United Way Hosting First-Ever Shining Stars Awards Dinner and Fundraiser

FRAMINGHAM – In honor of those who have given back to the local community, the United Way of Tri-County will hold its first-ever Shining Stars Award Celebration dinner and fundraiser on Thursday, February 28, at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center.

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. with dinner, awards, and entertainment to follow from 6 to 8 p.m.

United Way of Tri-County is moving away from its annual recognition breakfast where, in past years, over 150 awards were given to honor worthy individuals and companies.

Instead, the organization is taking the show on the road beginning in 2019 when UWTC’s President & CEO, along with board members and staff, willrecognize individuals, organizations, and businesses at their workplaces, where more employees can participate and be acknowledged for their ongoing support and volunteerism

During the Shining Stars Award Celebration, just 10 awards will be presented to local companies, volunteers and donors for their contributions in raising awareness and understanding of the United
Way mission, and for their efforts in volunteerism, outstanding dedication, service, leadership, and achievement.

This celebration also comes just as United Way’s Call2Talk mental health, emotional support, and suicide prevention program is celebrating its 5th anniversary.

Framingham’s own award-winning morning radio show host David O’Leary from Magic 106.7 will act as Master of Ceremonies. O’Leary is very active in the local non-profit community, giving his time and talents to many deserving organizations including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the United Way of Tri-County.

In addition to dinner and awards, entertainment will be provided by Boston comedian Joe Yannetty. Like most native East Bostonians, he’s hilarious. He was raised in an inner-city Italian neighborhood, which means that being funny is not only a survival skill, it is in his blood. Joe loves entertaining for
non-profits doing good things in the world and enjoys giving back.

During the evening’s program the winner of the 2019 Athena Leadership Award ® will also be announced.

This annual award is presented to a prominent leader in the MetroWest region for contributing to the advancement of the status of women in the community and the workplace, achievement of professional excellence, meaningful contribution to community service, and active assistance to women in their attainment of professional and leadership skills.

Nine remarkable women were nominated for this significant award.

The ATHENA Leadership Award was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment – qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model.

The Award is unique in both scope—local, national and international–and the ATHENA mission upon which it is based. The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to a woman —or man— who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.


There will also be a special segment highlighting Call2Talk’s evolution and service delivery over the last five years and its rapid growth both locally and statewide.

Call2Talk, a direct service of the United Way of Tri-County, is a confidential mental health and emotional support call line that assists individuals and families through stressful times in their lives. Call2Talk’s well trained call-takers offer compassionate, non-judgmental, emotional support to our callers in need.

“We all lead busy lives, we all have many demands on our time, and we all know there are only so many hours in the week to work, care for our families, and eke out a few minutes to relax. So when individuals, groups, businesses and organizations find the time to volunteer, we notice. We are very grateful that we have so many exceptional volunteers who are willing to spend a few hours a week and fill bags of groceries, or to sit on the floor and read to a child, and to donate their hard-earned dollars,” says Paul Mina, President & CEO at the United Way of Tri-County. “Our Shining Stars Award Celebration will give us an opportunity to honor those who go above and beyond to support our mission so together we can make a difference in the lives of others.”

Interested in sponsoring, join event Silver Sponsor Wegmans and Bronze Sponsor Avidia Bank.

Purchase tickets and find sponsorship opportunities at the United Way website at www.uwotc.org/stars

The United Way of Tri-County is headquartered in Framingham.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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