Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 21, 2019                                                                                              Contact:  Ellen M. Ganley, Director of Development  508 762-9807 
WCAC honors 2019 Community Action Heroes 
Retiring Executive Director Jill Dagilis also recognized
Worcester, Massachusetts - Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. (WCAC) celebrated its 13th Annual Action Hero Awards on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.

Patrick McDonald, CEO MAPFRE Insurance Northeast Region & Linda Johnson, AVP Corporate Social Responsibility accept MAPFRE's 2019 Action Hero Award.
Fran Madigan of F.W. Madigan Co, accepts his 2019 Action Hero Award.
Kathryn Crockett, President of Lamoureux Pagano Associates Architects accepts her 2019 Action Hero Award.
2019 Action Hero Award Winners, representing the Bank On Worcester County program: Diane Giampa, Bay State Savings Bank; Susan Gunnell, Cornerstone Bank; Deven Hughes & Corinne Zambrano, DCU; Sherri Pitcher, Fidelity Bank; Brian Sullivan, Berkshire Bank; Matthew Wally, UniBank.
Established to honor exemplary individuals and organizations which have supported WCAC and its mission over the past year, 2019 Action Hero honorees included: Fundacion MAPFRE/MAPFRE Insurance for its financial support of WCAC's Head Start nutrition program, annual Coat Drive for Kids and significant volunteer commitment to the agency; Lamoureux Pagano Architects and F.W. Madigan Co., for their generous in-kind support throughout the construction of WCAC's new Webster Head Start Center; and the agency's Bank On Worcester County partners - Bay State Savings Bank, Berkshire Bank, Cornerstone Bank, DCU, Fidelity Bank and UniBank, for their leadership in addressing the needs of unbanked and underbanked households in Southbridge and Worcester.

"We want to publicly acknowledge and thank the incredible employees of MAPFRE who have truly embraced our children and their families as their own," said Noreen Johnson Smith, WCAC Board Chair and Action Hero Award presenter.

"The stringent requirements for any educational facility serving young children, coupled with the age of the building presented a complex design challenge," noted WCAC Board Member and Action Hero Award presenter Eric Batista. "Katie (Crockett) and her team, however, wholly embraced the challenges presented by square footage mandates and per pupil space ratios, ever mindful of a myriad of building safety requirements. Together they designed a building which maximizes every square inch of building to ensure the greatest positive outcomes for our students and their families, as well as our teachers, staff and community."

In presenting the award to Fran Madigan of F.W. Madigan Company, Johnson Smith said, "Upon completion of their bricks & mortar work, Madigan employees generously donated hundreds of new books to populate the center's new library and are looking forward to visiting classrooms soon to read with the children."

In presenting the Action Hero Award to WCAC's Bank On Worcester County partners, Batista noted, "Research shows that more than 20% of Worcester County residents are either unbanked or underbanked. Without a checking account, families wind up paying too much for basic financial transactions and are hard pressed to build savings and assets."

WCAC Executive Director Jill Dagilis
WCAC also recognized its Executive Director Jill Dagilis, who will be retiring at the end of May after 13 years at the helm of WCAC.

"The Action Hero Awards are at the core of WCAC's mission because they celebrate those in the community who, through their engagement and efforts, are helping people become economically self-sufficient," said WCAC Board Chair Noreen Johnson Smith. "We are so grateful to our partners who join us in this work.  The sponsors of the Action Hero Awards event enable WCAC to continue to fulfill its mission and move individuals and families out of poverty."

The 2019 Action Hero Awards were generously sponsored by National Grid, Bay State Savings Bank, UNUM, Eversource, Risk Strategies Company, Mutual of America, FW Madigan Company, Inc, Bollus Lynch, Imperial Distributors, Webster Five Cents Savings Bank, UniBank, Polar Beverages, Worcester State University, Marsh & McLennan Agency, Bowditch & Dewey, Family Health Center of Worcester, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, Clark University, Becker College, AllCom Credit Union, University of Massachusetts Medical School, WBDC, Fidelity Bank, Cornerstone, DCU, Flex Con, Dexter-Russell, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, Mary Beth Campbell, Michael Keegan, Community Software Group, Whitney Bros. Oil, Fraticelli Oil,  and Arthur Cole Painting Corporation.

See a complete photo album of WCAC's 2019 Action Hero Award winners online.

About WCAC

Since 1965, the Worcester Community Action Council has served as the federally designated anti-poverty agency for central and southern Worcester County, with a mission of helping people move to economic self-sufficiency through programs, partnerships and advocacy.

Serving the City of Worcester and 45 neighboring communities of Auburn, Blackstone, Boylston, Brimfield, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Hardwick, Holden, Holland, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Grafton, Leicester, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Monson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Palmer, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, Wales, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield and Westborough.  
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