Solas Award for Menino

By Irish America Staff
December / January 2003

Boston’s Irish Immigration Center is awarding its ninth annual Solas Award to Mayor Thomas Menino in recognition of his administration’s work on behalf of immigrants and refugees. The award ceremony will take place on December 3, 2002 at the Boston Westin Hotel in Copley Square.

Solas is the Irish word for light and the award was created to recognize people with a steadfast commitment to improving the lives of individuals and communities throughout the world. According to Lena Deevy, director of the Center, Mayor Menino was awarded the honor for being a strong advocate for newcomers to the city. “By creating the city’s first Office of New Bostonians in 1998, Mayor Menino demonstrated the high value he places on new immigrants and the significant role they have in Boston. He is a true friend of Boston’s immigrant community.”

Previous recipients of the award have included former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former Irish President Mary Robinson, Senator Edward Kennedy, U.S. Congressmen Brian Donnelly, Bruce Morrison and Joe Moakley.

The Irish Immigration Center, one of several centers in the U.S. was established in 1989 to provide services for immigrants who settle in the Boston area from around the world. The Solas dinner is the Center’s single fundraising event for the year and usually draws 1,000 people.

Meanwhile in New York City on October 25, the Emerald Isle Immigration Center honored Frank Noviello, president of Local 79, Gifford Miller, speaker of the New York City Council, and Emerald Isle board member Joanne O’Connell, all of whom have made outstanding contributions to the Irish immigrant community. ♦

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