings Bank, Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce and Education Foundation, Greater Worcester Community Foundation, and Charter-TV3.

At the same time, WCAC was thrilled to announce the establishment of the Senator Edward M. Kennedy Education Scholarship Program that was generously sponsored by National Grid and Quinsigamond Community College Foundation. The Scholarship Program will assist young people graduating from WCAC’s GED and Job & Education Center programs, as they pursue higher education. WCAC also recognized the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy; his support and advocacy have been invaluable to our success over the past 45 years. We were honored that Mrs. Victoria Reggie Kennedy served as our keynote speaker and accepted an award on the late Senator’s behalf.

Thank you to the many sponsors, in-kind donors, WCAC employees, volunteers, agency partners, community members, and guests for making WCAC’s 45th Anniversary Celebration such a special and momentous occasion.

View photos from the event below: