The Chelsea Black Community will put the finishing touches on another successful slate of Black History Month events with its “Chelsea Trailblazers” recognition ceremony today at 5 p.m. at the Williams School.
CBC President Joan Cromwell and the organization will recognize six individuals for their outstanding contributions to the community. The honorees are Susan Gallant, Jose Iraheta, Linda Alioto-Robinson, Beverly Martin-Ross, Celeste Williams, and the Simboli Foundation.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey will deliver remarks at the ceremony. Mohamed Mohamed, a graduate of the REACH After School Program, led by Alioto-Robinson, will present the keynote address.
City Manager Thomas Ambrosino will bring the official greetings of the city while Councilor at-Large Leo Robinson, who sponsored resolutions honoring the six Trailblazers, will also be in attendance and offer remarks.
“I want to congratulate all the honorees,” said Robinson. “It’s my honor to be able to recognize the trailblazers, people who participate in this community and give a lot of themselves back to the community. I’m looking forward to seeing Congressman Pressley at the ceremony.”
Robinson, whose wife, Linda, is one of the honorees, said the Trailblazers’ contributions are often unheralded. “For example, the Simbolis, Patricia and Anthony Simboli Sr. give a lot of scholarships to our community. They donate thousands of dollars helping our students get a good education. Sue Gallant has demonstrated such excellent leadership in the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. The Breakfast With Santa, led by Sue’s volunteer efforts, is one of the great events in our city.”
City Council President Roy Avellaneda and Councillor Calvin Brown are invited guests, as are other Chelsea officials. School Committeeman Henry Wilson, who is a member of the CBC, will be joined by his colleagues at the event.
Cromwell talked about the significance of tonight’s event during a break at the Community Cookoff Dinner Monday at La Luz de Cristo Iglesia (Church).
“We’re honored that both Congressman Pressley and Senator Markey have accepted our invitation to attend the Trailblazers ceremony,” said Cromwell. “We’re also excited that an amazing young man, Mohamed Mohamed, will be giving the keynote speech.”
Cromwell offered her personal congratulations to the six Trailblazer Award recipients, whom she lauded as “our unsung heroes in the community that are doing great things every day in the community. These are everyday folks who are contributing so much to our community.”
Beverly Martin-Ross, whose vibrant personality lights up every room she enters, said she is honored to be one of the Trailblazers being recognized at tonight’s ceremony.
“I am proud to be one of the CBC Trailblazers for the City of Chelsea for 2020,” said Martin-Ross. “I want to say I am Emerline Patricia Martin Cromwell’s daughter, Beverly Martin-Ross, and I stand on the shoulders of Emerline Cromwell, who was a true trailblazer in the city of Chelsea. She made a path when there was no path to make.”
Cromwell said she has been pleased with the turnout at the various events held this month.
“The entire celebration has gone amazingly well,” said Cromwell. “Our cook-off dinner is always so heartfelt because we’re really focused on the community and joining together with the people who come to the church every day.”
Cromwell said next year’s Cook-Off Dinner will include a Sock Drive to assist individuals in the community.