SALEM, MA — Congressman Seth Moulton has selected five honorees for the seventh annual Peter J. Gomes Service Award.
The award recognizes a member of Massachusetts’ 6th Congressional District who exemplifies the qualities of integrity, compassion, and unwavering commitment to their community—all foundational precepts of the Congressman’s late mentor, Reverend Peter J. Gomes.
Congressman Moulton and his team have selected five honorees from across the 6th District who each work to positively impact their respective communities. One winner will be announced at a public event at 5 pm ET on Friday, September 30th, at the Old Town Hall in Salem.
This year’s finalists are:
- Hannah Finn and Claudia Mintz, Andover, MA
- At 14 years-old, Hannah Finn started baking birthday cakes for 8-10 children living at the Lazarus House, a local homeless shelter. Since then, her volunteer efforts have expanded to become the One Wish Project, a non-profit organization, which currently recognizes and celebrates over 400 children and teens annually living in homeless shelters and foster care. While Hannah is away attending college, her mother Claudia Mintz, One Wish Project’s Managing Director runs the daily operations and the volunteer program full time.
- Lyn Freeman, Salem, MA
- Lyn has been working with Lifebridge Northshore to provide support for the homeless for over 25 years. She started by serving dinner for the Community Meals Program of Lifebridge, and now is the Secretary to the Board for Lifebridge, as well as the Co-Chair for the Development Committee. As Co-Chair, Lyn organizes fundraising events while still also helping with work in the kitchen.
- Erica McNamara, Reading, MA
- Erica has been working for 14 years to provide education, support, and advocacy to address the issue of substance misuse and mental health awareness in Reading. She joined the Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support at the Reading Police Department in 2008. She is the Coalition Director, and has recently expanded the coalition to include a Mental Health Clinician, an Outreach Coordinator and a Crisis Intervention Team. As a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor, she also teaches Teen, Youth, Adult, Public Safety and Higher Education courses. Prior to working in Reading, Erica worked for the Lowell Community Health Center for 13 years.
- Gordon Shepard, Saugus, MA
- Gordon has dedicated his retirement to restoring the designated veterans areas of the local Riverside Cemetery in Saugus. He has replaced damaged gravestones for veterans of the Civil War to current times, raised money to fund the restoration, and personally maintained the cemetery grounds. Gordon is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive.
- Sheila Trieff, Newburyport, MA
- Since January 2022, Sheila has been working along with at least 60 other volunteers and with the support of several churches located in Newburyport and West Newbury to help resettle the 40 Afghan evacuees in Newburyport, MA. As a clinical therapist, Sheila has applied her expertise in trauma and grief work to create a weekly women’s group. This gathering provides the Afghan women a space for friendship, conversation, and an overall sense of community.
The Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes was a Christian minister who served for nearly forty years in the Memorial Church of Harvard University, a space erected to honor the Harvard public servants who died in World War I. As a preacher, teacher, author, and leader, he influenced many with his ready wit and wisdom and, perhaps above all, with his commitment to service, whether to his immediate community, in support of those in the armed forces, or to universal humanitarian causes.
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