Foundation for the SPL honors four new inductees at 4th Annual Gala & Silent Auction
By Mark E. Vogler
Three Saugus citizens who have contributed greatly to the betterment of their town shared some insight about favorite books that helped to influence their lives.
That was the main event served up last Saturday at the Foundation for the Saugus Public Library’s (SPL) Fourth Annual Gala, which honored this year’s “Readers Make Good Leaders” award recipients. The town’s biggest library supporters joined with a handful of local officials and community leaders to celebrate the library while recognizing this year’s award winners:
- Gordon E. Shepard, a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War who has spent countless volunteer hours, taking care of veterans gravesites in the Riverside Cemetery.
- Harry Mazman, a longtime supporter and booster of Saugus High School athletics.
- Peter A. Rossetti, Jr., a longtime civic leader who has been involved in many positions as a volunteer representative of Saugus town government.
- Seven Greer, a senior at Saugus High School and president of the Class of 2019, also was one of this year’s honorees. But he was unable to make last Saturday’s gala because of plans to attend a wedding.
As in past years, each of the award winners stood in front of giant blue poster board depicting them holding their favorite book with a quote about the impact of the book on their life. The poster boards were set up on easels on the library’s second floor.
Shepard, a lifelong Saugus resident, Vietnam Veteran and keeper of Veterans’ gravesites in Saugus, chose” The Civil War” by Geoffrey Ward – with Ric Burns and Ken Burns. “I enjoy reading nonfiction books, especially history. Reading about the history of our country reminds me of the service of those who have fought for our country,” Shepard said.
“As a veteran, I can identify with those who have served to make this country great. I have found that reading historical nonfiction books is important to learn about our country’s history.”
Mazman, an All Star high school and college athlete and Saugus Boosters Club President since 1980, said his favorite book is “Churchill” by Paul Johnson. “I have always enjoyed reading biographies and nonfiction books, especially historical books. Allowing me to learn about past and current events is what I like best about reading. You are able to learn about more history and the people and events that took place through their eyes.
“Reading is important because it can educate you about our country’s past to the present.”
Rossetti – a lifelong Saugus resident and attorney who has served many years on the Northeast Metro Tech School Committee, a Town Meeting Member, a member of the Planning Board and the Greater Lynn Senior Services – selected “Profiles in Courage” by John F. Kennedy. “I enjoyed ‘Profiles in Courage,’ because I admired President John F. Kennedy and what he stood for. I learned from reading the book about integrity and that people have choices to do the right thing even though it may not be the political thing to do – to have the courage to say something if you think it is right,” Rossetti said.
“Reading is a key that unlocks a wondrous world you may not get to experience otherwise.”
Greer chose “Black Boy” by Richard Wright as his favorite book “because it was an honest insight into the life of an African American growing up in the south in the 1920’s and how issues then have translated to and are parallel to these times we live in today. “I have always enjoyed reading as I was encouraged to read at an early age. Reading is important as it can take you to different places and gives you a window into other people’s lives and their experiences.”
John Smolinsky, a longtime member of the board of the Foundation for the SPL, again presided over the foundation’s annual gala last Saturday night. “It’s an opportunity to raise the awareness for what the foundation does. It’s also a way of giving back and letting you know some of the things we accomplished,” he told the audience.
The Saugus Garden Club again decorated both floors with floral arrangements that were given away as prizes.
State Rep. Donald Wong (R-Saugus) presented letters of commendation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives, which were signed by him and Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo.