Actress Marlee Matlin to speak at event for Newton’s Second Step organization fighting domestic violence
BOOSTING SECOND STEP: Roberta Rosenberg, executive director of the Second Step program in Newton, said it is crucial to understand that domestic violence transcends socioeconomic status. For that reason, it is especially meaningful that Marlee Matlin, an Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning actress, will be the keynote speaker as a survivor of domestic violence at the organization’s 20th anniversary event.
“Celebrating Success’’ will take place April 26 at 6 p.m. at the Westin Waltham Boston hotel, 70 Third Ave. in Waltham. According to Rosenberg, the goal is to raise $250,000 for the Second Step, which provides transitional living and long-term support for survivors of domestic violence and their children.
Matlin revealed sexual abuse, drug problems, and a physically abusive relationship with a boyfriend in her 2009 autobiography, “I’ll Scream Later.’’ At “Celebrating Success,’’ she will share personal stories from her career and the inspiration for her advocacy work on behalf of other domestic-violence survivors.
“A lot of people don’t associate someone like Marlee Matlin with domestic violence, but it occurs to one in four women,’’ said Rosenberg. “It’s common and we need to talk about it. It’s time to let go of the shame and reach out to help one another.’’
SETTING THE PACE: For the past 15 years, Natick High School vice principal Zach Galvin has participated in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk to celebrate his remission from lymphoma. In recognition of raising $18,360 last year alone, the Wellesley resident was honored as a 2011 Pacesetter during an “extra mile brunch’’ on March 25 in Boston.
Pacesetters are participants in the Jimmy Fund Walk who commit to raising at least $1,250 in the one-day benefit for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Nearly 1,300 of the 8,500 walkers at last year’s event achieved Pacesetter status. The main route follows the 26.2-mile path of the Marathon from Hopkinton to Boston, and there are also several shorter alternatives.
“I wanted to thank the doctors and nurses at Dana-Farber for taking such great care of me,’’ said Galvin, who endured a year of chemotherapy and radiation treatments following his diagnosis with stage 4 Hodgkin’s disease at age 26.
Galvin and his team of walkers, known as Zach’s Pack, have raised a combined total of $423,036 since 1997. The group includes relatives, friends, fellow teachers, students, and former students. One, Margot Finn, began walking as a student and has returned each year since graduating from Natick High eight years ago.
Galvin promotes his fund-raising campaign by commemorating the date of his last cancer treatment - Feb. 26, 1997, which he has dubbed “Yahoo Day’’ - by committing a “random act of kindness.’’ This year, he celebrated his 15th anniversary by mailing 14 T-shirts to family and friends around the country, asking them to report back with details and a photo of their own good deeds.
He wore the 15th T-shirt to Switzerland, where on a school trip he treated 15 students to an authentic Swiss hot chocolate.
“I would have loved to do more,’’ he said.
He will continue those efforts by participating in the 24th annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk on Sept. 9. “I wasn’t a fund-raiser guy, but now I am,’’ Galvin said. “I am a survivor, and I have to do something for the people who didn’t live.’’
For more information, visit www.jimmyfundwalk.org or call 866-531-9255.
SAVING THE SEAS: Women Working For Oceans, a nonprofit organization founded by Weston residents Barbara Burgess and Donna Hazard, is holding a luncheon to raise awareness and inspire action Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at the New England Aquarium on the Boston waterfront.
The event, “Plastics in the Ocean and Plastics in You,’’ will be led by sustainable-food authority Kathleen Frith, managing director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, and a Los Angeles-based visual artist, Dianna Cohen, co-founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition. Their goal is reducing the use of single-use, disposable plastics (such as water bottles) by highlighting the environmental damage they cause, particularly to the world’s oceans.
“The oceans are the lungs of our planet. Without them, you cannot have healthy human beings,’’ said Burgess, a member of the New England Aquarium’s board of overseers. “Our vision is to continue our work and grow it across the country.’’
STUDENT AID: As a freshman at Natick High School last year, Erica Chalmers began a campaign to donate school furniture that won’t be used in the new school opening in the fall to Starfish International. Now a sophomore at Rivers School in Weston, the Natick teen’s vision of contributing to the nonprofit organization’s mission of educating young girls in the Republic of The Gambia is benefiting from both school communities.
Chalmers has coordinated multiple fund-raising events with Students for Starfish at Natick High toward the estimated $5,000 cost for shipping, storage, and port fees to deliver desks, chairs, whiteboards, bulletin boards, file cabinets, display cabinets, and academic materials to the West African nation this summer.
At Rivers School last month, she and fellow sophomore Maclaine Lehan of Shrewsbury coordinated a dodgeball tournament consisting of 160 students and faculty members. The event raised $1,000, which Chalmers hopes will assist Starfish International in its effort to extend its summer English literacy program into a year-round academy for girls.
Chalmers said she is continually inspired by the efforts of Yassin Sarr, founder and director of Starfish International. Even more eye-opening, however, was her video message exchange with Gambian students, she said.
“I cried the first time I saw a video,’’ Chalmers said, describing the run-down classroom with holes in the walls, rows of old desks, and chairs that seemed to be falling apart. A bucket of water in the back corner served as the students’ water supply.
“It’s been wonderful the way so many people with big hearts are supporting this organization,’’ Chalmers said. “We live in different parts of the world, but we’re all connected by the power that education gives us.’’
For details, e-mail email@example.com.
ACTING HONORS: Ben Senkowski and Daniel Jackson, juniors at the Bromfield School in Harvard, earned awards of excellence in acting at the state finals of the 81st annual Massachusetts High School Drama Festival, held March 22-24 in Boston. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild, the event featured 115 one-act plays produced by high school troupes from across the state.
The Bromfield Drama Society performed “Love in the Twilight Zone,’’ written by 2010 Bromfield graduates Danny Eisenberg, Clark Jacobson, Becca McCourt, and Peter Kenna.
For more information about the cast and crew, visit www.harvardtheatre.org.
People items may be submitted to Cindy Cantrell at cantrell@ globe.com.