Harwich Democrats Hold 19th Annual JFK Awards Brunch

Many recognitions conferred...
See story for full photo caption

The Harwich Democratic Town Committee held its 19th Annual Brunch Saturday, February 24 at The 400 East in East Harwich.


The MA State Senator Julian Cyr was the special guest speaker. Peg Rose was the recipient of the Mabel Canto Democrat of the Year award and Sheila House received the James Noonan Community Service Award.


Judith Underwood, Vice Chair of the Harwich Democratic Town Committee presented House MS Youth Councilor with the James Noonan Community Service Award. A tearful Underwood told a personal account of how House helped her family when she was first divorced. House is a Masters Level Clinical Mental Health Counselor, licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, The National Board for Certified Counselors, and the Massachusetts Mental Health Counselor’s Association. House works year-round as an independent agent of the town of Harwich to support the mental health needs of Harwich Youth and their families. In this role, she collaborates with the Monomoy Regional School District, on wellness and mental health education and outreach. Her role as Youth Counselor includes therapeutic counseling and support for Harwich Youth, ages 11-24 years, FREE OF CHARGE (6-10 weeks), she offers parent coaching and support, is a referral source for counselors, psychiatrists, substance abuse counselors and treatment centers, and medical resources in the community, she provides crisis intervention, assessment and referral and prevention programs for youth-at-risk.


House received a citation from Senator Julian Cyr from the Senate and one from the House of Representatives presented by Dotti Smith of Representative Sarah Peak’s Office. Smith remembered James Noonan who the award was named after, she stated Noonan would have been so proud to have House receive the award, she epitomizes the true community service volunteer. House recalled Noonan who would come by and say “How’s it goin’ kid”! House thanked all for the awards. She does 60% clinical work and the rest collaborates with members of the community. She highlighted Girl Power a program that’s intergenerational which puts women senior citizens mentoring third grade girls. She also focuses on substance abuse prevention with 12-14 year olds.


Peg Rose a graduate of Harwich High School who was put on the wall of fame in 2012  is also the secretary of the Harwich Voter Information Committee, an active member of the Harwich Historical Society, volunteers for the Friends of the Harwich Band, active in the Cape Women’s Coalition, the League of Women Voters of Cape Cod, takes the minutes of the Artists Guild, a Director of the Harwich Chamber of Commerce’s Charitable Foundation and volunteers for the Harwich Conservation Trust’s winter reception animal talks and shows and counts herring just to name a few of her contributions. She received the Mable Canto award and citations from the Senate and the House of Representatives from Dotti Smith of Representative Sarah Peak’s Office and from Senator Julian Cyr. Rose in her usual form broke up the room when she joked that the Senate citation was really Charlie Baker’s resignation and that the house citation was Karyn Politos resignation. She recalled the early days of the Harwich Democratic Town Committee when they could all meet in a broom closet and still have room for the brooms. She shared memories from the early 60’s when she first became interested in politics thanks to her Mom, Dad and Uncle.


Senator Julian Cyr the featured speaker thanked the Harwich Democrats for all of their help in his election. Harwich’s Ed McManus was his campaign manager and Meghan Callahan one of his staffers. Cyr spoke about what JFK meant to the party, Kennedy pulling us into be better selves by volunteering to make a better country. He feels now there is not one individual but collection of people coming forward to make a better community like the millions of women who participated in the women’s marches and recently the students from Parkland High School calling adults out for failing to protect them. MA is ahead of the curve and working on gun control in a bi partisan way as well as equal marriage rights and civil rights. He spoke about local issues like over 9,000 being served at the Family Pantry of Cape Cod. He encouraged those in attendance to volunteer to help get folks of like mind elected. In 2016 37% of those elected were democrats, today that number has grown to 40.5%.

Photo Caption:  Ray Gottwald, Chairman of the Harwich Democratic Town Committee, Judith Underwood, Vice Chair, Peg Rose, Democrat of the year, State Senator Julian Cyr, Sheila House, James Noonan Community Service Award recipient, Bert Jackson, Cape Cod Blue Economy Project, Jay Walpole, Harwich Democratic Town Committee Secretary.  (Photo by Deb DeCosta)

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