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MAPS Honors 5 Community Leaders and Celebrates Community Success at Elegant Waterfront Fundraising Gala

Inspiring words, spirited musical performances and elegant gold-themed surroundings marked the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers’ 2015 Awards Gala on April 18th at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.

The annual black tie-optional event—complete with red carpet paparazzi welcome, banquet, and awards ceremony—attracted more than 400 community members, business leaders and area officials to raise $133,000 for MAPS’ culturally and linguistically competent health and social services for Portuguese speakers.


MAPS 2015 Person of the Year: Joseph Curtatone, Mayor of Somerville

The MAPS Person of the Year Award went to Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, for his community leadership, support of many pro-immigrant measures, and his concern for the safety, health and well-being of his constituents.

“We need to make sure everyone has access to health care, and immigrant kids need to be able to go to college like my kids,” he said, earning a round of applause for his vocal support of the Trust Act—a state bill to stop local law enforcement agencies from enforcing federal civil immigration policies.”

MAPS 2015 Manuel N. Coutinho Oustanding Volunteer: António (Thony) Alves, Thony’s Barbershop

The MAPS’ Manuel N. Coutinho Outstanding Volunteer Award was presented to António (Thony) Alves, owner of Thony’s Barbershop in Roxbury.

Alves has volunteered his work space and time to MAPS staff for years so they can offer on-site outreach and testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), allowing hundreds of men to learn their HIV status and find out how to stay healthy.

A Cabo Verdean immigrant, Alves works for JetBlue Airways and is a popular soccer coach as well.

MAPS 2015 Alvaro Lima Outstanding Business Award: Rui Domingos, CEO, NAVEO Credit Union

Rui Domingos, CEO of the Naveo Credit Union, was honored with the MAPS Álvaro Lima Outstanding Business Award at the Gala for the outstanding success and innovation of this 87-year-old financial institution, which recently changed its name from CPCU Credit Union to be more inclusive and to reflect the broader audience it has been serving for many years.

MAPS 2015 Mary & Manuel Rogers Lifetime Community Service Award: Joel Schwartz, Board member CVC UNIDO, founder Cape Verdean-Jewish Passover Seder in Boston, founding Director of the Moving from Debts to Assets Program

The MAPS’ Mary & Manuel Rogers Lifetime Community Service Award went to Joel Schwartz, longtime Board member of Cape Verdean Community UNIDO, founder of the 10-year-old annual Cape Verdean-Jewish Passover Seder in Boston, and founding Director of the Moving from Debts to Assets Program.

Schwartz invited Gala guests to imagine hundreds of others up on stage with him who he said also deserved the award, including the Seder Planning Committee,the Debts to Assets Board, his fellow Board Members at CVC UNIDO, his wife and children, and all his friends in the Cabo Verdean community.

MAPS 2015 Jorge Fidalgo Community Service Award: Natalicia Tracy, Executive Director of the Brazilian Immigrants Center (BIC)

Joshua Fidalgo presented the Jorge Fidalgo Community Service Award named after his father to Natalicia Tracy, Executive Director of the Brazilian Immigrants Center (BIC) since 2010 and a founder of the Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers.

Tracy received the award for her outstanding leadership on workers’ rights—including her successful legislative advocacy for passage of the first Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, which just went into effect on April 1 in Massachusetts.