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Sold-Out MAPS 2017 Awards Gala Raises Record Funding and Honors Inspirational Leaders

An exciting evening of inspiring award recipients, cultural entertainment, glamorous red carpet arrival, silent and live auctions and an elegant banquet helped the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS) raise a record of approximately $180,000 at the nonprofit organization’s 2017 Awards Gala in Cambridge on April 29th.

“I have many reasons to say thank you in the most profound way possible,” said Paulo Pinto, MPA, MAPS Executive Director. “The MAPS Awards Gala continues to be a celebration of a united and highly diverse community’s pride, success and identity, coming together to raise critical funding in order to help those less fortunate and marginalized members of our communities.  As always, when we unite as a community, the possibilities are endless.”

The MAPS 2017 Awards Gala was once more sponsored at the highest level by Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees Apres Management Group (Serpa family), Cafua Management Group (Cafua family), Couto Management Group (Couto family) and Riverside Management Group (Carvalho and Rodrigues families).

From its “paparazzi”-lined Red Carpet to its awards ceremony, the black-tie-optional Gala was a festive evening punctuated with entertainment from the Portuguese-speaking world: the Brazilian drums of Grooversity, a wonderful Fado performance by Sonia Bettencourt, accompanied by Jose Iglesias and Anthony Ferreira, the sounds and rhythms of Cape Verde with Gutty Duarte and band members Kiki Barbosa e Danny Carvalho set the mood for the evening that ran until midnight with an after party with DJ Melo, from DNJ Entertainment.

MAPS 2017 Person of the Year: Lawrence (Larry) K. Fish, Founder and Chairman, Fish Family Foundation

MAPS presented its Person of the Year Award to Lawrence (Larry) K. Fish, founder and chairman of the Fish Family Foundation, in recognition of his outstanding financial career, and his steadfast support of MAPS and many other organizations working with immigrant communities – both personally and through the Fish Family Foundation.

Mr. Fish worked and lived in Brazil for several years and speaks fluent Portuguese. His continued support has allowed MAPS to assist thousands of immigrants in becoming U.S. citizens.

MAPS 2017 Manuel N. Coutinho Oustanding Volunteer: Project Health CV

Project Health CV, a non-profit medical aid group who makes yearly visits to Hospital Regional Santiago Norte and Hospital Agostinho Neto, in Cabo Verde, with a variety of medical specialists, was awarded the MAPS Manuel N. Coutinho Oustanding Volunteer Award.

The non-profit organization was founded in 2009 by medical staff from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to address, educate, coordinate and provide medical as well as specialized surgical services in Cape Verde.

The mission makes yearly visits to Hospital Regional Santiago Norte and Hospital Agostinho Neto with a variety of medical specialists.

MAPS 2017 Alvaro Lima Outstanding Business Award: John B. Cruz, III, President, Cruz Companies

John B. Cruz, III was honored with the MAPS Alvaro Lima Outstanding Business Award.

The grandson of first generation immigrants from Cabo Verde, Cruz is the president of Cruz Companies, which includes the John B. Cruz Construction Company, one of the leading minority-owned construction firms in the nation, as well as Cruz Development Corporation and Cruz Management Co.

He also serves as president of the Cape Verdean American Business Organization and is president ex-officio of the National Association of Minority Contractors and the Contractors Association of Boston.

MAPS 2017 Mary & Manuel Rogers Lifetime Community Service Award: Ana Nava, PhD, LICSW

Ana Nava, Phd, LICSW, who has provided critical mental health services for Portuguese speakers in the Cambridge-Somerville area for more than 32 years, received the MAPS Mary & Manuel Rogers Lifetime Community Service Award.

She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at the Cambridge Heath Alliance, a Team Leader for the Portuguese Mental Health Clinic located at the East Cambridge Health Center, and provides clinical services at the Outpatient Addiction Services at Central Street in Somerville.

Born in the Azores, Portugal, Nava’s own experiences as an immigrant marked her career choices and her continued dedication to the Portuguese-speaking communities. From 2002 to 2007, she was the Director of Clinical Services at MAPS, where she managed and supervised the Domestic Violence, Batterer Intervention, Driver Alcohol Education and Family Services programs.

MAPS 2017 Jorge Fidalgo Community Service Award: Father Volmar Scaravelli, Pastor, St. Tarcisius Church in Framingham

The MAPS Jorge Fidalgo Community Service Award was presented to Father Volmar Scaravelli, Pastor of St. Tarcisius Church, in Framingham.

Of Brazilian nationality and the grandson of Italian immigrants, Scaravelli was ordained a priest in 1982, and his ministry initially took him to Argentina, where he started his work with border immigrants on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

During this period, he worked with Pope Francis, when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. In 2012, along with an active Brazilian Community, Scaravelli founded BRACE – the Brazilian American Center, a non-profit organization that provides information and assistance in areas such as education, health, advocacy, legal referrals, sports, dance and exercise classes, job placement and housing assistance to immigrant communities.