Camp Fire North Shore Honors Tom McGee With Its Community Partner Award

Camp Fire North Shore presented its Community Partner Award to former state senator and mayor Tom McGee at “An Evening at the Lynn Museum” fundraising event on Oct. 13.

McGee was honored for his outstanding contributions to the community and his impressive record of public service as a state representative, state senator, and mayor of Lynn.

Drew Russo, Laurie Hamill, Community Partner Award recipient Tom McGee, and Steve Antonakes.

Hamill Delivers Welcoming Address

In her opening remarks, Executive Director Laurie Hamill said that “2022 has been a rebound year for Camp Fire North Shore.”

“Like so many other organizations and businesses, the pandemic has created enormous challenges for us for throughout the last two-and-a-half years,” said Hamill. “However, I am proud to say that Camp Fire North Shore has persevered.  Our staff has been dedicated to providing the services so desperately needed to the youth in our community and throughout the North Shore.”

Hamill said that the summer camp is thriving, and enrollment is back to full capacity in its after-school programs.

“Almost 70 percent of our campers this past summer attended tuition free,” said Hamill. “We’re really proud of that. And our greatest accomplishment in the last couple of years is investing in Phase 1 infrastructure improvements at 2 Cain Road in Salem.”

Hamill praised her staff, stating, “Thank you for your hard work every single day. Your commitment to the children in our community truly makes a difference.”

Drew Russo Lauds Award Recipient Tom McGee

Drew Russo, vice president of the Camp Fire North Shore Board of Directors, lauded McGee before presenting the Community Partner Award to the former Lynn mayor.

“There’s so much that you can say about Tom – his commitment to public service is unparalleled, 27 years in elected office as a representative, as a state senator, and our mayor. He’s been a leader in his political party. He’s been a champion and an advocate of good, solid public policy. He’s a mayor who led us with steadfast determination and quiet resolve during the most trying days of this pandemic.”

Russo also noted McGee’s support of increasing out-of-school and after-school educational opportunities for children.

“If there were three issues that Tom McGee was going to talk about, out-of-school and after-school time programming for kids and the importance of that for kids in our communities was always on top of the list,” said Russo.

A Warm Ovation for the Honoree

Tom McGee received a prolonged ovation from the guests as he walked to the podium to accept the prestigious award.

It’s a family that has served Lynn well for many years, with Tom McGee carrying on the great legacy of his father, the esteemed Speaker of the Mass. House of Representatives, the late Thomas W. McGee.

As expected, Tom McGee’s acceptance speech was humble and gracious.

McGee began by commending Laurie Hamill for the positive impact that Camp Fire North Shore has had in the community and for making a difference in young people’s lives.

He spoke about how he was inspired by his parents and grandparents.

“The inspiration that they brought to me and to my brothers and my sister was about public service and learning that each one of us can make a difference, particularly in young people’s lives,” said McGee. “We all have a role in making our community a better place. So that inspiration that I got from my parents and my grandparents, and hopefully spread to my family and my children, is that we can make a difference. We can make our lives better and our communities better by working together to make sure that everyone has those opportunities and young people have those opportunities.”

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