Lewis Family Foundation's Annual Dinner Rock's The Edward M. Kennedy Institute While Honoring Strong Leaders

April 11, 2016

On the evening of April 1,The Lewis Family Foundation gathered at the Edward Kennedy Institute to honor two of Boston’s courageous community leaders. It was also a celebration of the amazing work the Foundation’s partners have done this year and the hundreds of dedicated leaders and teams who have come together to help develop strong leaders and build strong communities. In fact that was the theme of the night: We Believe in Strong Leaders – Strong Communities.

Four hundred guests enjoyed great food, the powerful poetry and energy of Porsha Olayiwola and the stirring voices of A2Z Talent, Rebecca Zama and Yamilhee Saint-Val. RIPCORD kept everyone dancing through the night. 

The revered Robert Lewis Jr.was this year’s awardee of the Lewis Changing People’s Lives Award.  Robert is the Founder and Executive Director of The Base, an organization that offers academic tutoring combined with year-round baseball instruction and an intensive training program for area baseball coaches. Launched just three years ago, the BASE serves 400 youths in grades 7-12, most from Roxbury, Mattapan, and Dorchester.

The Foundation also honored Ryan Whitaker with the Excellence in Community Service Award. Ryan is a Grand Circle associate who since joining the company in 2010 has participated in 32 sponsored Grand Circle Foundation (GCF) events and who, in 2015, donated 60 hours of his time to GCF events. Ryan’s has been especially passionate about GCF’s Up & Out program that helps former military personnel relocated from the shelter at New England Center for Homeless Veterans (NECHV) into new homes. Grand Circle began its partnership with Boston-based NECHV, which serves more than 1,000 veterans, back in April 2009. 

It was an exciting evening of joy, connection and hope—a shining event that celebrated the Foundation’s commitment and love for Boston’s young people, gutsy leaders, and building strong communities.

Daniel Deleon